Archive for the anthropology Category

mapping paid maternity leave.

Posted in anthropology, feminism, maps, maps & mapping, politics with tags , , on July 16, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

North America comes out on top. And bottom.


Some things that aren’t represented in this map are the fact that undocumented workers don’t have access to these supposedly “progressive” benefits in the liberal blue-teal-green countries. Also, there’s a gaping silence regarding men as parents from paternity or “parental” leave all the way down to the much more critical situation of single fathers and dads who are primary parents yet don’t have access to federal or  private sector support in the ways provided by maternity leave.

What we need is a paradigm shift toward parental leave policies, and not this gendered institutionalization of what kind of people can be committed parents. Beyond this, there needs to be a broader sense of caregiving, which can account for taking care of young folks (who aren’t necessarily still babies), elderly folks, people with chronic illness, or even people enduring episodic mental instability.

I ended up in a short back-and-forth with a friend of a friend about this map a couple months ago. She was trying to salvage the US neoliberal fuck-over situation through an anecdotal testimony of her employer, a MAJOR U.S. bank, and their generous maternity policy, and how great it is that even though the Federal law provides no support, ‘we shouldn’t hate because private corporations have gone above and beyond’ even what northern European governments offer.

I of course responded with a critical perspective of particularly large corporations (especially banks??!!), and the bizarre neoliberal/ libertarian logic that corporations should make a killing by-any-means-necessary, the government should give them some space and stop taxing and regulating them for chrissakes, and then we should be grateful/ adorning/ impressed that they take a sliver of their hard-fought earnings and invest it in some HR policies that keep the workers pacified in their frustration, even obliged to the pirating cartels corporations for “taking care of them.” And then of course its understandable when corporations are going through tough times of austerity, that they cut back on “excesses” and “benefits” such as the aforementioned generous big bank maternity policy, since they have a business to run afterall…

I’m not saying that the State is my bestie (lord knows they never cut back on social programs like parental leave, pensions, or medical aid!), but I don’t think we should be so naïve as to think that our jobs/ bosses/ companies are the answer to accessing support when new children/ babies come into our lives.

Reporting Live from Dad Duty,

Sunshine Superboy


Grace Lee Boggs on #OWS and the 99% Move

Posted in anthropology, culture, politics, social movements on April 10, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

reblogged from the Mariposa Co-op’s Food Justice and Anti-Racism blog

Grace Lee Boggs OWS

Rad Men & Madmen: Why Anti-Authoritarians are Diagnosed as Mentally Ill

Posted in anthropology, science with tags , , , , on March 2, 2012 by Sunshine Superboy

mental health comicAn interesting bit on the social processes of mental health and the the disproportionate diagnoses of anarchist types and anti-authoritarians:

Bruce Levine, a clinical psychologist, has written on Mad in America about his colleagues’ propensity for diagnosing anti-authoritarians with mental illness. Levine says diagnoses like oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder and anxiety disorder are applied to people who question authority’s legitimacy by mental health practitioners who are, themselves, unconsciously deferential to authority.

Gaining acceptance into graduate school or medical school and achieving a PhD or MD and becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist means jumping through many hoops, all of which require much behavioral and attentional compliance to authorities, even to those authorities that one lacks respect for. The selection and socialization of mental health professionals tends to breed out many anti-authoritarians. Having steered the higher-education terrain for a decade of my life, I know that degrees and credentials are primarily badges of compliance. Those with extended schooling have lived for many years in a world where one routinely conforms to the demands of authorities. Thus for many MDs and PhDs, people different from them who reject this attentional and behavioral compliance appear to be from another world—a diagnosable one.

I have found that most psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals are not only extraordinarily compliant with authorities but also unaware of the magnitude of their obedience. And it also has become clear to me that the anti-authoritarianism of their patients creates enormous anxiety for these professionals, and their anxiety fuels diagnoses and treatments.

beauty mask skull

In graduate school, I discovered that all it took to be labeled as having “issues with authority” was to not kiss up to a director of clinical training whose personality was a combination of Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, and Howard Cosell. When I was told by some faculty that I had “issues with authority,” I had mixed feelings about being so labeled. On the one hand, I found it quite amusing, because among the working-class kids whom I had grown up with, I was considered relatively compliant with authorities. After all, I had done my homework, studied, and received good grades. However, while my new “issues with authority” label made me grin because I was now being seen as a “bad boy,” it also very much concerned me about just what kind of a profession that I had entered. Specifically, if somebody such as myself was being labeled with “issues with authority,” what were they calling the kids I grew up with who paid attention to many things that they cared about but didn’t care enough about school to comply there? Well, the answer soon became clear.

I mean, its sort of like “duh” to hear it on my end, but its important to have this internally recognized and published within the Psych field.

The idea that queers, anarchists, non-conformists, and other anti-authoritarians might give their shrinks “anxiety” is not breaking news to most of you I imagine…

Up Up and Away,
Sunshine Superbad

Decolonize BART!

Posted in anthropology, feminism, humor, maps, maps & mapping, politics, race with tags , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

Happy Fall Decolonization Fest part II!
What are you thankful for? Decentralized movements for social justice? The building up of a post-capitalist solidarity economy? Maybe just the sheer joy of public transit??

radical BART map

So many opportunities to reflect on the legacies of colonialism, slavery, genocide, and imperialism for those of us in the Western Hemisphere. Good tidings, and may this map of a reclaimed San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system keep good company to you and your people.

Thanks to my buddy Kenji for this cartographic gem!

If you’ve missed other awesome/ imaginative BART maps, you can click here and have your mind ravaged by BARTOR- the Transitator!!!

June Jordan bound train arriving at platform ONE in seven minutes…
Angela Davis International Airport bound Train is now boarding…

Sunshine Superboy

Beasts without Borders // Bêtes San Frontières

Posted in anthropology, maps, maps & mapping, science with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2011 by Sunshine Superboy

In our bustling world of global commodities, scant are the animals, minerals, and vegetables, that have escaped the reach of capitalism, and its drive to commodify, distribute, and sell sell sell!

Rare, charismatic, or otherwise lucrative critters are no exception. Though illegal in most countries, animal trafficking weaves its own world wide web of trade- borders be damned!

The gray are the importing countries, and the countries of origin (by region) are color coded.

Most of the trade follows typical patters of destination Wealthy Nations and raw materials coming from what is politically called “the Global South” (its not quite the same as the geographical south). The major outlier is Russia, which both imports and exports birds, bugs, and beasts.

There is some amazing research being done on illicit trafficking- like that of Nancy Scheper-Hughes who write about trafficking of human organs, and a recent article in the Nation, which focused on the trafficking of human babies through both legal and extra-legal adoption among fundamentalist American christian congregations.

For now, I’ll leave you with this map of the illicit animal trade. Plenty to ponder.

Up up and Away,
Sunshine Superboy

Pep-Talk Map: Be Strong, Things Get Better

Posted in anthropology, art & music, feminism, maps, race with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

Imagine a Map as a Hug…

it gets better map

Its a rainy day in Philadelphia. I wanna dedicate this post to my friend kiran who is going through a rough patch right now. “It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever”.

I know it has a slight “its gets better” ring to it, and maybe it could be re-purposed for folks who need a glowing light saber in their quest for queer encouragement/ esteem, but the Be Strong map is coming from a much more generalizable place…

As for the ubiquitous & viral It Gets Better campaign, I think Jasbir Puar added the bit I’ve felt lacking in the national conversation giving voice to the silencing power of the tsunami of white, owning class, male homo-normative narratives in circulation. So rather than re-post, I’ll just link to it, and leave you with your cartographic hug of the day…

Be Strong Now,
Sunshine Superboy

California Represent! Geo-cinematic representations in Hollywood circa 1927

Posted in anthropology, film, maps, maps & mapping with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy

This 1927 map by Paramount Pictures was apparently used for financial backers; it indicates shooting locations in California that could stand in for more exotic locales.

First of all, what the hell were they making movies about in 1927 that all you really need is Spain, New England, some rocky West and “Africa”?

anyways, I thought it was an incredibly interesting artifact of americana, industry, and representation.

The source is The American Film Industry by Tino Balio. According to the book, the variety of available geography in southern California is “one of the reasons” Hollywood became the center of the film industry.

I can think of a few others…

Up up and Away,
Sunshine Superboy