Studying the Rich

Published by Wednesday Martin
In her manifesto "Up the Anthropologist," Laura Nader called for social scientists to study not only the poor and disenfranchised, as sociologists and anthropologists long have, but also the powerful and wealthy.  She referred to this as "studying up" and noted that in concert with studying down and studying sideways, it helped generate a full portrait of a culture. It also helps us understand how elites reproduce their privilege and what Antonio Gramsci called cultural hegemony.

Wife Bonuses? Try Sexless Summers in the Hamptons

Published by Wednesday Martin

Nothing could be more foreign to the tribe I studied and lived among than giving up on their own personal upkeep—the zealous, dedicated striving to be a particular kind of fabulous, fit, and chic Manhattan Geisha with children. The type of women who get “wife bonuses.” But what was the point of all this effort, this endless fighting and trying and depriving and especially all this working on and working at our selves? It certainly wasn’t sex—you could call uptown a sexless Sahara.

Poor Little Rich Women

Published by Wednesday Martin

When our family moved from the West Village to the Upper East Side in 2004, seeking proximity to Central Park, my in-laws and a good public school, I thought it unlikely that the neighborhood would hold any big surprises. For many years I had immersed myself — through interviews, reviews of the anthropological literature and participant-observation — in the lives of women from the Amazon basin to sororities at a Big Ten school. I thought I knew from foreign.