- The inverted anthropologist Arnold Kling, askblog
- Dishonesty is a core nationalist value Scott Sumner, EconLog
- What does the superhero craze say about our own times? Iwan Rhys Morus, Aeon
- “The ant queen is not actually a central planner.” Rick Weber, NOL
- How American anthropology redefined humanity Louis Menand, New Yorker
- China’s new Great Wall rises in the heart of Europe Katsuji Nakazawa, Asian Nikkei Review
- Chile: neoliberalism’s poster boy falls from grace Branko Milanovic, globalinequality
- Turkey rejects German-NATO plan, cozies up to Russia Laura Kayali, Politico
- From Lahore to Lancashire: Untold stories from imperial Britain John Keay, Literary Review
- The younger sons in Jane Austen’s England had to work Richard Francis, Spectator
- How soon we forget Scott Sumner, EconLog
- Gin, sex, malaria, and American anthropology Charles King, Chronicle Review
This article is centered on the life story of a Mien upland leader in Laos and later in the kingdom of Nan that subsequently was made a province of Thailand. The story was recorded in 1972 but primarily describes events during 1870–1930. The aim of this article is to call attention to long-standing networks of highland-lowland relations where social life was unstable but always and persistently inclusive and multiethnic. The centrality of interethnic hill-valley networks in this Mien case has numerous parallels in studies of Rmeet, Phunoy, Karen, Khmu, Ta’ang, and others in mainland Southeast Asia and adjacent southern China. The implications of the Mien case support an analytical shift from ethnography to ethnology—from the study of singular ethnic groups that are viewed as somehow separate from one another and from lowland polities, and toward a study of patterns and variations in social networks that transcend ethnic labels and are of considerable historical and analytical importance. The shift toward ethnology brings questions regarding the state/non-state binary that was largely taken for granted in studies of tribal peoples as inherently stateless.
This is from Hjorleifur Jonsson, an anthropologist at Arizona State University’s School of Human Evolution and Social Change. Here is a link.
There is, however, a second group of anthropologists, WW Newcomb, Oscar Lewis, Frank Secoy, and more recently Symmes Oliver, who have found this explanation of intertribal warfare unconvincing. These scholars, making much more thorough use of historical sources than is common among anthropologists, have examined warfare in light of economic and technological change. They have presented intertribal warfare as dynamic, changing over time; wars were not interminable contests with traditional enemies, but real struggles in which defeat was often catastrophic. Tribes fought largely for the potential economic and social benefits to be derived from furs, slaves, better hunting grounds, and horses. According to these scholars, plains tribes went to war because their survival as a people depended on securing and defending essential resources.
This is from Richard White, a historian at Stanford University. Here is a link.