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Biocultural Anthropology Bibliography
Published 10/19/2013 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Christopher Lynn
University of South Florida anthropologist & Neuroanthropology blogger Daniel Lende has written an excellent & useful bibliography of biocultural anthropology as part of the Oxford Bibliographies Anthropology series.  Here is the introduction: Introduction Biocultural anthropology exists at the intersection of cultural and biological approaches. Given how concepts, methods, and institutions have changed with regard to “biology” and “culture” since the early 1900s, the biocultural intersection has proven a dynamic space. It is also a contested space, where claims about human nature and culture and about science and ethnography have often come into stark contrast. Biocultural anthropology is linked to the four-field holistic tradition of anthropology within the United States. Individuals who don the biocultural mantle often claim holism as well and the accompanying ability to cross among archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Other individuals often object to this presumptive turf-grabbing and the accompanying assumption that the biocultural tradition is... read more ❯
The Chicken in Black
Published 8/13/2014 in Neuroanthropology: The Course
Author Christopher Lynn
In the recent biography of Johnny Cash, The Life, (which is great, btw), author Robert Hilburn notes that this song/video are his greatest embarrassment.  It's no "Hurt," but I friggin' love it!  We'll start the course by dissecting it. Bring your scalpels & brain probes. read more ❯
Sarah's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
For this social experiment I decided to go to Buffalo Phil’s, a local restaurant and bar located on The Strip. I decided to bring one of my male companions with me so as not to appear too conspicuous while observing people interacting. I wrote all my notes on the Notes app on my phone. To those around me it appeared as though I was texting one of my other friends. However, I’m pretty sure the waitress who was serving my friend and I noticed that I wasn’t texting. She didn’t say anything about it, however. Focal Sampling So for fifteen minutes I had to watch someone in the restaurant. I decided to watch a Caucasian male of about 20 years of age who had dark brown hair and glasses. This male was not dressed up, but was in a fraternity shirt and jeans. This particular male was at a table with two... read more ❯
Laken's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
Location: Small apartment party I was a little under the weather this past weekend so my experience is not as flavorful or as varied as the rest. Saturday night I attended a small party at the people across the hall. Most of the people were not really involved with the party. There was one guy who was around 21 years of age. He was a medium height, attractive, and very flirtatious and intrigued by the girl next him. She was pretty in a very short reveling blue dress. He was seizing her up as she was talking to him. His body language was engaged and determined to take her home by the end of the night. He was smooth but almost eyeing her like prey. She was an easy pick up for him. Next my eye panned to the dance floor. It was like animals in heat. So much passion and lust... read more ❯
Lauren's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
Location - Bo's Bar in Tuscaloosa Date/Time - Saturday February 9th, 11:45 p.m Environment - Crowded room with pool table, two bars, and dance floor. Everybody was college-aged with a mixture of "under 21s" and legal aged drinkers. The room was very smokey with almost no room to walk. I sat on a bench near the back bar and pool table. Scan Sample During my first observation there was a group of four females to my left, and another group of 3 females in front of me. The bar was consumed with males and the bench to my right was as well. Nobody seemed to be paying attention to those outside of their "group". The group of girls to my left were each on their phone and holding a drink. They were wearing long-sleeved t-shirts with leggings and cowgirl boots. I assume they were in a sorority because of their Greek t-shirts. Occasionally they... read more ❯
"Religion Explained"? Well, it's a start.
Published 1/30/2014 in Primate Religion & Human Consciousness
Author Reagan
Which came first: the chicken or the egg?  Or if you're a Harry Potter fan was it the Phoenix or the flame? That is the question that anthropologist Pascal Boyer brings forth in his essay titled Religion: Bound to believe? However, rather than dealing with poultry origins he seems to be more curious about religion and its origins in our culture.  Boyer wants to find out if "religion [is] an adaptation or a by-product of our evolution" and though it would be great to have one single answer it appears to be a question that can be argued in many different ways. Pascal Boyer is a french anthropologist who continues his work today as a Professor at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri, and has published multiple books, including  Religion Explained (2001), and The Naturalness of Religious Ideas (1994).  He studied anthropology at the University of Paris and at Cambridge, and... read more ❯
Hormones, Stress, and (the Childhood) You
Published 10/23/2012 in Brown Vs. The Blog of Education
Author ashleystewart
Evolutionary Biology of Hormonal Responses to Social Challenges in the Human Child by Mark V. Flinn "'The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.' -Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) And why was quiet desperation such a widespread malady back then, and especially among men? Yet again I trot onstage the only real villain in my story: the oversize human brain." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  Galápagos As anyone who has had a family, a relationship, or any human interaction whatsoever can tell you, other people are psychologically taxing things to deal with. So taxing, in fact, that early exposure to stressful events has lifelong (deleterious) effects. Our social environments and our health are inescapably linked, most likely thanks to the neuroendocrine system. So why, given the high and seemingly maladaptive costs that psychosocial stress puts on humans, would natural selection have favored links between psychological mechanisms, stress, and overall health? The article's author has this answer: "Hormonal... read more ❯
Primate Social Cognition
Published 9/2/2014 in The Schema
Author Greg Batchelder
I am currently reading the book “The Encultured Brain: An Introduction to Neuroanthropology” edited by Daniel H. Lende and Greg Downey. These are thoughts I had after reading the chapter “Primate Social Cognition, Human Evolution, and Niche Construction: A Core Context for Neuroanthropology.” It was written by Catherine C. MacKinnon and Augustine Fuentes. The authors begin their discussion with the background of primatology. In the 1930s up through the 1950s researchers were focused on studies of social behavior and ecology of the nonhuman primates. In 1951, Sherwood Washburn called for a “new physical anthropology” in which research would integrate laboratory and field studies, examine comparative anatomy and functional morphology, and describe the links between ecology and behavior. In the 1960s and the 1970s fieldwork was conducted with chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, and orangutans by researchers such as Jane Goodall, Diane Fosse, and Birute Galdikas. In the field of psychology, Harry Harlow conducted... read more ❯
What is biological about biocultural research? (Part 1)
Published 10/20/2013 in Biocultural Systematics
Author Jason DeCaro
In 2005, concerned about the absence in much biocultural research of an explicit theory of culture, Bill Dressler wrote a landmark piece in Ethos entitled “What's Cultural about Biocultural Research?” While not all of us follow Bill’s approach to the letter, the perspective this article represents has been a major driving force as we’ve developed our Biocultural Medical Anthropology PhD program. One could ask a parallel question: what’s Biological about Biocultural research? In many of the circles where I spend my conference time, the biological component of the research is easily assumed. I attend the Human Biology Association on an annual basis, and probably see more researchers there who consider themselves “biocultural” than at either of the other anthropological conferences I frequently attend – the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology. (Not just as a percentage, but as a raw number, despite the fact that HBA is so... read more ❯
Lane's Human Ethology Assignment
Published 2/12/2013 in Anthropology of Sex
Author Johnna Dominguez
My observation of Moe’s Bar The man I am looking at is an average height white male speaking to two girls while standing with his friends at a bar. The bar is packed and he looked relaxed with his posture while he holds an alcoholic drink while he speaks to the girls. He mainly is just speaking to the two girls but has his friends in the background as a support system kind of thing to make him feel more comfortable and he is only speaking to them when he starts to feel uncomfortable and his posture becomes more erect. The two girls are both flirting with him and he is content with the girls, not taking his eyes off them. He is dressed in a button down plaid shirt, jeans, and duck boots, a very common dress. The guy kept solid attention, was very recognized, talked incessantly, and was in... read more ❯