On The Gender and Feminism Debate: What does “Having It All” Really Mean?

After reading todays' today's Sociology of Style blog on the active gender debate and female self-sabotage before I even had my first cup of coffee, I had a lot of opinions and questions swirling around in my brain.  But I had a full day of work to do that required said brain so decided to … Continue reading On The Gender and Feminism Debate: What does “Having It All” Really Mean?


A Little Bit of Color from Sociology of Style: Where Holidays Get Their Hues…

Another great cultural context blog from Sociology of style:  this time it's a semiotics commentary on why certain colors are associated with certain Holidays   Sociology of Style: Ask Anna "Why are specific colors associated with certain holidays?" Ask Anna: Why are specific colors associated with certain holidays? It happens every season: stores and public … Continue reading A Little Bit of Color from Sociology of Style: Where Holidays Get Their Hues…

A stunning final visit to the Omo Valley….


The Hamar (or Hamer) were the fourth and last tribe we visited on my trip to the Lower Omo Valley.  One of the largest tribal groups in the region (their number is estimated to be about 20,000), the Hamar is a peaceful and friendly tribe.  As with the other tribes of the area, the Hamar’s life centers on cattle and goats. But the Hamar also farm and they barter their surplus livestock and produce at the weekly markets in neighboring small towns.  The Hamar (as well as the Kara although they practice it a little differently) have a very distinctive ritual, a bull-jumping ceremony as a rite of passage for young men.  But more on this later.

Visiting the Hamar tribe was not easy for us.  It was at least a 3 hours ride from our camp to Turmi, where a weekly market was held, and when there were roads…

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Great Millennial POV on their value to the workforce by virtue of the fact that their tech-savvy upbringing has made them experts at dealing with change…

Life on a Branch

When I was younger, I helped my older brother make mixed tapes by recording songs off the radio. In elementary school, I learned how to find library books by using a card catalog and the Dewey Decimal system. In 6th grade, I watched a corny educational video about floppy discs (Don’t copy that floppy!).

Think about the massive evolution technology has gone through in the last 20 years. Card catalogs? Floppy discs? Please.

Millennials are the first generation that grew up with the rapidly evolving technology of computers and the Internet. Things in this realm are more intuitive to us than they are to our parents. Hello?! We’ve been using computers since we were young enough to not care if a deadly virus was downloaded.

Being tech savvy is one thing our generation is applauded for. Employers are excited to work with us for this reason. But growing up with computers and…

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Frenchmen Street: The Artist’s NOLA

On our second night in New Orleans (NOLA to you hipster artsy types) we did a traditional creole dinner and headed down to Frenchmen street to pay a visit to our new friend who coordinates the artist's market. This is one of my favorite parts of town, because it reeks of dirty hippie kids, salt … Continue reading Frenchmen Street: The Artist’s NOLA

Voodoo and Mardi Gras Indians: New Orleans Deep Culture

I bet one of the first things that come to mind when you think about New Orleans is Mardi Gras and binge drinking and (hopefully) Jazz music / music in general. Crawfish and Cajun food and oysters and ghosts and vampires might also come in a close second. Then there is the Voodoo...a spiritual practice … Continue reading Voodoo and Mardi Gras Indians: New Orleans Deep Culture

Some New Orleans Street Art

Strolling off the beaten path of the French quarter, down the service alleys and even into the bywater you can find some interesting impromptu "galleries" with local flavor painted in the walls. Apparently there are a couple of Banksy pieces in town as well which we are going to hunt down today, but yesterday afternoon … Continue reading Some New Orleans Street Art

In preparation for tomorrow’s long weekend trip to Nawlins with my wife, I thought I would give myself some cultural education. I have spent a fair amount of time in New Orleans…it’s one of my favorite cities just about anywhere – in no small part because of the street culture, the music culture (whcih isn’t too far removed from the former), the food culture and the ghosts that remain for era upon era past. I don’t think I ever knew the difference between Cajun and Creole cultures so am pleased to find this blog. And also pleased to say I have learned something new about my Canadian friends and colleagues….especially my buddy Brian who hails from Acadian roots….

Cajun Food, Louisiana History, and a Little Lagniappe

Alligator ChefIf you’re reading or following this blog, you have probably picked up on a few subjects that recur throughout the posts. Two of them are fairly well-known, yet also widely misunderstood: Cajun and Creole. Both cultures have been associated with Ascension Parish, Louisiana since the early days of the colony. For those of you who haven’t grown up in, around, or with either culture, you may assume that they are both the same. Folks, these terms are not one and the same; they are two entirely different cultures that happen to reside in close geographical proximity to each other. Both cultures share some commonalities, which can confuse those who don’t fully understand them: they share the French language (although different dialects), have an affinity for spicy food (although Creole food has much more West African influence), and a joie de vivre not found in other parts of the United States.


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Ironically, I was just sharing one of my posts about Banksy (namely the one about Nick Stern’s photo interpretations of his work and how this elevates them to “high art”). I feel so white right now I can’t even stand it.

Other Voices


Recently, Nina Simon summarized the posts of several bloggers on the lack of ethnic diversity in the arts.  This past week she posted On White Privilege and Museums that explores museums as venues of white privilege.  Comments responding to the latter post are plentiful (over 30) and range across a broad spectrum from support to rejection with opinions divided more-or-less akin to a bell-shaped curve.

An important tool for approaching diversity in museums rests in Simon’s model of the co-creative projects she discusses in The Participatory Museum.  Simon (2010:187) writes the purpose of a co-creative community project is “To give voice and be responsive to the needs and interests of local community members; to provide a place for community engagement and dialogue; and to help participants develop skills that will support their own individual and community goals.” This nuts and bolts approach was addressed in a recent guest post on…

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