ANTROCOM

Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 4, Number 2, 2008


 Religion: Fact or fancy?

by SANDRA BUSATTA

Are questions of truth essential to the integrity of a study of other cultures or irrelevant? While I am tempted to state that questions of truth are essential to the integrity of a study, I must consider that probably my idea of truth is different from the one of people ready to impeach their President for a question of “truth”. In fact, I live in Italy, a country where, notwithstanding Catholic dogmas, truth is always flexible. Truth is also subject to the waxing and waning of history: not many centuries ago Democritus was only a philosopher, Lucretius only a poet, and Nostradamus was reputed to be a scientist. Scholars are beginning to realize that there is more than one way to acquire and produce knowledge: probably we will never know whether “the flame of witchcraft” in Zandeland ever existed, but we are on the verge of great discoveries about the working of our brain.

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Rio di Pusteria e il suo vaso di Pandora. L’ossario della cappella San Floriano: banca dati paleopatologica on-line
by ANNALISA CONZATO and JASMINE RIZZI

The analytical study of a large amount of osteological material makes it possible to offer an innovative and systematic contribution to existing palaeopathology literature. We are presenting a dynamic database; a tool available to everyone, practical and with easy access to research material. Pathological human bones are all documented by detailed coloured photographs at high resolution, descriptions, by some x-rays and microscopic research. Skeletal remains came from the charnel house of the St. Floriano Chapel in Rio di Pusteria (BZ), a village in the northernmost part of Italy. The timespan includes the millennium until the 1600s. The charnel house contains approximately 30 m3 of osteological material, corresponding to 2980 individuals (MNI assessed through the left femur). The palaeodemographic study has revealed a high infant mortality and demographic features of the pre-industrial revolution periods.

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L’ecologia umana tra sistemi naturali e sistemi sociali: dalla suscettibilità alla vulnerabilità
by CLAUDIO RICCIARDI 

I rischi ambientali che la salute umana si trova oggi ad affrontare si manifestano sempre più in una indistinguibile separazione dai sistemi sociali. Una visione scientista e riduttiva che relegava l’umano ad un esclusivo materiale organico ha sempre sottratto ad esso ogni significato sociale, culturale e politico. Il passaggio da una suscettibilità genetica ristretta per alcuni ad una vulnerabilità generalizzata per tutti porta a considerazioni etiche sostanziali. La tutela della salute di noi esseri umani passa inevitabilmente attraverso la tutela dell’ambiente che per le sue qualità e condizioni deve consentire a tale vulnerabilità e dipendenza di poter continuare ad esistere.
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Gender differences in Italian immigrants’ online interactions
by FRANCESCA ROMANA SEGANTI 

This paper analyses the impact of gender differences on online interaction dynamics. I will expose the related findings from a qualitative study about the social and cultural role of Italianialondra.com, an online community created 2003 to encourage communication among first generation Italian immigrants in London. From the analysis of the respondents’ in-depth interviews – nine women and eleven men – variations in attitudes towards technologies, and online communication patterns based on gender, emerged. Findings cover the following: ‘gender and access’, ‘gender and general attitudes’, ‘gender and mutual support’, and ‘the reconstruction of gender stereotypes’. These topics are all interrelated. I conclude that implementing the Website in a women-friendly style could widen the boundaries of electronic space and bring about changes in existing hierarchies of power and privilege.
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Antropologia e diritti umani: a Palermo si discute dei modi possibili di una concreta integrazione
by ELEONORA BOMMARITO

Antropologia, Diritti Umani e Multiculturalismo. Tre sostantivi che facilmente vengono associati, perché ricondotti alla matrice comune che li lega, l’Uomo e spesso utilizzati insieme per sottolineare la vocazione globalizzante della nostra società, necessari, soprattutto nel 2008, dichiarato anno europeo del dialogo interculturale.
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Claude Lévi-Strauss: Uno sguardo da vicino 3 Colloquio con Marco Menicocci
by LUCIA GALASSO

Antrocom intervista Marco Menicocci su una delle figure più importanti dell'antropologia moderna. Continua il colloquio con alcuni antropologi italiani per iniziare a trarre un bilancio sullo strutturalismo e, in generale, sull’opera di Claude Lévi-Strauss, in occasione dei 100 anni del grande studioso. Enrico Comba è docente di antropologia culturale all’Università degli studi di Torino, e ha sviluppato un particolare interesse scientifico in diverse aree di studi che vanno dal mondo reigioso e mitologico dei nativi nordamericani, all’analisi comparativa sullo sciamanesimo e sulla cosmologia dei popoli nativi del Nord America..

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Les nourritures de marche; du berger au randonneur (exemples corses)
by PHILIPPE PESTEIL

Si de nombreux travaux ont été consacré à l’étude de la société agro-pastorale corse, rares sont ceux qui ont pris en compte les conséquences des incessantes déambulations qu’imposaient les rythmes des activités effectuées au dehors. Le cadre souvent trop étroit de la monographie définissait des périmètres prenant insuffisamment en compte les parcours réellement opérés. Les auteurs ont insisté sur la construction de l’espace insulaire à partir du néolithique autour de l’articulation parfois délicate et génératrice de tensions entre une agriculture céréalière et arboricole et un pastoralisme majoritairement ovincaprin dont l’exercice nécessitait le recours à la transhumance. If many works were devoted to the study of the Corsican agro-pastoral society, rare are those which took into account the consequences of the incessant wanderings which imposed the rhythms of the activities carried out outside. The often too narrow framework of the monograph defined perimeters taking insufficiently into account the courses it really operated. The authors insisted on the construction of the insular space from the Neolithic period onwards around the sometimes delicate articulation, which generated tensions, between cereal and tree farming and a pastoralism, mainly ovine and caprine, whose exercise required recourse to transhumance.

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L’anthropologie existentiale: présence, coprésence et leurs détails
by ALBERT PIETTE

L'article constitue un projet théorique qui a pour but de déplacer le regard et l’analyse des sciences sociales de ses trois axes fondamentaux: la collectivité, l’action et la relation, et de se focaliser sur les êtres, les existences et les présences. L'article montre également l’importance des détails, les "restes" dans les modes de présence et de coprésence des êtres humains. The purpose of this article is to present a theoretical project in order to display the social sciences’ aims from their three main bases: group, action and relation. Instead of it, the article purposes to observe beings, existences and presences. It also shows the importance of details in the modes of presence and copresence.

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Performing the Eradication of Infibulation Mana Abdurahman Isse at Merka, Somalia
by SANDRA BUSATTA

The experiments with the Sunna Gudnin Project, as well as later forms of attenuation of female circumcision, such as the Gudnin Usub (New Rite) promoted by Mana Sultan Abdurahman and her collaborators, have met a good success in Ayuub and other villages in the area of Merka. The DVD shows that, in order to succeed in attenuating, or even eradicating FGM, it is extremely important that the intervention is performed according to the socio-cultural norms of the population involved. The intervention towards the eradication of infibulation and other types of FGM must be entrenched within the culture of the people practising it. Moreover, the different strategies such as alternative rites, attenuation initiatives, and religious as well as health arguments must be devised from within the communities involved. But the experience of the video tape presented from 1999 to 2001 has shown that diaspora communities are even more difficult to deal with, since they in general tend to cling together and reproduce even tradition which in their homelands may be fading away. In the case of stratified, caste-like, xenophobic societies such as the Somalis, the messenger is as important as, if not more than, the message: thus it has to enjoy a prestigious social standing to be influential and to promote that virtuous memeplex, that is “a cluster of related and interconnecting cultural units that are transmitted by imitation (memes), as well as language” (Young 2006:1), which may lead to the prevention and utter eradication of FGM.

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Literary anthroponymy: decοding the characters of Homer’s Odyssey
by KOKKINAKI MARCY GEORGE

Over the generations, people never cease to be fascinated by the epic journeys of Odysseus. Scholars seem to be divided by the vivid descriptions of Odyssey’s exotic unknown lands, extreme nature’s forces, encounters with gods, semi-gods, unusual people and mythic monsters. The present paper examines the ancient texts and demonstrates a number of original tables in order to support the etymological and grammatical analysis of the characters. Aim of this research paper is to provide a highly original and yet accurate Linguistic and Etymological Analysis of the names of the main Heroes and Peoples of Odyssey.

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Hospitality: The conquest of Paradise
by KORSTANJE MAXI

The term hospitality is associated with the industry of tourism. In fact, it is very well considered as a form of relationship between hosts and guest in that modern activity. Nevertheless, its historical root remains occulted in the bottom of darkness. Under that circumstance, ancient history contributes with hard evidence that proves hospitality was present and used as a mechanism to create legitimacy in the conquest of America. That way, Hominem viatores assured that Crown’s boundaries were expanded by means of explorers and travelers. The figure of trips as well as hospitality reminded Europeans the superiority of their technique of production over the rest of the world. The present article is aimed at discussing not only ethimologically the origin of this term but also in shedding light into a scientific definition of hospitality.

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Relazione di commento al testo di Ernesto de Martino: “Angoscia territoriale e riscatto culturale nel mito achilpa delle origini. Contributo allo studio della mitologia degli Aranda”
by FRASCOGNA FLAVIANA

L’articolo di commento al testo di Ernesto de Martino “Angoscia territoriale e riscatto culturale nel mito achilpa delle origini. Contributo allo studio della mitologia degli Aranda” è stato redatto a seguito del Seminario “Il significato umano degli accadimenti”, tenuto dalla Prof.essa Amalia Signorelli, il cui filo conduttore è la presentazione dei concetti de martiniani, e l’utilizzabilità di tali concetti nella ricerca antropologica.

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Recensione di: Zygmunt Bauman. 2008. LIQUID FEARS: contemporary society and its liquid fears: Paidos Editorial (Buenos Aires) ISBN: 978-950-125400-6
by KORSTANJE MAXI

Fears and phobias would be deemed as human reactions that protect us by signaling danger. However, after the attacks on September 11th in the United States, they have been transformed in panic and multiplied in the heart of industrialized societies. This review focuses on the influence of such fear over the modern liquid societies.

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Battling to be 'European': myth and the finnish race debate
by IDUTTON EDWARD

This article will examine the debate over the racial origins of the Finns in a new way by looking at the dominant perspective in terms of myth. Focussing on Kemiläinen’s (1998, 2000) discussion, as one of the most salient, the article will dissect the structure of her racial myth and look at how, following Levi-Strauss and Kunin, this myth helps to uphold the contemporary, dominant idea amongst the Finnish elite that Finns are ‘Western’ or ‘European.’ It will note that Kemiläinen’s discussion (in spite of counter evidence) indeed upholds the dominant cultural discourse in contemporary Finland and it will look at how Finland’s status could be understood in this context.

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L'antropologia come scelta: 100 anni dalla nascita di Ernesto de Martino
by MARCO MENICOCCI

Il 1 dicembre 1908 nasceva a Napoli Ernesto de Martino: etnologo originalissimo, storico delle religioni innovativo e filosofo sin troppo trascurato dalla filosofia accademica.

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