Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 12, Number 1, 2016

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 Digital Ubiquity in the Anthropocene: the non-anthropocentric anthropology of Massimo Canevacci


Massimo Canevacci’s work goes beyond multi and interdisciplinarity. The transversal connections he makes across a multiplicity of epistemologies are truly transdisciplinary, both epistemologically and methodologically. His trajectory of scholarly inquiry, according to his own definition, is undisciplined. It respects no disciplinary boundaries and creates an open field of investigation in which the dimensions of the human and the post-human are fully explored without any pre-conception. This interview explores the subtle nuances of some of his most important concepts in the context of the Anthropocene, and lays the emerging contours of Canevacci’s non-anthropocentric anthropology.

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The Globalization Of Fear: what is terrorism?


Though terrorism is not a new issue new radical changes have been brought post 9/11. At some extent, this event caused parallel effects that lasted up to date. In this respect, terrorism and the process of victimization it generates, leads towards the adoption to policies otherwise would be neglected. At the time periphery accepts the allegory of terrorism forged in North, a secret surveillance discourse cemented the hegemony of few over the whole. South America and Argentina have experienced the whip of terrorism in the past. However, these bloody events are blurred into a new allegory produced discursively by main powers post 9/11. In context of suffering hegemony is efficiently manipulated to control the periphery. This exhibits a new trend in geopolitical issues which merits to be studied in next decades.

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Rastafari in the Promised Land. An Investigation among Israeli Rastafari


Alongside the recent sociological theories related to multiculturalism, recent years have been marked by the development of anthropological theories on critical multiculturalism, in particular regarding the importance of ‘de-essentialising’ cultures, in order to avoid cultural essentialism. This article contributes to a de-essentialisation of the Rastafari movement, by studying its local manifestation in Israel. Since its inception in Jamaica in the 1930s, the Rastafari movement has been strongly influenced by Judaism. Nevertheless, the consequent globalisation and “glocalisation” of Rastafari also seems to suggest that Jewish people in Israel have been influenced by the Rastafari “way of life”. Rastafari in Israel seem as a result to be people “in between” Judaism and Rastafari, the secular and the orthodox, and peace and war.
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Ebola e magia. Rappresentazioni sociali della febbre emorragica in Africa


While the disease forces to rethink both the individual and the community, it also involves identity theories and practices to contrast it. Yet, some diseases such as the outbreaks of Ebola in Africa can destroy everyday social codes and prevent treatment. This article highlights the relations between Ebola and magic / witchcraft in various African communities in Gabon, Uganda, Congo and Sierra Leone since 1997, and shows how these representations are simply the first step in the interpretation of the disease, followed by its politicization, within colonial and post-colonial remembering, as well as by the survivors’ and caregivers’ stigma.
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Les représentations plurielles du corps side


This article tries to clarify the complex relationships between the biological reality of the HIV-positive bodies and the ensemble of social representations it causes and which, in turn, stigmatized it in a in a bundle of stigmas and discrimination justified as preventive. This way the HIV-positive body is inscribed within a broader register of categorization we named the ‘body-other’, which is contemporary with the birth of anthropology aiming at defining, since the 16th century, the ‘bodily weirdness’ of non-European populations. At the interface of the biological and the social, the AIDS-suffering body represents the ill and contagious body, and thereby threatening the social cohesion, whose stigmas renew the imaginary of ‘evil’. We will try to analyze the link between these different representations, showing the importance of the inevitable dialectic between, on the one hand the bio-somatic and cultural factors, and on the other their political and economic outcome..

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Qualche osservazione su Rievocazione, Living History e Archeopark in Italia


This article elaborates and develops two speeches I made at the Forum of the General States of the Historical Re-enactment held in Florence on 9-10 April 2016 and will be included in the White Paper as a result of the Forum. The first part is also a preview of the long field work at a number of archaeological open museums, better known as archeoparks, during the last four years, I conducted as a participant observer, who has not remained a ‘marginal native’, but in some cases took a leading role. Thanks to this period of intense fieldwork, I was able to see the strengths and weaknesses of a number of Italian archeoparks. The second part, however , is more theoretical and concerns the problem of the “authentic reconstruction” of the past and the tension between traditional roles and modern requirements in the historical re-enactment.

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Tra immaginario e prodotto tipico: nuove relazioni tra cibo, tradizione e comunità locali


Especially during the last decades of the twentieth century, a profound change in the cultural category of “folk tradition” affected particularly the rural world. Only some categories related to culinary folk heritage survived industrialization, supported by a progressive attempt to recover the traditional knowledge related to the farmers’ folk calendar and food production. My project has observed the transition from a production tied to tradition and a “food geography” to a new one burdened by an imaginary “food and wine” authenticity. Analyzing the dynamics of some new realities I highlight how they are supposed to rebuild and regenerate the memory of the “Cucina Popolare” (folk cuisine), helping modern people to reinvent themselves into a community.

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The Marginal Muslim Minority of Bengal, India: An Anthropological Analysis


West Bengal is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious state of India where various ethnic groups and creeds have been living side by side since long past. Muslims are the principal minority of this multi-religious state and constitute about 27% of the state’s total population. Yet little is known about the socio-economic and political dynamics of this community due to lack of fieldwork. This paper focuses on the contemporary dynamics of the Muslim life in West Bengal from an anthropological perspective. A especial effort has also been made in order to find out the factors contributing to form a bottleneck in development and social change.

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A Study of the Primary Health Care Facilities in the Rural West Bengal


The present article seeks to understand the recent scenario of primary health care facilities, personnel and delivery of related services in the context of primary health care in rural West Bengal. A qualitative research design has been chosen and one Primary Health Centre and four Sub-Centres of the Paschim Medinipur district have been purposively selected for this study. Data have been collected through 1) participant observation on the processes of service delivery and 2) unstructured interviews with both medical and non-medical staffs. Data analysis and interpretation were based on the thematic content analysis method. In rural areas, the Sub-Centre is the first contact point between the primary health care system and the community whereas the Primary Health Centre is the first contact point between the community and the medical officer. According to the doctors and health workers, shortcomings in manpower, supplies and infrastructure are crucial determinants for the quality of care and also influence utilization of these facilities.

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Sacred Complexes as Centers of National Integration: A Case Study of the Kaveri Basin Area of Karnatka


Though there were a few anthropological studies on sacred complexes in India after the pioneering study of Gaya by L. P. Vidyarthi there was no such study on any sacred river complex. The studies so for conducted focused only on the interactions between pilgrims and religious specialists. The present study was conducted covering nine pilgrimage centers on the sacred river complex of the Kaveri river spread over at last three linguistic areas. This study focuses on the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the pilgrims and the local people and the sectarian diversities of the specialists. This study shows that these pilgrimage centres on the sacred river complexes act as centres of integration for the diverse linguistic, cultural and religious groups of the Hindus.

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Genetic Variation of Blood Group Polymorphism among the Kshatriya, an Endogamous Human Population from Andhra Pradesh, India


Genetic polymorphic markers such as blood groups are widely used genetic markers in human population genetic studies. This study reports the genetic variation in phenotype and allele frequencies of ABO and Rh (D) blood groups among the Kshatriyas, an endogamous population from Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Blood samples of 100 unrelated individuals were screened for ABO and Rh (D) blood groups. The order of occurrence of ABO phenotypes is O>B>A>AB. The corresponding allele frequencies of O, A and B are 0.420, 0.155 and 0.415, respectively. The allele frequency of D (0.990) is more than d (0.010). The present results are compared with the other populations to understand the population variations.

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Il materiale scheletrico umano proveniente dal cimitero di San Marcello, rinvenuto in occasione dello scavo del chiostro di San Francesco a Iglesias (CA) Italy


The human skeletal material described in this paper comes from the archaeological excavation carried out by the Geopark Society and the Archaeological Superintendence of Cagliari and Oristano under the direction Dr. D. Salvi , at the Church of St. Francis of Iglesias, in the area called S. Marcello Orto. The radiocarbon dating of the findings, calibrated, resulted in the year span 1460-1650 AD at 95.4 % . This paper describes the digging operations and the subsequent anthropological examination of the skeletal material , with considerations about paleo-pathology and living conditions.

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