Category: Cultural Anthropology

  • Why more grad students should study/ travel abroad in 2023

    I took a small group of students to Tijuana, Mexico in December 2022. We visited the “most dangerous city in the world,” and a city that is often associated with crime, violence and all negative stereotypes, to learn about migration and the “migrant crisis.”

  • Why bother with Direct Trade?

    Is Direct trade – a model for fairer trade? What does direct trade mean? In simple terms, it means buying directly from the producer.  In the world of small batch production – crafts, arts or even food commodities, produced by small producers, often there are many middle-men/ women, who are part of the supply chain. […]

  • Six tips to be a successful online student

    With the sudden change in school and college schedules, with the COVID-19 situation, most institutions in the U.S. are going towards online education. Many are scrambling to make this transition, while those who are better prepared are doing virtual classes smoothly. There seem to be multiple resources for teachers on how to teach better, however; […]

  • Insights into refugee resettlement in Germany

    Last week, I was in Munich, attending a conference organized by the Institut fur Politisch Bildung, a German think-tank and Virginia Tech (my alma mater). The three day visit was overwhelmingly positive, except for a visit to the Dachau Concentration camp, which left me drained, emotionally.  Regardless, here is a quick synopsis of some of […]

  • America’s philanthropy problem?

    A debate that is becoming salient, over the past few years is if philanthropic foundations are becoming powerful by the day? A recent article in The Huffington Post points this out. The writer points out, correctly, that Jeff Bezos solicited ideas for his philanthropy, just a few days before the purchase of Whole Foods. PR […]

  • How will the new administration and its policies impact the Nonprofit sector?

    I recently attended the ARNOVA Conference, the annual conference of ARNOVA, a leading organization that is dedicated to research of the Voluntary and Nonprofit sector. As one of the most important convenings of its kind; this conference brings together both scholars and practitioners from around the world. This year, there were close to 1000 attendees, […]

  • Is the ‘American mythos’ in need of revision?

    Is the ‘American mythos’ in need of revision?

    I am writing this on the second day of election results, that have shaken the country; rather badly. With the election of Donald Trump, Washington D.C., is in mourning. It looks and feels like almost all of the country is at the precipice of something. Mainstream media are still coming to terms with what this […]

  • If not for profit, for what?

    I sat next to an older gentleman on my flight from D.C. to Atlanta, GA. While he was quite in the beginning and was absorbed in his newspapers, a quick smile and conversation started him talking. And despite his strong southern accent – he was from Alabama – we managed to discuss a lot of […]

  • What is wrong with the ‘Islam and the West’ discourse

    First things first : I am happy that Sadiq Khan is the Mayor of London. Nothing could be cooler than having someone who shares your last name become the Mayor of a global city. This incident has been commented upon, quite a lot. Well meaning people point out that this is an indication that the […]

  • More Charity and less Philanthropy?

    More Charity and less Philanthropy?

    Do we need more ‘Charity’ (unorganized, personal giving) and less of ‘philanthropy’ (organized, scientific philanthropy)? While scholarship in the last 25 years of so indicates that there is a growing trend towards philanthropy, we are witnessing new arguments that what we need is really more ‘charity’. Bureaucratized and ‘scientific’ ways of giving don’t really work. […]

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