Culture and Justice: Or Why Paula Deen Shouldn’t Use the “N” Word

I feel sorry for Paula Deen.  She's lost her job, her endorsements, her status in our society (for now), and all for saying words that were an almost thoughtless reality of her culture  during much of her life.  She's probably wondering when folks changed the rules.   How something "everyone says" could destroy her career.I can empathize with Paula because I care a lot about culture.  During grad school, my advisor told me I was a cultural phenomenologist.  Too bad I still don’t totally k … [Read more...]

Birthday with Burkas: Initial impressions of Riyadh

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Last week I spent my 48th birthday in a Saudi Arabian mall wearing an abaya.  Several weeks ago, I speculated Should I go to Saudi Arabia? mainly because I didn’t want to spend a ton of money to sit in a hotel while Scott went to his conference.And indeed I didn’t stray far from my hotel.  However, the 4 Seasons Riyadh connects to Kingdom Centre, a huge upscale mall, and even though I obeyed the rule that women can't be unaccompanied outside, because malls are indoors, women are free to be dr … [Read more...]


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