How I kicked chronic migraine (And what that has to do with anthropology)

This post is about the biopsychosocial medical model and how it relates to the treatment of chronic pain. As an anthropologist, I’m particularly interested in the social part of that model - what societal factors contribute to the causes of chronic pain? What societal and contextual factors could be used to help individuals recover from their conditions, and help society recover from the current chronic pain epidemic? To get to that though, I’m going to need to talk about the biological and psychological aspects too, because the three are inextricably connected, despite Descartes assertions about the distinction between the mind and the body. To illustrate this, I’m going to share with you my own experiences. They’re highly subjective of course, and my journey will not be identical to anyone else’s - what has worked for me may not work for you, and I’m certainly no medical professional. But I gift my experiences to you here for you to evaluate for yourself.

Ep. #32 ‘Hula Hoops not Bicycles’: Genevieve Bell talks Anthropology, Technology & Building the Future

"We were bringing the voices of people that didn't get inside the building, inside the building and making them count. And I took that as an incredible responsibility, that you should give those voices weight and dignity and power." We are excited to announce that this is the FIRST EPISODE OF OUR STS SERIES! The goal … Continue reading Ep. #32 ‘Hula Hoops not Bicycles’: Genevieve Bell talks Anthropology, Technology & Building the Future

Ep. #28 Relational Wine: Deborah Heath talks wine anthropology & living with the trouble

“If wine hasn’t been turned into a standardized beverage, there’s room for variation. There’s an appreciation for variation that has something to do with the taste of place. And there’s different vintages, if not manipulated to achieve a standard outcome, will be distinctive. You’re tasting 2009 compared to 2016. And that tells you something about … Continue reading Ep. #28 Relational Wine: Deborah Heath talks wine anthropology & living with the trouble

Post-Bureaucratic Stress: Reflections on getting a police check in Vietnam

Bureaucracy is so deadly dull because it’s so mundane. But, as Steve Woolgar points out in his book Mundane Governance, the Latin etymology of ‘mundane’ is ‘of the world’ - just the way things are. And that’s only true of your experience with bureaucracy if you belong in the world in which you are living. If, as a grown-up, you’ve had to do any adulting in a country where you’re unfamiliar with the rules, then you'll know that bureaucracy becomes anything but mundane because you are not ‘of the world’ in which you’re trying to operate. So in this post, I want to draw on an experience from my fieldwork to explore how mundane bureaucracy, when you’re away from home, can be a stark reminder that you are ‘matter out of place’.