Popular anthropology for everyone. Exploring the familiar and the strange, demystifying and myth busting human culture, biology and behaviour in all times and places. Myths, music, art, archaeology, language, food, festivals, fun.


Welcome to the anthropocene!

Stamp out Racism graffiti, Eblana Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Auigust 2010. Image by Ardfern, via Wikimedia

Tumblr is an interesting place to observe social justice in action. It hosts networks of anti-racist bloggers who resist the everyday racisms they experience. But some people view this anti-racism as inauthentic. Why?

Alexandra administers a wildlife identification test in Kenya. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Sutton.

Kedge Conservation run business training programs in Africa with a view to helping humans and other animals live together. Celia Emmelhainz interviews scientist and founder Alexandra Sutton.

It's a fine line between criminal and saviour. James Dean as Han Solo, by Rabittooth via DeviantArt.

Once a criminal, not always a criminal–but it can be hard to convince society otherwise. Does the “bad boy” stereotype give men an advantage?

Jeremy Meeks mugshot

What does it mean to be a felon and also a pin-up guy? For some, Jeremy Meeks is attractive as a “bad boy,” while for others, he can’t be hot because he’s a criminal. Lindsey Feldman explores the problems with labels.

A human castle in Tarragona. Photo by Elizabeth Challinor

There’s nothing like an everyday object to shine a spotlight on human cooperation-or lack thereof. A toilet brush and a human castle materialize our expectations of other human beings.

Faces, by Mollus via DeviantArt.

Bodily experiences and emotions are hard to capture in research methods that rely on models, questionnaires, and statistics. How can researchers record feelings?

Child receiving a vaccination. Photo by PV2 Andrew W. McGalliard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A financial times journalist recently claimed that Twitter can help fight poverty because it fosters connectivity. Here’s Nik Pollinger’s take on why this point of view is wrong.

Promotional poster for The Walking Dead

Does your daily life make you feel like a zombie? An analysis of The Walking Dead explains how mixing fantasy and reality can give us that impression.

The Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. Copyright by Gawain Lynch

Portuguese people insist that they are not at all like the Spanish: neither in food, language, nor behaviour. Is this true? If so, what makes them distinctive?

Monica Heller

Have you heard the latest talk about language – field language, conference language, journal language, theorizing language? A collaborative experiment is unfolding right now, and you can take part.

By Ville Miettinen from Helsinki, Finland (Sex, Drugs & Dungeons & Dragons) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Are we really the hero in our own lives? Nick Mizer, an anthropologist who researches gaming and storytelling, argues that our narratives about our lives may not be so different from those in our games.

​Promotional Models at Gamescon 2012, Cologne, Germany. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Why must “promotional model’ and “astrophysicist” be mutually exclusive categories? An insider looks at the hard work of performing gender.