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Engaging Anthropology: The Case for a Public Presence
Engaging Anthropology: The Case for a Public Presence
by Thomas Hylland Eriksen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Prophet or self-indulgent?, 8 Nov. 2014
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I've recently come into a liking for persian proverb: If you see a blind man, kick him; why should you be kinder than God? In a sense, what Eriksen does in "Engaging Anthropology" is give Social Anthropology a solid kicking. Although the progenitors of Social Anthropology could hardly know how it would develop and change. Eriksen offers a brief history of Social Anthropology, and of the level of public engagement of Social Anthropologists, and sets about to analyse why social anthropologists aren't as loud as before. Drawing on a range of material, Eriksen argues that anthropologists' way of writing doesn't engage with the public (too heavy, too theoretical); anthropologists are not versed in shifting between the slow medium of academia and the fast medium of The Media, so anthropologists are unable to take part in the public debate; and quite simply, Social Anthropologists don't take into consideration their audience.

Now, I rather enjoy Social Anthropology (pursuing a PhD in Sociology/Social Anthropology, in fact), so I've read quite a bit of Anthropological books. Not half as many as Eriksen (being half his age is a viable excuse, perhaps?), admittedly, but enough to agree that he has a point. I do think this is a good book, it is worth a read. Eriksen is, perhaps, of the few Social Anthropologists who can write quite well (when he wants to), and his lengthy engagement with the faster media has paid off. There are enough theoretical references and reading recommendations (I noted at least half a dozen books I want to look up), but doesn't labour the point. He draws your attention to debates where Social Anthropology could enrich the debate, and offer substantial insight but, alas, do not. Occasionally, it does have the feel of self-indulgence, where he presents Norway, and Norwegian Anthropologists, as significantly more adept at engaging with the public, but the examples are well placed and do cement a point. Although, I would have liked for him to recognise (although not strictly Social Anthropology) the impact of Sociologists in engaging with the public (Bourdieu springs to mind). And his recognition of work done by, for example, Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Paul Farmer is sorely lacking.

Eriksen posits (rather circuitously) that you should always ask yourself: why am I doing Anthropology? Either if it's for love or money, it still involves having to make yourself heard. So the second question becomes: who's listening? Thirdly, Eriksen admonishes Social Anthropologists, and warns us to "not dry out the riverbed" (the joke being "what is the difference between an anthropologist and a historian; one dries out a live river, the other brings a dry riverbed alive), i.e. don't make things boring when they are, in fact, incredibly interesting. One question I felt was missing, was perhaps the discussion of Social Anthropologists as activists (again Scheper-Hughes and Farmer spring to mind). The distinct lack of ethics as a topic rather detracts from the argument to engage with the public. As an anthropologist, I feel the discussion of ethics in research, if well written, would have appealed strongly to the anthropologist reader (as opposed to the non-anthropologist), but it would also offer the non-anthropologist some insight into what drives the field. Is it the pursuit of science and objectivism, or is Social Anthropology the recognition that things can be done differently?

All in all, a good read, and most certainly engaging. If you have studied anthropology, or you're studying it now, it's worth the time and effort. If you're not an anthropologist, this will give you a lot of good suggestions for good books in the field (and perhaps what authors to avoid if you're theory-adverse)

VicTsing Black USB Bluetooth 3.5mm Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter for Speaker iPhone Mp3
VicTsing Black USB Bluetooth 3.5mm Stereo Audio Music Receiver Adapter for Speaker iPhone Mp3

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap, low quality, but works depending on your needs., 30 Sept. 2014
It's cheap, that's a plus. Combined with a cheap amplifying unit (Lepai tripath) and some cables, it has turned my stereo system into a wireless system, which I appreciate. The reason it's not getting more than three stars is because the product is simply not a high quality product. The range and quality is shoddy, at best. I hung the receiver over the curtain railing in my living room (to give it the clearest line of sight to the transmitting device, laptop or phone), but even then it would have bad signal if someone got in between the receiver and transmitter. My living room is not big, so it's surprising that the bluetooth receiver can't handle three/four meters distance and minor obstructions without going choppy.

On the upside, it's great if all you want to do is play music from your bluetooth device and don't mind leaving it in clear view of the receiver.

I have attempted to use the receiver to play audio while watching video, with mixed results. Unsurprisingly, there is some lag between the image and audio at times. To be fair, I wasn't too surprised by this.

All in all, if I were to get another bluetooth receiver in order to watch video and use bluetooth audio, I would probably opt for a higher quality receiver, but for just playing music, it does the trick.

Lepai TA2020+ Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply
Lepai TA2020+ Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply
Offered by FANSHOP

5.0 out of 5 stars Does the trick, 21 Sept. 2014
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A beautiful little contraption that opens up so many doors. Firstly, as a student I enjoy the fact that it's cheap and small. Easy to transport/pack down when moving, and is not so expensive that one worries obsessively over it. Secondly, it does the job. If you've got a pair of small speakers, this little thing will do the job. I've even got it hooked up to a bluetooth dongle so I can connect my phone via bluetooth rather than aux. In other words, a small wireless stereo system for less than £20, who can complain?

10 Pack of GU10 Genuine Philips quality LED 4w Low Energy saving Spot Lamp Bulbs Mid Warm white light 3000k Globe Lamps. 220v-240v A Energy Rated Genuine 35w Halogen Light equivalent from only 4 watts power use !
10 Pack of GU10 Genuine Philips quality LED 4w Low Energy saving Spot Lamp Bulbs Mid Warm white light 3000k Globe Lamps. 220v-240v A Energy Rated Genuine 35w Halogen Light equivalent from only 4 watts power use !

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin., 5 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Solid light bulbs. Good spread of light, and the colour is nice and warm. Was worried it would be to sterile and blue/white, but it's more on the yellow/white side of the spectrum. Good quality, strong light, right colour for home use.

Religious Actors in the Public Sphere: Means, Objectives, and Effects (Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics)
Religious Actors in the Public Sphere: Means, Objectives, and Effects (Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics)
Price: £33.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a decent book, 5 Nov. 2013
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It develops theories well, but always from the same approach. Theoretical, or statistical, approaches are interesting, but there is a lack of more qualitative research, which is a trend in examining religion and politics. None-the-less, a very good buy. Thought provoking and enlightening.

No Title Available

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a word:, 27 Sept. 2013
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Ignoring, for a moment, that I'm now the most popular venue for film nights amongst my friends (just kidding), the projector is awesome.

To actually give this product a decent review, I'll start from the top.

Is it "ultra bright"? Depends on your lighting conditions. I've projected images on to walls at midday (fair enough in Scotland, so it's cloudy most of the time), and the image isn't great. But, then again, that's to be expected. When the room is dark on the other hand; yes, it's bright.

Is it "portable"? Yes. It most definitely is. It comes with a small carrying bag which fits the projector and the power adapter. I have been able to fit a HDMI cable in there as well. The projector itself is small. It weighs almost nothing. The projector is about the size of a decent paperback novel, Almost small enough to fit in my coat pocket.

Is it "Wireless"? Here is my only disappointment with the projector, but it's not enough to detract a star. Setting up the wireless function on the projector is a bit tricky at first, but you get the hang of it. I have to emphasise: the wireless function is limited to productivity, at best. The framerate is very low, so you won't be able to show moving images (or film). For projecting a document, spreadsheet, or powerpoint, it's a nice function. The fact that you can link it to your tablet or phone (as long as it's iOS or Android) is a nice thing for productivity. I have to say though, Asus might want to get around to supporting Windows phones. Also, you have to plug in a wee USB wifi dongle every time you want to use the wifi, but this means you've used up your USB port while it's wireless.

Connectivity: it has all the ports it claims to have. Nothing more to be said, does what it says on the tin.

The sound. You're not going to blow anyone's mind with the sound quality, but it does the trick. Nice decent sound, loud enough to cover the noise of the fan (which, btw, is a bit loud) and works well for just hooking it up anywhere and watching a film or episode of your favourite sitcom. If you don't have a surround system in your living room, don't worry. If you do have a pair of speakers you can easily plug in (to your computer or the projector), go for it.

The auto keystone works as expected, and it's a nice thing to have. You do get a border of light if the keystone is changed dramatically, but you'll only notice in a dark room.

The truly amazing thing about the projector though, is the short-throw technology Asus have put in. They say you'll get a 51" image at 1m distance from the wall; you do. It might even be slightly bigger. I usually put it a meter and a bit from the wall, and the image just gets ludicrously large.

Out of all the projectors I considered buying, this one is, by far, the best possible buy. It's LED based, so you don't have to worry about the bulb lifespan or cool-down time. It's reasonably priced. It's portable. I have an Asus laptop, and can actually use the power supply for my laptop to power the projector (I thought it was a joke!), which removes the need for one power supply if weight and space is an issue (provided your battery is fully charged).

I'm slightly surprised there aren't any reviews for this projector yet. If you are looking for a projector, but not a massive beast (that'll eat your wallet as well as being "non-portable"), this is a brilliant purchase.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2013 7:15 PM BST

Understanding International Relations
Understanding International Relations
by Chris Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No beating around the bush, 12 Feb. 2011
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This book is very good for those who want an introduction to International Relations. It simplifies issues, but doesn't omit important details. It is very well written, not beating around the bush when it comes to tricky issues. It is written in a honest tone, and makes sure to maintain itself professionally about it.

The structure of the book is also very helpful. It moves more and more into theoretical debates as the chapters go on, but it is still possible to read each chapter without having read the preceding chapters.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to study, or just learn more about, International Relations, this book will be extremely handy to have around.

Going Postal [DVD] (2010)
Going Postal [DVD] (2010)
Dvd ~ Richard Coyle
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly amusing, 22 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Going Postal [DVD] (2010) (DVD)
The two-part film is hilarious. It has, as the Colour of Magic, an introduction by Terry Pratchett himself, which is as good a start as any to a film. Ankh-Morpork has taken on a distinctly more Victorian appearance and is, in my opinion, done better than The Colour of Magic. Being a tremendous fan of Mr. Pratchett, I always dread the actors, because I don't know if they can keep up with the book. But! I was highly impressed again and again. I found David Suchet to be a fantastic villain, and Vetinari, played by Charles Dance, is spot on. I like Jeremy Irons, but as Vetinari, Dance was a much better portrayal. All in all, I agree with Mr. Pratchett's assessment of the film, but you'll have to get the DVD to see that one.

This film is a necessity for a fan of Terry Pratchett!

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