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Psychology & Anthropology

Westboro Baptist Church photograph cropped

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

James Lasdun

9 February 2020

Beyond​ a few tabloid stories, the Westboro Baptist Church didn’t really hit the news until 2005, when its members started picketing funerals of soldiers killed in the Iraq War, with signs...

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Irrationality and its Other

William Davies

25 November 2019

About​ five years ago, in the course of studying the commercial applications of psychological research, I contacted the agent of Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke . . .

Writing about Clothes

Lisa Cohen

7 November 2019

‘About​ clothes, it’s awful,’ the protagonist thinks in Jean Rhys’s novel Voyage in the Dark (1934). Everything makes you want pretty clothes like hell. People laugh at girls . . .

How to Buy Drugs

Misha Glenny and Callum Lang

7 November 2019

In​ early February this year, what appeared to be a website glitch sent thousands of drugs-buyers into a panic. Liam (not his real name), a student at Manchester University, needed to buy some MDMA . . .

The Greer Method

Mary Beard

24 October 2019

On Rape has its faults. But it is also full of flashes of insight, clever analysis, radical new proposals and powerful arguments that have been missed, or dismissed, by many critics, who seem determined . . .

Where on Earth are you?

Frances Stonor Saunders, 3 March 2016

We construct borders, literally and figuratively, to fortify our sense of who we are; and we cross them in search of who we might become.

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Against Self-Criticism

Adam Phillips, 5 March 2015

Lacan​ said that there was surely something ironic about Christ’s injunction to love thy neighbour as thyself – because actually, of course, people hate themselves. Or you could say that, given the way people treat one another, perhaps they had always loved their neighbours in the way they loved themselves.

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Ghosts of the Tsunami

Richard Lloyd Parry, 6 February 2014

I met a priest in the north of Japan who exorcised the spirits of people who had drowned in the tsunami.

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Giggling along with Boris

Jonathan Coe, 18 July 2013

Boris Johnson has become his own satirist, safe in the knowledge that the best way to make sure the satire aimed at you is gentle and unchallenging is to create it yourself.

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The Pope Wears Prada

Colm Tóibín, 19 August 2010

In 1993 John McGahern wrote an essay called ‘The Church and Its Spire’, in which he considered his own relationship to the Catholic Church. He made no mention of the fact that he had,...

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At The Rich Man’s Gate

Jeremy Harding, 3 February 2000

Refugees are not necessarily poor, but by the time they have reached safety, the human trafficking organisations on which they depend have eaten up much of their capital. In the course of excruciating journeys, mental and physiological resources are also expended – some of them non-renewable.

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Lacan and Co

Sherry Turkle, 6 December 1990

Freud believed that psychoanalysis was so deeply subversive of people’s most cherished beliefs that only resistance to psychoanalytic ideas would reveal where they were being taken...

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Fortress Freud

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 18 April 1985

Psychoanalysts have a difficult relationship with the rest of the world – or, as they sometimes call it, ‘the goyim’. Janet Malcolm’s two very striking books of reportage,...

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Is Michael Neve paranoid?

Michael Neve, 2 June 1983

‘Havelock Ellis has sent me the sixth volume of his studies, Sex in Relation to Society,’ Freud wrote to Jung, in late April 1910. ‘Unfortunately my receptivity is consumed by...

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Bless this House with Less

Andrew O’Hagan, 10 October 2019

My mother’s​ right hand ended in a cloth. She cleaned the local school from six a.m. and again in the evening, doing a chip shop in between. I got to know all the women. They were...

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Mothers

Helen McCarthy, 12 September 2019

My first child​ was born in a hospital room in East London on a February morning after 12 hours of labour. Our doula, who had arrived the previous evening, bringing cushions in a supermarket...

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Civility Held Sway

John Gallagher, 4 July 2019

Civility​ as a concept, or an ideal, didn’t take hold in England until the 16th century – when the national mood, insofar as we can speak of one, was a mixture of bravado and...

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Popular Feminism

Lorna Finlayson, 4 July 2019

The important question is not whether a truly gender-blind capitalism is possible, but whether that would be an equality worth fighting for.

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Public Conveniences

Owen Hatherley, 9 May 2019

The Jubilee Line​ used to be one of the better London Underground lines to travel on if, like me, you have Crohn’s disease. When the line was extended in the late 1990s, some of the new...

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‘I’m not racist, but …’

Daniel Trilling, 18 April 2019

The word​ ‘Caucasian’ was first used as a term for white people in the late 18th century, by men who believed they were making objective scientific judgments about the world. In...

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Short Cuts: The p-p-porn ban

Tom Crewe, 4 April 2019

Have​ you p-p-picked up a porn pass? In April the UK government plans to introduce – or at least plans to announce a definite date for the introduction of – the world’s first...

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The Pain Lobby

Emily Witt, 4 April 2019

Since OxyContin’s arrival on the US market in 1996, a widespread increase in opiate use in America has killed more than 400,000 people. Drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death...

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‘Down Girl’

Adam Phillips, 7 March 2019

Kate Manne knows that a book about misogyny is going to be preaching to the converted, when the converted don’t necessarily know what or how they think.

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‘Sex, France and Arab Men’

Musab Younis, 7 February 2019

‘It is​ usually agreed in France,’ the poet and essayist Edouard Roditi wrote in 1962, ‘that Arabs have been gifted with greater manliness than us.’ Algeria had recently...

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Border Traffic

Jessica Loudis, 7 February 2019

While​ negotiations over a border wall remain at an impasse in Washington, a case is unfolding in a federal district courtroom in Brooklyn that casts President Trump’s ambition in a new...

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On Being Late

Andrew O’Hagan, 24 January 2019

It can be​ quite frightening, having to be somewhere by a certain time. We make it more bearable by not giving it too much thought, yet being on time is often judged, particularly by the...

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Short Cuts: The Moral of Brenley Corner

Patrick Wright, 6 December 2018

The​ Department of Transport is currently putting arrangements in place to transform a 13.5 mile stretch of the M20, passing through Kent on the way to Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel, into a...

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Short Cuts: Sokal 2.0

Daniel Soar, 25 October 2018

Earlier​ this month, a small storm hit social media when it was revealed that a number of cultural studies journals had been the victims of a massive hoax. Three collaborators had submitted...

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Diary: Husband Shopping in Beijing

Yun Sheng, 11 October 2018

The marriage market in China is a horror show. The short window for a woman to find a husband is between 22 (fresh out of college) and 27 – after that you become a ‘leftover lady’, meaning...

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For England and St George

James Meek, 11 October 2018

Reckless, hypocritical, deluded, mendacious and chauvinist as they are, the Brexiteers found a real set of circumstances, and misapplied a popular, off-the-shelf folk myth to it. By simply rejecting the...

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The African University

Mahmood Mamdani, 19 July 2018

It​ is striking, in the postcolonial era, how little the modern African university has to do with African institutions. It draws its inspiration from the colonial period and takes as its model...

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Short Cuts: Life Expectancy

Danny Dorling, 16 November 2017

The first​ English Life Table was based on data collected around the census year of 1841 and gave female life expectancy as 42 and male as 40. By the sixth table, in 1891, life expectancy for...

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