Welcome to the Society for Psychological Anthropology


President’s Statement on Recent Events


The events of the past two weeks have turned a spotlight on the pervasive racism and intolerance in our country, and on attitudes and practices that have been the shame of our nation for centuries. The murder of George Floyd and the violent suppression of peaceful protest are just the latest enactments of malignant white supremacy and the culture of violence and domination that undergird daily life in America.

We at the Society for Psychological Anthropology stand together with the victims of racist hate and police brutality and with our colleagues, friends, and neighbors who endure the corrosive racism of everyday life in our country.

But standing is not enough. We have to actively make change happen.

Not all of us can or want to take to the streets, and that’s ok: there are many ways to affect change. Educate yourself and the people in your life. Donate to causes that support the BLM movement . Frequent black-owned businesses in your neighborhood and online. Call or write to your local, state, and national representatives and urge them to pass anti-racist legislation. Talk to your children, your colleagues, your friends, your partners, your parents, your neighbors, and strangers you meet about what you believe, what you’re doing about it, and how they can join you.

But most of all, check yourself and your privilege all day, every day. Use whatever privilege you have to destabilize the structures, beliefs, and practices that gave it to you in the first place. And don’t stop. Keep going. Keep going even when you’re tired, even when you think you’ve done enough, even when–especially when–it makes you uncomfortable: that means it’s working.

None of us started this culture of hatred and bigotry, but many of us benefit from it, whether we want to or not. If we are not actively working to end it, we are complicit in sustaining it. It’s time–far beyond time–to do the work.

Black Lives Matter.

Rebecca J. Lester, President

Society for Psychological Anthropology

June 6, 2020

Meet the SPA Board

SPA board at AAA 2018. From left to right: Kathy Trang, Jason Decaro, Ellen Kozelka, M. Cameron Hay, Neely Myers, Jeff Snodgrass (back), Greg Downey (front), and Jill Korbin. Not featured: Elizabeth Carpenter-Song, Yehuda Goodman, Amir Hampel, Rebecca Lester, and Ashley Maynard.

Anthropology News


Brought to you by Anthropology News co-editors Amir Hampel and Ellen Kozelka. Do you have pictures from the field or any accolades, publications, or news you would like to share with other SPA members? Throughout the year, SPA-AN regularly features research by our members and the team is always looking for ways to better engage with the interests of members. If you have an idea for a piece or for a series, be in touch ([email protected])!

Bob Levine on Women’s Education


Around 1980, the first demographic evidence became available suggesting that, in a variety of developing countries, women’s schooling was robustly associated not only with lower fertility but also with reduced (post-infancy) child mortality and increased use of health services. “Robust” in this context means that the associations did not disappear when income, father’s schooling, and “socioeconomic status,” however measured, were statistically controlled. (The associations of women’s schooling with infant mortality did disappear when income and father’s schooling were controlled, indicating that the death of infants was more dependent on domestic economic resources than that of older children.) Results from the World Fertility Survey during the 1980s confirmed the original findings, so that by 1988 it was clear that sending girls to school could generate a major demographic transition to lower birth and death rates. But the mechanism or processes involved remained mysterious.

Look for the full edition next month!

Thomas S. Weisner on 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award


Psychological Anthropology is an incredibly rich discipline, and I have been very fortunate to have been a part of our field as my intellectual and personal home, shared with so many wonderful colleagues and students. My graduate experience at Harvard in Social Relations and Anthropology, training by John and Beatrice Whiting, fieldwork in Kenya on the effects of rural-urban migration on children (and the importance of sibling care), participation in the Children of Different Worlds project (Whiting & Edwards, 1988), the methods and interdisciplinary training I enjoyed, and the convoy of fellow students and collaborators I came to know, provided a fortunate start. Then, just as fortunate, I joined a terrific program at UCLA in the Anthropology and Psychiatry Departments with a large, interdisciplinary group in psychological and medical anthropology. Robert Edgerton led the Psychiatry program for many years, and the SPA itself, and Ethos, began in the late 1970’s while I was an assistant professor.

Read more…

Bradd Shore on 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award


My undergraduate background was in literature, and I discovered anthropology “by accident” through my two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa where I got to know several anthropologists. After my conversion to the discipline, I did my graduate work in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Chicago in the early 1970s when the Anthropology Department there was deep into symbolic anthropology and what was called “culture theory,” under the influence of David Schneider (who became my mentor), Clifford Geertz and Victor Turner. While my interests, based on my experiences in Samoa, were naturally oriented toward psychological and cognitive issues, psychological anthropology was not emphasized by the department, and I was actively discouraged from pursuing training in things psychological.
Read more…

Placeholder

Summary

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.

Highlights

  • Feature One
  • Feature Two
  • Feature Three

Placeholder
Placeholder

Summary

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque pretium, nisi ut volutpat mollis, leo risus interdum arcu, eget facilisis quam felis id mauris.

Highlights

  • Feature One
  • Feature Two
  • Feature Three

Voices of Experience

Dr. Hinton discusses his research among genocide survivors in Cambodia since the 1990s. Between 1975 and 1979, approximately two million Cambodians were killed during the Khmer Rouge. Dr. Hinton’s work has employed anthropological methods to illuminate why such atrocities occur and what justice means in the aftermath of genocide and mass violence. Focusing on the 2009 trial of Duch, a Khmer Rouge torturer, Hinton explores in his recent book (Man or Monster?: The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer) the differences between global discourses of human rights and local conceptualizations of justice, and the impact of this disparity on Khmer Rouge survivors.

In this conversation, Dr. Thein-Lemelson discusses her research on the Burmese democracy movement and the atrocities that were perpetrated against activists and civilians during the 1988 Uprising and in its aftermath. Her research has examined historical memory of the uprising and the psychosocial, political, cultural, relational, and structural determinants of resilience among previously imprisoned political leaders, as well as factors that contributed to the long-term resilience of the democracy movement as a whole.

An interview and conversation with Dr. Rebecca Lester as part of the SPA Voices of Experience series. In this conversation, Dr. Lester discusses her newest book project “Famished: Eating Disorders in the Era of Managed Care” focusing on the conditions and experience of eating disorders treatment in the United States.

An interview and conversation with Drs. Greg Downey (Macquarie University) and Daniel Lende (University of South Florida). In this conversation, Drs. Downey and Lende discuss the origin, applications, and future directions of neuroanthropology and the growth of its associated platforms online.

Recent Prize Winners


Condon Prize for Best Student Essay in Psychological Anthropology: Courtney Cecale






Placeholder

Stirling Prize for Best Published Work in Psychological Anthropology: Naomi Leite




Living Buddhism

Boyer Prize for Contributions to Psychoanalytic Anthropology: Kevin Groark