Welcome! On this page, I will tell you little about me and the human-isms blog. And why I decided to study social anthropology.
My aim for this blog is for anthropology to meet some of the most pressing social issues of our time, to uncover the paradigms which shape our individual and collective worldviews.
When you start becoming a social anthropologist, you will not see the world and you will not understand yourself ever again in the same way as before. And there’s no going back.
-Dr Camilla Morelli, professor of ‘Peoples, Culture and Language’
As a social anthropologist-in-training, I am interested in the internal logic of racism, sexism and any other ‘ism’. Some may think that there is no logic to racism and sexism (or hate), that these paradigms belong to unreasonable individuals. Yet, from what I am learning so far, all systems of belief or ways of life have an internal logic. This logic will only make itself apparent to outsiders when they truly immerse themselves in that system of thinking, to see things from their frame of reference.
Anthropology seeks to understand worldviews and how they came to be
And this process of understanding a society or culture’s worldview is one way of trying to answer social anthropology’s central questions: what does it mean to be a human being in a particular society and how does this help us understand what it means to be human? My first blog post goes into more detail about anthropology and the questions anthropologists ask.
Not everyone is willing or able to take on such a task, which is perfectly understandable for many obvious reasons. Take, for example, a victim of a hate crime or sexual abuse. It would be unethical to expect them to understand the point of view of their abuser, or of abusers in general. Seriously, it should go without saying. Yet, there are many people around the globe that appear to expect victims to do just that. ‘But he has such a bright future ahead of him,’ people might say of a young man guilty of rape. They imply that the victim is responsible for taking his future away from him.
What is the logic behind such a belief? What sort of worldview creates seemingly unreasonable expectations for victims?
That’s why it is important for those of us who are willing to do the work to figure out the mechanisms that make these ‘isms’ function.
Social issues through the lens of Anthropology
For me, that work is through the lens of anthropology. And this blog is my way of sharing my learning experiences with others who also care about these issues in one way or another, and especially with those who disagree.
So why now? I have cared about these issues for a long time but never managed to do anything substantial to try and make a difference. My only excuse, reasonable or not, is that I have lived for a very long time with a crippling case of social anxiety, even more so in the realm of social media.
I am so grateful to say at this exciting time in my life that I have finally found a voice through the speakerphone of anthropology.
Here is a graphic of my vision for this blog. I would love hearing ideas and feedback from all of you lovely people out there in the blogosphere!