Ep. #21 Misogyny, irrational politics, the ontological turn, and multi-media learning: this month on TFS

iTunes Button (via NiftyButtons.com)Jodie (1:04), drawing on the book Down Girl by Australian philosopher Kate Manne, starts us off by asking what misogyny is, and how we should tackle it as a culture. “If our goal is behaviour change, for bigots to stop being bigots, racists to stop being racists, misogynists to stop being misogynists… is the approach to say ‘there is no place for you’… do we castigate them, or do we try and find [other] ways, even though that seems unfair?”

Subscribe on AndroidNext Simon (5:45) looks at a mad week in Australian politics–with one prime minister dumped, and a new, less-popular one (but not the less-popular one we expected) sworn in–and asks, when a political party self-destructs in public, what forces beyond rationality might be at work? As Ian argues, it’s a question of ideologies, and power and purity: “This seems to be part and parcel of a movement sweeping the democratic world which is a movement away from the kind of big tent idea of what a political party can be… the idea that a nation should have disparate elements… and to think that they can form a smaller, harder, purer core of a party and still seize and hold power with that.”

When we recorded this, it really looked like Peter Dutton would get the big chair, but it ended up going to Scott Morrison instead. That’s Australian politics for you.

Julia (10:02) brings us to the ontological turn, a controversial view of anthropological theory and thinking: “the ontological turn…. is premised on the idea that cultural relativism isn’t enough, that it’s not relativistic enough. That what constitutes the world and nature is also disputable, and not just different viewpoints on the world and nature.” She asks, how can we try to write, not just from a different culture, but from a different world?

Finally, Ian (16:30) asks, what could podcasting, or other non-traditional media, bring to classroom teaching? And what is being lost by the move away from lectures and scholarly articles? As Simon argues, “the idea that you could consume everything through podcast or some audio manner, to me seems like we’re losing the kind of disciplinary nature of the university.”


Anderson, Benedict (2006) Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (Rev. ed.). London;New York;: Verso.

Manne, Kate (2018) Down Girl: the logic of misogyny. Oxford University Press: New York.

West, Paige, 2016. Dispossession and the Environment: Rhetoric and Inequality in Papua New Guinea. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

This anthropology podcast is supported by the Australian Anthropological Society, the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific and College of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Australian Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and is produced in collaboration with the American Anthropological Association.

Music by Pete Dabro: dabro1.bandcamp.com

Shownotes by Ian Pollock

Image: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1177704


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