Recent Posts

Perfecting the Teaching and Research Statement
Published 12/1/2014 in Bama Anthro Blog Network
Author Christopher Lynn
If You Have a Job in Anthropology, Agree to be a Workshop Panelist About Getting a Job in Anthropology Hi [Chris]! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving [watching Alabama kick Auburn's @ss]! Thanks again for agreeing to be part of our BAS student workshop. The workshop will be held Saturday December 6, 2014 from 3:15-5:15pm in the Cleveland 1 (Marriott Wardman Park). Would you be willing to lead the table entitled "Perfecting the teaching and research statement"? I think you would be fantastic. Please let me know if you need me to photocopy any handouts to bring to the meeting. Thank you for your time and consideration, Best, Michaela Sure [Michaela]! I will make/gather some handouts to make myself look unusually prepared & professional. Chris Make sure you make your mustache extra curly!! Michaela   Why You Need Research & Teaching Statements (Even if No One Ever Told You About Them) Research & Teaching Statements are in the same category for... read more ❯
Friedrich Leopold August Weismann
Published 11/23/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author ajcallery
Friedrich Leopold August Weismann Educational Background/Training Weismann was born on 17 January 1834 in Frankfurt am Main, in the German Confederation. His mother, Elise Eleanor Lübbren, was a musician and painter, and his father, Johann Konrad August Weismann, was a classics professor. Weismann studied music, particularly the works of Beethoven, and he studied nature, from which he collected butterflies. He noted diverse patterns and colors of butterflies, information that later informed his research on the development and evolution of butterflies and caterpillars. In 1856 Weismann got his medical degree from the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, in the German Confederation. After graduation, Weismann worked as an assistant in a hospital for three years in Rostock, in the German Confederation, before becoming a physician in Frankfurt am Main in 1859. From 1861 to 1863, Weismann was the private physician for Archduke Stephen of Austria. In 1861, Weismann studied at the University of Giessen in... read more ❯
Later Life Human Development: Boosting or Buffering Universal Biological Aging
Published 11/20/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author spcannon
Aging and senescence are two concepts of biological evolution that usually occur simultaneously. Aging is an inevitable process among all humans and animal species. The survival method and length may be different, but the body’s equipment will begin to deteriorate with time. Time is a process that cannot be reversed biologically or socially; therefore the body adapts overtime to such processes. In this, how the body is treated over time will result in rapid or reduced aging. The body will still age, but the rate of deterioration will be decreased. All of these mechanisms play into all bodily functions, the only separation is depending on the person, their diet, their physical activity and genetic makeup. One in every 100,000 persons survive as long as 120 years old. Most men and women will not live to see this age. The average age for men before developing signs of senescence in 70 years... read more ❯
Depression in Regard to Modes of Alertness
Published 11/19/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Camille Morgan
Lately, the class has been focused on how people experience culture. Culture affects people differently based on the extent to which an individual lives up to the culturally prescribed prototype. William W. Dressler's model of cultural consonance targets this effect. This disentrainment to the primary cultural model creates stress and may be lead to depression. But what exactly is depression? In his 2013 article "Give Me Slack: Depression, Alertness, and Laziness," John Marlovits describes depression as a mode of alertness.   For Marlovits, alertness can be viewed as one of many organizing principles that mediates everyday life. Specifically, depression is a process constituted by many enactments of alertness used to control what Marlovits describes as "affective currents." These currents are recognized but not necessarily understood or categorized. Like the wind, the currents are felt yet invisible. Marlovits' ethnographic work in Seattle (18 months 2003-2004) left him with a sense of how different... read more ❯
Ethnopsychology: Creation of Culturally Specific Treatments
Published 11/18/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
Ethnopsychology—The cultural framing of the self, emotions, and suffering. In an earlier post I discussed methodology which can elicit local idioms of distress in regard to psychological issues. In this post I will examine how treatment models can also be created which are culturally specific. One such example comes from the work done by Kohrt et al. 2012 with Bhutanese refugees. These researchers state that there is an extremely high rate of suicide among Nepali Bhutanese in the United States and that a culturally specific treatment modality is necessary to alleviate the psychological distress among this population. They propose a framework designed to increase awareness among mental health professionals about Nepali Bhutanese experiences and interpretations of psychological distress; therefore reducing suicide risk. The Nepali Bhutanese conceive of the self differently than the Cartesian mind-body split common in Western culture. The self is organized as the physical body (Nepali: jiu or saarir), the... read more ❯
Models, Incongruity, Consonance, and Stress: Implications for Managing Illness
Published 11/18/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
I had a eureka moment when I learned that Toni Copeland had conducted research showing that knowledge of (competence) and behavior which approximates aspects of (consonance) a model of managing HIV among women in Nairobi, Kenya has been shown to be correlated to positive health outcomes, even going so far as affecting T-counts (Copeland 2012). I had obtained similar results in my Master’s research among a group of individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder and who were attending a peer support group. Among this group there was a shared model of what a person could do to manage their disorder. I found that people whose behavior more closely approximated the model also reported less depressive episodes, mania, anxiety, and stress. In my opinion, this has enormous implications for treatment, especially in the area of my focus – psychological distress. This blog will focus on how the distribution and relationship to individual... read more ❯
Top 10 Research Questions Related to Growth, and Maturation of Relevance to Physical Activity, Performance, and Fitness
Published 11/16/2014 in Biology, Culture, and Evolution
Author spcannon
The body is a complex mechanism among both female and males. The growth of the human body depends on many factors including, the embryo stage, puberty, and physical activity among the growth years. In order for a body to progress/growth successfully, it must reach maturation biologically. This development promotes growth maturation for the remainder of one’s life in regards to future physical activity and performance. These activities dominate the daily lives of men and women. Based on the rate of growth in bones during embryonic development, the body will grow at the correct rate to produce a full body with full length bones. In the article entitled, “Top 10 Research Questions Related to Growth, Maturation, of Relevance to Physical Activity, Performance, and Fitness” Robert M. Malina explains the growth, body mass index, motor competence, peak height velocity, and tracking of infants, children, and adolescents. Adulthood will also be explained in... read more ❯
Prefrontal Norepinephrine Determines Attribution of “High” Motivational Salience
Published 11/12/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Carson Patterson
Methods and Results This study used intracerebral microdialysis to measure the norepinephrine outflow and depletion in response to both conditioned and unconditional stimuli in order to determine whether or not there is any chemical selectivity in the attribution of motivational salience to unconditioned stimuli. With regard to conditioned stimuli, the norepinephrine output corresponded to salience but the depletion of the chemical transmission was not affected by salience. This was was different when considering unconditioned stimuli, where they found that if the new stimulus was particularly intense and induced a sustained chemical outflow then the attributed salience was selective. Study Participants and Factors This study was performed on mice using chocolate consumption and forced isolation as stimulus for the norepinephric gauge of stimulus. White chocolate and milk chocolate were used as positive stimulus. Isolation with varying light exposure and food restriction was the adverse stimulus. So, What Does this Mean Exposure to new, highly salient stimuli increased... read more ❯
Why College Kids Always Be Smoking - It Isn't Exactly Their Fault
Published 11/12/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Shannon Sproston
Dr. Peter G. Stromberg, along with colleagues Drs. Mark and Mimi Nichter, conducted an ethnographic and qualitative study of college freshmen a few years ago, in an attempt to understand why so many college students transition to regular smoking during their time at school. They orchestrated a 16-month longitudinal (a type of observational study that looks at the same variables over long periods of time) interview study of early-phase tobacco users on two college campuses.  -- He does not disclose which universities the study included, which I think is relevant information. Social attitudes vary wildly from university to university based on many factors, such as type of university (public, private, liberal arts, etc.) and location (UA's values likely differ from UCLA). I would have liked more information concerning the students sampled. -- Stromberg begins by defining agency as "an understanding that the actions they (humans) initate and execute are linked to their... read more ❯
Addiction and Neuroanthropology: Querer mas y mas
Published 11/11/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Mindy Russo
Daniel H. Lende Colombian Study: Colombian perspective of addiction versus the perspective of the United States, the world's largest consumer of drugs According to the Colombians studied in Dr. Lende's study, drug abuse involved wanting more and more (querer mas y mas), cravings, desire, and urges. Drug use was seen as a range from a small vice (everyone has some sort of vice) to the worst case scenario mode of putting individuals directly onto the street. The latter is  a complete violation of Colombian social norms because of the overarching desire for drugs more than the value of desire to be with family and friends. Drugs, especially cocaine (referred to as la droga), have the potential to violate one of the most entrenched values of Colombian culture--protecting the well-being of loved ones. When the desire for drugs outweighs the values, it becomes a problem, a habit that becomes hard to control. Otherwise, drug usage is not harshly... read more ❯

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