Anthropology Magazine
A Radical Recentering of Dignity

An anthropologist explores the political demands that will rewrite Chile’s constitution—and the calls for joy, freedom, and dignity that may help democracy flourish.

Without Norms, Societies Fall Apart

Written rules about how to govern only work if they are backed up by unwritten values shared across the political spectrum. Over the past four years, Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on U.S. democratic norms have taken a toll.

Facing COVID-19 as an Undocumented Essential Worker

The pandemic has made visible the vulnerabilities that many undocumented immigrants in the U.S. face on a daily basis.

An Archaeology of Marijuana

How did cannabis—a plant humans have been using for more than 10,000 years—become so vilified in the U.S.?

The Dead Must Be Counted

An unknown number of people who die from COVID-19, like migrants who die during perilous journeys, are left out of governments’ official death counts.

The FBI’s Repatriation of Stolen Heritage

When the bureau’s Art Theft Program teamed up with a cultural anthropologist to investigate one man’s private collection, they began a yearslong project to return cultural objects and human remains to their rightful homes.

Is the Pandemic a Chance to Challenge Global Inequality?

A Pakistani anthropologist who studies the perilous journeys of irregular migrants argues for reimagining ways to close the gap between the rich and poor, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Curator’s Search for Justice

One museum’s saga of returning stolen vigango statues to Kenya reveals how repatriating sacred objects is both the right thing and a very hard thing to do.

The Trauma of Helping Asylum-Seekers

U.S. asylum policies inflict deep pain, not only on those facing deportation but also on those who do the legal aid work to help them stay.

When Gaming the System Is the Only Way to Parenthood

Prospective parents often panic about the suitability of their homes, staging their lives and houses for inspection to comply with a host of unwritten rules. Very little of this helps get children into loving families.