Online Journal of Anthropology

Volume 14, Number 1, 2018

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 Tourism as Pilgrimage?


Anthropologists have been debating the relationship between the tourist and the pilgrim for a number of decades, using in a somewhat loose way terms such as vacation, travel and tour. The etymologies of the words used for travel, journey, voyage and tourism, as well as vacation, holiday, feast and fair, and the history of both classical and medieval European travels and pilgrimages tell a story of work and leisure, market fairs and religious festivals, pious pilgrims and frivolous travellers, connecting pilgrimage and tourism as the two sides of the same coin.

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Processi di apprendimento culturale nelle cerimonie turche del mevlid: dalla cantante alla madre, dalla madre al figlio


In order to understand the dynamics and contents of the political project to strengthen Islam supported by the Party for Justice and Development (AKP) in contemporary Turkey, I surveyed twenty-five mevlid ceremonies officiated by women, who were the object of a research conducted in Bursa and Gemlik in 2014. These ceremonies highlight the process of transmission of values, norms and behaviors played out by the mevlid singers towards the participants. For this reason I analyzed the contents of the religious discourses pronounced by the singers and the ethicalbehavioral as well as cultural aspects observed during the religious meetings. I also identified two models of Islamic identity outlined and transmitted through religious discourses: a motherly female model and a childish /filial one. Both are internalized by the participants according to the level of their social conformity and identity awareness. These processes strengthen the Islamic identity of the population and the consensus towards the current government.

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Gli Uroni e le loro anime. Immortalità, sorte oltremondana e reincarnazione nei documenti del ‘600 sugli Uroni


Based on the documents of the first missionaries, the scholars of Huron religion rejected the possibility of applying the Western notion of soul to this people, but accepted the declarations of the missionaries according to whom this people believed in reincarnation. The critical analysis of missionary documents shows that not only the Christian notion of soul is inapplicable but that the same concepts of immortality and reincarnation are not present. In particular, the Feast of the Dead had the function of severing the relationship with the dead, preventing them from returning to act dangerously among the living, and not sanctioning their reincarnation.
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Persuasion with deceit elicits the “Trojan Horse Effect” in tennis players


When people decide and solve problems without complete information, often use heuristics, leading to cognitive biases. To 90 both sexes tennis players, subdivided into three levels of performance, was requested to test two identical rackets having two similar strings, apart for the brand and the price, presented to half of the sample with reversed details about their nature. The deceived players evaluated the strings in accordance to the suggestions offered, with an inverted proportion between the evaluation gradient and the level of performance. The higher the performance level, the higher was the factual evaluation. The non-influenced group judged the strings in accordance to its own sensitivity and didn’t reached the other group results. Persuasion with deceit generates an effect temporarily defined as: the “Trojan Horse Effect”. Further research is needed to verify if performance can be increased by using training methodologies eliciting this effect.
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I fuochi sacri dei paesi iblei: il caso dell’ampelodesma di Cassaro e di Ferla


The study presented below analyzes the rituals of fire in the small towns of Cassaro and Ferla located in the prov. of Syracuse in South Eastern Sicily. Specifically, the analysis considers the use of the ampelodesma plant used during the procession of Sant’Antonio (Cassaro) and of the Holy Saturday at Ferla. At first we will observe the way in which tradition dialogues with contemporaneity: the construction of the ciaccare / sciaccare, the methods of oral transmission of the heritage, the phases of the ritual. Secondly, we will analyze the patrimonialization processes of the folkloric act and in particular the way in which “contemporaneity” proposes strategies tending to modify the tradition itself thanks to processes moving on global platforms.

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Meanings and taboos in traditional gastronomy of Maasai communities in Kajiado County, Kenya


The article analyses food traditions among the Maasai of Kajiado County. It explores them on the basis of an ethnographic research conducted between 2017 and 2018. In particular, it investigates the cultural meanings and taboos associated with blood, meat and milk: key elements in the traditional Maasai diet. In a context of development studies interested in fostering nutrition transition among indigenous people, the article advocates for an approach to food study that does not focus only on the nutritional aspect of food but encompasses the analysis of cultural meaning and taboos in order to fully appreciate the social role played by traditional foodways in improving social cohesion.

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L’éthique et la pragmatique du vivant dans leurs rapports à l’avenir corporel de l’homme


This article analyzes the relationship between the ethics of the living as an in vivo organism, its in vitro biological studies, and the bodily future of the human being. It aims to show the inseparability between the pragmatic procedures implemented in the study of its micro-biochemical structures and its repercussions on the integrity of the human species. We take as examples emerging diseases and the crossing of species barriers, as well as the issue of medical experimentation. We thus pose the consequences of these different approaches in the theoretical framework of relativist and postmodern ethics.

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Pain: How does Anthropology look at it? The Suffering of Body and Mind


This Paper attempts to explore pain, social and physical, their metaphors and its suffering in and beyond body. Further it reviews evidences for neuro-chemical and neural overlap between social and physical pain. Besides it has explored consequences of this overlap and follows sociocultural aspects of pain in the anthropological lens. It is believed that this anthropological exploration will benefit our clinicians and other professionals; anesthesiologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and psychiatric social workers working in tertiary level neuropsychiatry facility center; for the understanding of the human pain and suffering beyond their body in their local world.

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A comparative study of Nutritional Status among the Eastern Indian Type 2 Diabetes and Diabetic Nephropathy patients Population of West Bengal


To examine the association between nutritional status and type 2 diabetes disease phenotype in Eastern Indian patients’ population of West Bengal, the present study covered 718 participants, out of which 168 were type 2 diabetic nephropathy patients on hemodialysis (T2DNH), 246 were type 2 diabetes patients without nephropathy (T2DM) which were compared with 304 unrelated healthy controls (CON). Participants were born in Bengalee families at Kolkata and the surrounding area. Data were analyzed by the use of ANOVA and Post Hoc tests to explore the inter and intra group differences. We found that the type 2 diabetic (T2DM) and diabetic nephropathy (T2DNH) patients were relatively shorter (P for trend < 0.01) while Controls were taller (P < 0.01) and heavier (P < 0.01) than patients groups. The T2DNH patients have higher readings of systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to T2DM patients and Controls (P < 0.01). The basal metabolic rate also differed significantly between the study groups recording relatively higher mean value among Controls (P < 0.01). As expected glucose level was significantly higher in T2DM groups (P < 0.01). Comparatively higher percentages (14.29 %) of participants were found to be underweight among the type 2 diabetic nephropathy patients group. In sum, this study directly shows a positive association between short stature with type 2 diabetes and diabetic nephropathy diseased groups of Eastern Indian population of West Bengal.

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A study on consciousness of urban girls about their body image and body weight in north Kolkata, West Bengal. Body image and body weight among girls


The present study explores the association between body image attitude and perception and age and actual weight status of urban girls aged between 14 and 22 years. The association of body weight concern and related behaviour with age and actual weight status of these girls were also examined. The study sample included 150 unmarried and married girls residing in the city of north Kolkata, West Bengal. Information on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, body image perception and attitude, weight concern and related behaviour was collected using standard pretested questionnaires. Anthropometric measurements taken included height and weight. Results show that there was a significant association of body image perception and attitude with age group and actual weight status of the participants. Moreover, multivariate analysis shows that age and actual weight status of the participants were the significant predictors of body weight concern and related behaviour among them.

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Socio-Economic Status of the Bettakuruba Tribal Women: a Case Study from the Chamarajanagara District, Karnataka


The objectives of this paper is to find out the socio-economic status of the Bettakuruba tribal women and to suggest ways and means for their overall development. The Bettakuruba community has a rich and cultural heritage, and strong traditions, but lacks socio-economic empowerment. They are not able to create wealth, since they cannot hold land and properties and so on. Anyhow, governments offered constitutional relieves in the form of reservations, but it is still difficult to reach the needy people. Therefore, a detailed research study has been carried out on the socio-economic status of women in the Bettakuruba community. Here several strategic suggestions as well as policy guidelines have been suggested.

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Femininity in Proto-historic South Asian Art: an Analytical Study of Harappans


Women carry divine procreative powers gifted by nature. There is an inherent sophistication in the movements of a woman’s body and the livelihood of these movements has been well represented since proto-historic times. Be it either sculptural art or terracotta art, the artisan or even a novice took care of representing the associated sophistication. The statuettes of females, despite crude and imperfect figurine elements, can be identified by the prominently shown sexual organs/female body parts. In the context of the Harappan Civilization, the feminine figurines have been widely reported. From Mundigak III and IV the female figurines with prominent breasts have been reported. The most famous female figure is a Zhob mother goddess; the name has been suggested by the findings at the Zhob valley. Harappa and Mohenjodaro have been blessed with a different kind of female figurines. These figurines are characterized by wide hips, narrow waist and sometimes large breasts. The feminine representation appears also in the Chalcolithic pottery in Maharashtra.

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Women’s Participation in the Development Program and Household Decision Making Status among the Targeting Ultra Poor (TUP) in Rural Bangladesh


Growing evidence shows that the distribution of individuals’ ownership and control of assets within a household can have important implications for women’s empowerment and children’s well-being. Interventions on specific individuals can shift intra-household dynamics, yet little evidence exists from rigorous evaluation. We studied BRAC’s Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) program in Bangladesh, which targets asset transfer (primarily livestock) and training to rural women in poor households using mixed methods. Our analysis confirms that the program significantly increases household ownership of various assets but has complex effects on the targeted women. These findings suggest that while the transferred assets tend to remain with women, new investments from mobilized resources are controlled by men. The analysis shows that asset transfer targeted to women can increase women’s ownership of and control over the transferred asset itself but may not necessarily increase women’s intra-household bargaining position. Moreover, it reveals that outcomes valued by individuals may not always be tangible, highlighting the complexity of assessing whether interventions improve women’s empowerment..

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