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Taking The Anthropological View

Penn Ph.d candidate Noel B. Salazar, doing field work in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, finds himself knee deep in a natural disaster.

Taking The Anthropological View

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Photobyap_7Salazar Penn Ph.d  candidate Noel B. Salazar, doing field work in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, finds himself knee deep in a natural disaster.

Blogging for the University of Pennsylvania Museum on what's happening around him in the aftermath of the massive earthquake that hit May 27, he takes an anthropological view of the relief effort:

I have been intrigued by the politics of aid. For many donors, locals as well as international agencies, it is not just of manner of giving aid. It seems to be important that as many eyes as possible see who donated. Therefore, big chunks of the relief budget are wasted on the creation of huge banners, flashy bumper stickers, colorful posters, etc. As a result, most of the aid seems to concentrate on the affected villages along the main access roads. It seems incredible that some villages still have not received any help, while others are already reselling some of the relief goods delivered because they simply do not want that much. What would Marcel Mauss, who developed the anthropological theory of gift-giving, have to say about all this?

That I cannot answer.

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Posted 06/12/2006 12:20:52 PM

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About this blog
Daniel Rubin is a columnist and The Inquirer's director of social media. Since joining newspaper as a staff writer in 1988, Daniel Rubin has reported from Mayfair to Macedonia, 27 countries in all. He has been the European Correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and for two years he sat at home and wrote Blinq, the paper's first daily blog. Dan began newspaper work in Norfolk and Louisville, Ky., after getting his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northwestern University. He has lived in all four commonwealths, most recently in Pennsylvania. He teaches urban journalism at the University of Pennsylvania

Email Blinq here. My day job - Inquirer metro columnist - is here.

Reach Daniel at drubin@phillynews.com.

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