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Applied Anthropology. History of Applied Anthropology Ethics of Applied Anthropology Medical Anthropology Anthropologists as Advocates. Applied Anthropology. The application of anthropological knowledge, theory, and methods to the solution of specific societal problems.

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Applied Anthropology

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applied anthropology

Applied Anthropology

History of Applied Anthropology

Ethics of Applied Anthropology

Medical Anthropology

Anthropologists as Advocates

applied anthropology1
Applied Anthropology
  • The application of anthropological knowledge, theory, and methods to the solution of specific societal problems.
  • Cultural anthro in an applied situation want to bring about change.
    • i.e. Star Trek “prime directive”-do not interfere or change societies for better or worse.
    • Because hard to judge long-term effect of change.
  • Roles of applied anthros include policy researcher, evaluator, impact assessor, planner, research analyst, needs assessor, trainer, advocate, expert withness, administrator, manager, cultural broker.
applied anthropology2
Applied Anthropology
  • Applied anthro in tough situation but they feel they are the best equipped to make suggestions for change because of their intimitate knowledge of a culture.
  • Anthros have all the things we have already talked about.
    • Holistic Approach-looking at multiple variables and see human problems in their historical, economic, and cultural context.
    • b. Theories dealing with culture change
    • c. Regional expertise
    • d. Local level expertise through part. obs.
      • -fuller understanding of the soicocultural realities than might be possible with other secondary sources.
applied anthropology3
Applied Anthropology
  • Anthro try and bring emic and etic views
    • Emic = a perspective in ethnography that uses the concepts and categories that are relevant and meaningful to the culture under analysis. Native view.
    • Etic = a perspective in ethnography that use's the concepts and categories of the anthros culture to describe another culture. Scientific view.
  • Cultural Relativism
    • An attempt to understand cultural patterns from the "inside" and to see traits of a culture in terms of the cultural whole.
    • Opposite of ethnocentrism-perceiving and judging other cultures from perspective of one's own culture.
history of applied anthropology
History of Applied Anthropology
  • Applied first assoc. w/ British colonialism
    • During the 19th century, e.g., Britain employed anthros to help in the administration of colonies.
    • subjugated people, local pops
    • were meeting needs of employer but not necessarily the local people
  • Association of Applied w/ colonialism made negative impression and was difficult to overcome.
Applied anthro really took off again during WWII.
  • Anthro helped in war efforts
  • Society of Applied Anthro founded at Harvard (1941)
  • More anthropologists doing applied work at that time than any time previous
  • Accomplishments:
    • helped establish gov. policy on food rationing.
    • provided cultural daa on allies and adversaries.
    • relocation of Japanese-American interns on the West coast.
After WWII, refocus on academic anthropology
  • here is a dichotomy that is made between applied anthro and academic anthro (applied vs. basic research).
  • Most anthros after war employed by Univ teaching and basic research, as opposed to working for gov.
  • Although not much Applied anthro, an important reorientation took place.
    • prior to 1950s, anthros tried to employ "value free philosophy": a commitment to avoid interjecting any of their own values in their work.
    • In 1950s, anthros decided it was impossible to free your work of your own biases, should set out your goals, objectives, and perspective for everyone and when working for an employer should know their own value positions.
    • this helped erase some of the negative feelings toward applied anthro.
  • Examples:
    • Fox project-intervention in the problems of Native American group.
    • Vicos project-tranforming a nonproductive hacienda into an economically productive and self-governing community.
new applied anthropology
New Applied Anthropology
  • Characterized by contract work for public service agencies accomplished away from universities.
  • Applied anthro no longer dominated by university doing short-term applied work but anthros are full time employees of agencies.
  • Today, anthros are still exploring the employment opportunities for themselves not only with gov. agencies but private businesses, the economiy is a world economy and to do business you need a global perspective.
ethical questions
Ethical Questions
  • How do you make findings public without revealing informants?
  • Can you be certain presenting your data will help and won't eventually hurt the people you studied?
  • How much do you get personally involved?
    • First became a concern with Franz Boas in 1919, who spoke out about using science as a cover for spying.
    • Project Camelot ($6 million) 1970s
    • To gather data on gorilla forces so U.S. Army could cope more effectively with internal revolutions in foreign countries. Project cancelled after Government heard about it.
  • Immense repercussions in social sciences:
    • suspicion on legitimate research.
    • government using social sciences as cover.
    • anthros were misled.
areas of responsibility
Areas of Responsibility
  • People studied
  • Public
  • Students
  • Sponsors
  • Governments
  • Follow American Anthro ethics-each member of the profession ultimately responsible for won ethical conduct.
drawbacks of applied anthro
Drawbacks of Applied Anthro
  • Participant observation takes a long time, can't just go in and immediately solve problems.
  • Anthros get wrapped up in "their" people, lose the go-between attitude so don't work well with the managers of the projects.
  • Lack quantitative data, numbers, but this is changing.
  • Idea that the anthro knows best, can't think that you know everything.
  • Cultural relativism appears in conflict to loyalty to gov. employer.
anthropology and public policy
Anthropology and Public Policy
  • As societies become more complex, become heterogeneous-segments tend to become increasingly isolated.
    • ethnic group from ethnic group.
    • occupational specialties from one another.
    • elites from the poor.
  • Well intentioned public policies cannot help when based on ignorances of pops affected by them.
    • anthro can act as "cultural brokers" between policy makers and target pop.
    • anthro fill vacuum.
medical anthropology
Medical Anthropology
  • Growing field of applied anthro
    • Inadequate health care major contemporary problem.
    • Model of health care intervention based on assumption that modern western medical practices were clearly superior to indigenous systems.
    • People would drop traditional practices and turn to newer systems
  • Planners assumption incorrect
    • modern facilities not used extensively
    • traditional practices and specialists remained influential.
  • Anthro useful in identifying cultural and social factors that acts as barriers inhibiting acceptance of new health care measures.
anthropologists as advocates
Anthropologists as Advocates
  • Act on behalf of indigenous people whose cultures are destroyed and whose rights are violated when they are perceived as standing in way of economic development and political priorities of nations of which they are a part.
  • Indigenous people often stigamatized as clinging to backward and primitive way of life and obstructing econoic dvlpmnt and nation bldg.
  • Often result is appropriation of indigenous lands upon which their survival rests
  • Anthro not trying to preserve people in mythical original state-cultures change anthro know this well. Anthro support the rights of people to have a say in their future.
cultural survival
Cultural Survival