Podcasts have existed on the web for nearly a decade and a half, and pretty much in the same way you know them now: pre-recorded audio files of spoken-word shows that you can download, stream, and play on any internet-connected device.
Now, there are over a hundred thousand different podcasts on various platforms like Spotify and Audible. The variety of the topics that are being talked about in these podcasts ranges from mental health to ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response).
Carie Little Hersh, Assistant Teaching Professor in Sociology and Anthropology at the Northeastern University, produced a podcast called “Anthropologist on the Street”. Taking inspiration from her “Language and Culture” classes in college, she talks about the deeper, overarching structures in life and how they affect human behaviour. She has tackled issues as diverse as using prisoners to fight wildfires, the physical and emotional effects of racism, the politics of transgender health, what the remains of ancient civilisations say about its culture and more.
With other podcasts like ‘The Anthro Life’ and ‘AnthroPod’ coming up, the knowledge about the history of mankind is also being propagated to more and more people.
“The short version is that anthropology is the study of human diversity,” Hersh said. “You can study human diversity in terms of language, culture, morphology, biology, archaeological records, politics. That’s what’s brilliant about the field—you can take that curiosity about humans in any direction.”
The podcasts have not only helped in spreading information, but have also helped people with mental health issue uncover the connection between their ailment with the way humans, culture, language, and biology have evolved through practice over time.
In the age of live stories, trending hashtags, and double-clicks, podcasts have found ways of being extremely educational and comforting. Podcasts, as most people believe, have a more human touch than a screen or any other leisurely devices. People can confide in these podcasts forgetting that they are the actual listeners.