As the Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby powerfully put it, it would help if we didn’t start by seeing females and males as being from different planets. Experiences of violence and the broader social receptiveness to vulnerability, along with the manifestation of mental disorders and treatment, are influenced - but not entirely determined by gender.
Technology is a social tool that requires understanding of social and cultural factors for it to be a driver of equality. Failing to incorporate an anthropological perspective into tech design, development and policy risks increasing social inequalities driven by digital exclusion. It also makes it more likely that your product or service will fail. Digital connectivity and data mediate culture, systems and life today. Failing to take into account the importance of “small data” in a world of big data risks boxing people into categories of belonging which inaccurately represent their lives, hopes, fears and desires in this world.
Last week Australian academic Dennis Altman published a provocative piece in The Conversation, suggesting that it was time to re think the label LGBTI. In the place of the acronym LGBTI, which he describes as ‘a direct product of American identity politics’, he proposes the acronym SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) a term that originates in human rights discourses. Now it is here, as a white, queer anthropologist who studies what development means to slum children in India, that the celebration and adoption of a term produced by a global body like the UN baffles me a little.
Jodie, Simon, Julia, and Ian preview what's coming up on The Familiar Strange blog in the coming month. On today's show, Jodie (1:40) follows up on 2015 fracas at Yale about free speech and Halloween, in response to a discussion on Sam Harris' podcast "Waking Up" (www.samharris.org/podcast/item/facing-the-crowd); Simon (7:10) takes us to Iran for a look … Continue reading Ep. #1 Campus free speech, mundane governance, truth in politics, and creeps v. @ssholes: this month on TFS