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Anthropology in Practice

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Photo by Liz West. CC; Click on image for license and information.

Did you hear about the seventeen year old girl who was pushed into an open manhole by bullies in her school? Her name was Carmen and she had made up her mind to tell someone that she was being bullied, but she didn’t get a chance. During a fire drill the bullies kept crowding her [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Why is American Folklore Overrun with Phantom Hitchhikers?

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Jerry was driving home late one night when he saw a young lady waiting by a bus stop. He stopped his car and told her that he didn’t think the buses were running so late at night and offered her a ride. The fall night air was getting chilly, so he took off his jacket [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

Anatomy of a Superstition: When Your Eye “Jumps”

Ed Note: Our foray into the spooky and superstitious continues with this look at a popular West Indian belief. This post originally appeared on AiP on October 25, 2010—and it was selected as a ResearchBlogging Editor’s Selection! Trinidadians have a rich collection of superstitions, many of which found their way to the island via colonialism. These [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

The American Fascination With Zombies

Ed note: As Halloween rapidly approaches in the US, AiP will be exploring superstitions, beliefs, and the things that go bump in the night. This post originally appeared on AiP on May 17th, 2011, in response to Zombie Awareness Month—oh, it’s real all right. It’s been slightly modified for this posting. I think I must [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

What Makes a Rabbit’s Foot Lucky?

Ed note: As Halloween rapidly approaches in the US, AiP will be exploring superstitions, beliefs, and the things that go bump in the night. [Evil laugh.] At some point, most of us have likely had a token that we believed would protect us or bring us luck. It could have been a baseball cap, a [...]

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