Cornelia Mayr explains in a blog post at Everyday Sociology how the concept of home is created through “home-making practices,” such as organizing a space. She uses the insights from anthropologist Mary Douglas, who explained how keeping things in their proper place contributes to a sense of domestic order:

For the anthropologist Mary Douglas (1991, p. 289), the home is a “localizable idea” that “starts by bringing some space under control.” In this sense, a place like home acquires its meaning through home-making practices; and as such, it becomes part of processes of the creation of domestic order. Put differently, order is sustained and things go smoothly so long as they are being kept in the proper place within the home.

Melissa Vogel and Adam Gamwell at Anthropology News write about the value of anthropology to business and how this value can be articulated in language a business understands.

As anthropologists, our approach to human insights research and analysis offers businesses a unique way to understand patterns of behavior and meaning making that differs from quantitative data analysis. For example, ethnography of tech industry consumer needs conducted by anthropologists, who use cross-cultural knowledge, cultural relativism, and a holistic approach, will offer businesses a way to understand consumer needs that is not often present in a management-, psychology-, or even sociology-based perspective. These insights then allow businesses to provide better products and services.

Read the full article here.

Kristina Jacobsen at provides us with an anthropological perspective on music making and songs circulating coronavirus lockdown in Italy. Especially interesting is the new dynamic between the harder hit North of Italy versus the Southern regions.

An anthropology perspective on the spread of Covid-19 virus in Hong Kong:

Tracing the spread of the Covid-19 virus requires following many kinds of transmissions and contagions, from infectious numbers to populist mobilizations, viral rumors to affective atmospheres. These forces course along multiple material-semiotic networks at different speeds and intensities, unsettling and transforming the city as they circulate. And yet, as literary scholar Priscilla Wald (2008) has shown, such complexities are often distilled and fixed into a familiar narrative of outbreak–spread–containment. Ethnographic, interdisciplinary, and publicly-engaged scholarship all have a crucial role to play in complicating such reductive narratives and bringing other stories to light. As the everyday experiences of Hongkongers reveals, the form and significance of this epidemic is still anything but settled. The virulent transmissions of Covid-19 may yet remake this city—and the world—in profound and unforeseeable ways.

Read the full article here.

Anthrpology News posted an article in relation to a call for papers on research about the 200th anniversary of the Monroe doctrine, a United States policy which opposed European colonialism in the Americas.

This inversion of the Monroe Doctrine signals a collapse of US imperialism and empire, not to mention the end of US national integrity conjoined to the ideological pronouncements (“fake news”) of America’s greatness. (…) The current situation calls for ethnographically grounded and historically framed investigations of the transformations and experience of empire, imperialism, national community, and neocolonialism, among other possible topics.

Fun article by Kerim Friedman on the semiotics of bubble tea in Taiwan.