What Is Neuroanthropology?

The field of Neuroanthropology studies the intricate relationships between the brain and culture

Are Mental Disorders Like Physical Diseases?

Many mental disorders are profoundly influenced by the culture in which they take shape, and this suggests that such disorders are not caused by a single underlying disease mechanism.

Celebrities and Scapegoats

Our fascination with beautiful people reflects an age-old idea: they are the best representation of what we are. Strangely enough, that can make them ideal sacrificial victims.

What Does Your Consumption Mean?

Economic consumption is often a ritual through which a person realizes his or her identity.

Boring Doesn't Just Mean Dull

Here’s what I usually say about boredom: In an entertainment culture, people come to expect and desire a high level of arousal. When this level of stimulation is unavailable—perhaps when a person is at work or school—they feel bored.

Why They Call It Madness

Through play we can engage in battle with others without real-world consequences. Or we can experience strong feelings without putting ourselves in dangerous situations. Play happens in an imaginary world, a world that doesn't count. That's true, but it's also false.

Fans of Fans

I recently watched a documentary about Harry Potter fans called "We Are Wizards." I'm afraid I can't recommend the film, it's pretty incoherent. But it was also fascinating in a disturbing sort of way, because it depicted a type of behavior I've never really noticed before: fans of fans.