Outside, Looking In?

Outside, Looking In?

Jeremy Paxman, the sometime scourge of feeble-minded politicians, host of University Challenge and pillar of the British media establishment, states in an interview published today that “I’ve always felt myself to be an outsider”. Really? Jeremy Paxman, ex-student of Malvern/Cambridge? One of the most recognisable faces/voices in Britain? A man with powerful connections and influence on British politics? If he… Read more →

The In Crowd

The In Crowd

It would be unwise to assume that the ‘dirty look’ is somehow gender specific. This site takes it as a given that the capacity to give someone a dirty look, as it were, is not an exclusively female phenomenon. Nor is it the preserve of any particular age group or social class. We’re all at it, most of the time… Read more →

Keeping Up Appearances

Keeping Up Appearances

Anthropologists have the wonderful task of documenting social behaviour in various cultures and geographies, and travel to the far ends of the earth and the most exotic of locations to do so. One wonders though how necessary this travel is, when the peculiar habits and customs of people are ever present in their own cultures, staring them right in the… Read more →

The World: Not Gone Mad

The World: Not Gone Mad

Theresa May’s recent attack on the Human Rights Act was either an example of political cynicism or political stupidity. She may even have managed to find the exact space where the two converge. This space is a dangerous but necessary one for a politician to occupy. Communicative acts between politician and public are fragile and easily knocked off target. In this… Read more →

The Corruption of Honour

The Corruption of Honour

The American Novelist Douglas Preston believes that the strange case of Amanda Knox was ‘all about honour, reputation and the saving of face’ (Guardian, October 5th, 2011). Amanda Knox, along with Raffaele Sollecito, recently had her conviction for murdering Meredith Kercher overturned. She spent 4 years in an Italian jail for a crime she did not commit, even though the… Read more →

Keeping Score

One emotion that this site will return to again and again is resentment. A more complicated emotion that given credit for, the energy invested in resenting others is something to behold, a bottomless pit of anger, frustration and sense of injustice (resentiment is a topic for another day). Some of its emotional power stems from its origins in feelings of… Read more →

Absence as a presence that attacks

Absence as a presence that attacks

Caring about what other people think of you is seemingly there from the beginning. In an article entitled “The language of absence”, Hayuta Guverick describes a film on infant development, in which early signs of dependence between self and other are starkly illustrated:   “One scene in particular left a powerful impression on me. A mother is holding a small… Read more →