Category Archives: Practice

Kreung Love Shacks in Cambodia

Every time I get an idea for a quick post, google proves me wrong. I wanted to write about the Love Shacks I saw in Cambodia. This was going to be a quick post about an interesting tradition. Instead, I found myself reading articles about modernization vs. female sexual agency. The Kreung tribe in northeastern Cambodia have a tradition of building their teenage kids Love Shacks. These are small one… Read Article →

How the US Endangered Health Workers and Global Efforts to Eradicate Polio

Back in 2010, Osama Bin Laden was still somewhere in the Middle East, eluding the US military. His existence seemed to delegitimize the previous years of war and military action in the region. Ok, so there were no WMD’s. But there was Bin Laden, and he was the next best thing. In their narrow-minded focus to capture this man, the CIA concocted an intelligence gathering scheme that put health workers… Read Article →

Forced Marriage During the Cambodian Genocide

In October 2014, the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Cambodia (2014) published a qualitative/ quantitative study on the long term effects of forced marriage during the Khmer Rouge genocide. It’s called “Like Ghost Changes Body: A Study on the Impact of Forced Marriage under the Khmer Rouge Regime.” You can download it here. The report is extremely thorough describing tradition marriage practices, how forced marriage fit into the Khmer Rouge’s ideology, and… Read Article →

Why Darwin Is a Terrible Anthropologist

When westerners encounter cultural differences, the tendency is to view the other relative to the western norm and to apply a linear/ Darwinian logic. People think of development as linear and always progressing. The western/ developed world is at one end, and everybody else is lagging someplace behind. As a part of this, we often assume that the problems in our culture or society are not only present in other… Read Article →

Indigenous People and the Millennium Development Goals

The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are a set of targets developed by the UN regarding global development. The MDG’s were developed in collaboration with representatives from countries all over the world, and the aim was to accomplish these goals by 2015. The MDG’s appear, on the surface, to be universally good. That’s the first sign that they should be more closely examined. The article Indigenous Peoples and the Millenium Development… Read Article →

Development and Migration

In Bhutan, I often hear people attribute social ills to migration. Now that I’m working on a project addressing youth suicide, I hear about this even more. Migration here tends to go from rural to urban and from Bhutan to other countries (for education usually). People say that it leads to the breakdown of the family and community, to a loss of identity, to exposure to toxic stressors, and a… Read Article →

Development and the Middle Path: Beyond the Criticism

I used to be a therapist at a summer camp for teenagers. We had a rule for groups: you can bring up any problem you like as long as you offer a reasonable suggestion, too. After reading The Ideology of Development by William Easterly, I wish I could apply the same rule to him. In the article Easterly talks about “developmentalism” as an ideology where developed nations and global organizations… Read Article →

No Monsters Here: Why I’m Not Angry About FGM

Tomorrow (Feb 6) is the UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Here’s a fact sheet from the World Health Organization about the practice. As I tried to think of what to write—and what hasn’t already been written?—I remembered my time as a volunteer advocate at a rape crisis center in college. I answered a hotline and accompanied survivors during medical and police exams. I also… Read Article →

Who’s in Charge Here? Rethinking Locus of Control

Last week in class I read about locus of control (either internal or external) being a cultural construct. For those who are already confused: locus of control refers to beliefs regarding who has the power to shape a person’s destiny. If you believe that you have the power, then you have an internal local of control. If you believe that your destiny is determined by outside forces, then you have an… Read Article →

Unpacking Culture

I’ve started Certificate in International Development from UBC! Currently I’m enrolled in Culture, Communication, and Development. The homework this week was to unpack your own cultural identities. A sort of self-reflection. Mine is below. My homework: The cultural identities that most strongly influence me are nationality, generation, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, religion/ spirituality, family/ marital status, and voluntary group identification. (By voluntary group identification, I’m referring to the peer… Read Article →