Resistance & Post-Modernism

Post-modern theorists Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault had different notions of the roles of culture and power in society. Both of these researchers were influenced by the Marxist view of inequality in societies as being concealed and justified by dominating ideologies. They both protested social injustice during the socially tumultuous late Sixties and early Seventies. They both believed that governments were created to serve the interests of the political and economic elite. The following paper will attempt to explain how these hugely influential social scientists differed in their perspectives of the relationships between the powerless in society and the powerful. Continue reading

Archaeological Evidence of the Earliest North and South Americans

According to archeological evidence, it seems that the earliest humans migrated to the New World in several major waves between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago. Some of these migrants came from north eastern Asia along a maritime route and traveled down the Pacific Coast during the terminal Pleistocene–as  early as 12,00 to 13,000 BP in California according to archeological evidence (Erlandson 2008:2232; Faught: 2008: 677; Hall 2004:154; Jackson 2007; Roosevelt 2002:95). The following review will summarize some of the prehistoric material evidence which disproves the long held belief that the Clovis big game hunters were the first Paleoindians to make it to the New World via a terrestrial in-land migration route (the so called “ice free corridor”) from north eastern Asia through Berengia during the Ice Age (ca. 11,000 BP (Balter 2007; Fidel 2004: 95; Turner 2003). Continue reading

The Five Forces of Evolution

Evolve FishHave you ever wondered why there is a new flu shot each year? Or, why people who are traditionally from the same region have similar physical features? Or, why it’s probably a bad idea to marry your cousin? And, why are Darwin’s finches so important?  Biological evolution occurs when a population evolves physical changes that allow it to better survive and reproduce in its environment. It’s discovery was first published by Charles Darwin’s in 1859 in his book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in 1859 (later re-published as The Origin of Species) where he tracked the variation in finch beaks and other kinds of similarities and differences in other species as well.

This paper will explain the fundamental cause of the variation of all life: evolution. In particular I will explain evolution talking about the five forces or mechanisms of evolutionary change in a population: genetic mutation, genetic recombination, gene flow, genetic drift and natural selection. Continue reading

Food As Fuel Part II: How Triathletes and Marathoners Eat in Between Work and Working Out

This  article is Part II of my report on the eating habits of 141 triathletes and marathoners I surveyed in the Fall 2008 during my first year of graduate school in applied cultural anthropology. At that time I was still new to the various theoretical perspectives in anthropology that strive to explain why people do what they do.

Like any interpretation of behavior, my survey results are contextual of a particular place and time with biases per the questions I asked and the perspectives of my respondents. That being said, I still find that trying to figure out “why people do what they do”  is not only interesting, but has  obvious practical implications. From altruistic societal goals such as creating more effective and long-lasting peace initiatives and changing consumer behavior to more environmentally sustainable norms and  to more mundane things such as marketing a local business, figuring out why people do what they do is many practical applications. Continue reading