The Lives Of Others

Series of five essays in which anthropologists discuss the status of their discipline, its ethics, responsibilities and practices, and how their long-term research seeks to illuminate our lives by looking at the lives of others.


01The Big Questions *20081117

Maurice Bloch, professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics, reflects on his work in Madagascar where, late one evening around a Malagasy fireside, he and the villagers discuss the minutiae of life.

Together they uncover how understanding a society from within can help to answer life's universal questions.

02Anthropology And Espionage20081118

John Gledhill, professor of social anthropology at the University of Manchester, charts his long-term research among the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico, and discusses the ethics and responsibilities of anthropologists in the field as well as uncovering the overlapping history of anthropology and espionage.

03The Global Individual20081119

Adam Kuper, a Fellow of the British Academy, examines how modern anthropology is underpinned by the idea that an individual's beliefs and activities should be understood in terms of their own culture.

In an age of expanding globalisation and multiculturalism, he questions the validity of this.

04Anthropology At Home *20081120

Having spent time working among UK bookmakers, Rebecca Cassidy of Goldsmith's College, London, discusses the social life of betting shops, the notion of 'anthropology at home' and the value of anthropologists immersing themselves in the lives of others.

05 LASTLearning From Russia20081121

Having spent a year living in desolate penal colonies in Russia, Laura Piacentini, a criminologist at the University of Stirling, explains how that country's prisons can offer insights into our expanding prison population and what in fact constitutes human rights.