What Do Your Things Say About You?

ImagePeople carry several different things around with them, and usually their things can help others learn more about them. In our society, wallets and items in peoples pockets reveal their financial status or small details about their lives. Anthropologist Erin B. Taylor was interested in how all types of people use their wallets, and why. She conducted research in which she asked people to empty their wallets, pockets, and bags and asked them why they carried around each object. In her article, “What Do the Things You Carry Say About You?” she describes a couple from the Dominican Republic. She found that peoples belongings can tell others a lot about the society they live in. Although people carry around the same basic items, such as a wallet, keys, and a phone, they are used for all different reasons depending on where you are in the world. What a person is carrying can give others information which may be crucial to have at certain points in their lives, such as in an emergency in which they can’t give information.





2 thoughts on “What Do Your Things Say About You?

  1. Articles like the one you reflected on are what makes the study of anthropology so interesting and unique. With anthropology we are able to make important meanings out of details of a culture we would otherwise not even think about reflecting on. By objectifying a person and analyzing what they carry around with them and how they use it, it may be able to teach us a new way to look at the culture the person belongs to as well as learn a new way to use something. As you mentioned, the importance and use of the item depending on where you are in the world or what culture you belong to. One example I saw on the article you picked was the entrepreneurial way to use a motorcycle, which would not be the first reason why a person from America may want to buy a motorcycle.

  2. Hi guys, thanks for your awesome work and all the pingbacks! Would any of you be interested in reviewing TED talks for PopAnth? You’ll get to be a PopAnth author. Even better, we’re going to launch a new-look site soon and the talks will be displayed very prominently on our home page. If you’re interested, drop me a line at erin@popanth.com. And happy weekend!

    Here’s a sample that’s already done: http://popanth.com/multimedia/archaeology-from-space/

    And here’s the link to the list of talks we need reviewed: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aj7Gs-FGJeA8dEl3bU1ndFNRa3pHQS1EMnp0SDRIa2c&usp=sharing.

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