Categorie archief: Identiteit & religie

Are anthropologists getting sick of culture?


Image: Berghahn Books

By Matthias Teeuwen  Lately I have been captivated by what some call ‘existential anthropology’. It started when I found a book in the library aptly called: ‘What is Existential Anthropology?’ edited by Michael Jackson and Albert Piette.

Jackson and Piette lament the fact that the human being has nearly disappeared from academic writing in social and cultural anthropology. The human subject seems to have been replaced by abstract social concepts and cultural mechanisms in anthropological literature. In his contribution, Laurent Denizeau mentions an uneasy realisation that authors of literature often seem more capable to seize concrete human existence in their novels than authors of ethnographies. The essays expose a tendency amongst anthropologists ‘to reduce lived reality to culturally or socially constructed representations’ (Jackson and Piette, 2015:3). Lees verder

Keulen: een urban legend?

Keine Gewalt gegen Frauen

© APA/AFP/Roberto Pfeil

Door Peter Versteeg      Het nieuwe jaar was nog tamelijk vers toen verontrustend nieuws bekend werd. Met oudejaarsnacht zouden vele tientallen vrouwen op het Keulse stationsplein zijn beroofd en aangerand. Het aantal aangiften van aanranding is boven de 500 gestegen, waaronder twee maal verkrachting. Verschillende keren stond ik op het punt om hier iets over te schrijven, maar ik werd steeds weerhouden door de gevoeligheid rond het onderwerp. Lees verder

What war? Whose war?

Internal changes must come about. © Cindy Cornett Seigle, via creative commons.

By Thijl Sunier            The day after the attacks in Paris, the French President François Hollande declared war to Islamic State. In the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte also declared that ‘we are now at war’. Not with Islam, he added.

What bewilders me is that these declarations suggest that we are only now dragged into a conflict we supposedly have no part in. Baffling and indeed cynical. The Taliban, al Qaeda and Islamic State are monsters that the West and Russia have co-created in a decades-long struggle for power, influence and resources. This war has already started a long time ago at the cost of many thousands of innocent victims primarily in the region itself and the West has been involved in this right from the beginning. Lees verder

The here-and-now-after is online: death and afterlife in virtual gaming worlds

“EVE is real. It’s as real as real life,” says a player of the online science fiction game EVE Online on a forum. “I can’t wait until there is technology with which I can upload myself and live in the universe of EVE forever, ” he reflected.


Tarmak Spurgeon, a character of the author in EVE Online

By Peter Versteeg    The virtual world as hereafter. Except as a space in which the impossible can happen and players can master dragons or conquer solar systems, the virtual reality of the ‘massively multiplayer online’ game (MMO) touches our imagination of eternity. It is the experience of virtuality itself that evokes images of the never-ending. Against that background people reflect upon the possibility to live on virtually, after death. Lees verder

Grijs gebied: identiteitsvorming onder Nederlandse meisjes met een islamitische vader

Culturele verdeeldheid, via creative commons

Door Christel de Bruijn    Je bent 16 jaar en al je vriendinnetjes willen op zaterdagavond de stad in om te dansen en te drinken. Na je eindexamen verhuist iedereen naar een studentenstad om daar op zichzelf te gaan wonen. Ze worden verliefd en gaan trouwen. Maar niet voor ieder meisje is dit van-zelfsprekend. Ook niet als je geboren en getogen bent in Nederland. Lees verder

Religious violence in South(East) Asia

garycycles photo modified (2)The majority Buddhist and Hindu societies of South(East) Asia are not traditionally associated with conflict and intolerance. Yet recent years have seen a surge in international reports of religious tensions and violence by Buddhist and Hindu majorities towards Muslim minorities in the region. A seminar on this topic was organized by VU University’s Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the International Institute for Asian Studies on Monday 15 June 2015. Lees verder

Propagating Romance: The Islamic State

is-on-twitterBy Yoram Kannangara            The commencement of the new millennium and the age of global networks, 9/11, The Gulf War(s) semantics, Al-Qaeda, and incessant turmoil in the Middle-East. These are all small pieces of the puzzle that, put together, shows a fragment of the Islamic State’s (IS) rise. Ultimately it becomes trivial to question how and why IS came into existence and who is to blame, a vicious circle many an academic has tumbled into. That would be similar to attributing the puzzle’s image to a starting piece, a redundancy because it doesn’t matter where one starts as in the end all the pieces will come together anyway displaying the same picture. Lees verder