Ep. #37: Democracy sausage, fan identity, mental health policy & being anthro-diplomats: This month on TFS

This month, we’d like to welcome and thank special guests Dr Jill Sheppard and Martyn Pearce from Policy Forum Pod for joining our semi-themed panel discussion, inspired by the upcoming Australian Federal Election. Dr Jill Sheppard is a lecturer and political scientist at the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University, … Continue reading Ep. #37: Democracy sausage, fan identity, mental health policy & being anthro-diplomats: This month on TFS

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.

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’.