Around the Web Digest: Week of January 31

Human life stages are the theme for this roundup, with posts ranging from early childhood to senescence. Send me links to anything you want to see included here at

To frame the discussion, this post on the blog of the Association for Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course discusses how age is an under-discussed facet of human experience and how childhood is rarely treated like the special category it is: Aged Culture

We begin with birth in this post on Anthropology News, Childhood in the Americas: Part One, which discusses how circulating rumors about Western biomedicine practitioners and their hastiness to proceed to C-sections make Yucatec Mayan women reluctant to use their services.

According to this post from the British Psychological Society’s research digest, when the “mirror test” of self-awareness is replaced by one more rooted in a toddler’s awareness of herself as a physical object, Zambian children outscore Scottish children: Cross-Cultural Studies of Toddler Self-Awareness Have Been Using an Unfair Test 

This post on the NMSC Archeology and Museum Blog relates the personal story of how the rich material culture described in the “Little House” series of children’s books led the author to become a historical archaeologist: Little House in the Archeology Lab: How Laura Ingalls Wilder Made Me a Historical Archeologist

And finally, this post on the World Economic Forum site begins an article on how happiness can be culturally subjective with an anecdote about an elderly Chinese woman happily preparing for death: What Do People Mean When They Say They’re Happy? It Depends Where You Live 

According to this post on the EPIC blog, it’s easy to sell the value of ethnography in the private sector as long as you put it in terms that make sense in the business world: Yes, Virginia, We “Do Ethnography” in Business Schools

This two-part series on Teaching Culture describes how one professor seized an opportunity to incorporate anthropology students into an impact study for a library redesign: Taking Risks in Teaching Anthropology Part I and Part II

This TedEd video describes the evolution of the English language over time: Where Did English Come From?

The Global Social Media Impact Study points out that our narrative conventions and fervent hopes often lead us to look for an uplifting message in what we study, particularly in our closing chapters. Social media is often cited as a space of resistance to structures of power. However, sometimes people are just engaged in the petty bull—- casual observation would lead you to expect of them: They Flirt, They Share Porn, and They Gossip

Science Magazine reports on the case of a prominent paleoanthropologist at the AMNH that has been accused of sexual assault: The Sexual Misconduct Case That Has Rocked Anthropology

See you next week (ish)!

Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson is the executive director of América Solidaria U.S. She recently graduated with a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on volunteer tourism in Guatemala and how it is opening up new avenues for tourists and hosts to develop more cosmopolitan understandings of the world (as well as opening up new forms of friction over the circulation of knowledge).