A critical interest of applied anthropology is to educate students to be theoretically grounded and capable of assuming a level of social responsibility that extends beyond academia. In this paper, we reflect on the issue of student preparation for work in the policy arena by focusing on the experiences of a five-year applied research project that examines agricultural cooperatives as situated agents of change and grassroots development. The project has completed three field seasons in Brazil and Paraguay in which student researchers, including anthropology graduate students from the University of Arizona and in-country undergraduate students from partner universities, have been an integral part. The paper focuses on strategies developed in the research process that enhance student learning. Community Based Research, learning to work through research teams, and creating community-university partnerships constitute the bases of a project that emphasises student learning in the process of doing research and forming collaborations.
Marcela Vásquez-León, Brian Burke, and Lucero Radonic
Report on the Sixth International Applied Anthropology Symposium in Lisbon
Laura Korčulanin and Verónica Reyero Meal
During the last weekend of October 2018, specialists from around the world met in Lisbon for the sixth ‘Why the World Needs Anthropologists’ symposium (WWNA). This yearly conference – which provides a space for sharing information, experiences and discussions regarding applied anthropology – has gone from a one-afternoon symposium to a three-day event with lectures, panel discussions, speed-talks, workshops, guided tours, social events and ‘Hot-Spots’ – stands where a range of institutions, sponsors and partners can present what they do. This year’s conference gathered more than 300 people from 33 countries (and more than a thousand online visitors via live-streaming) to reflect on the possibilities that the emergent discipline of design anthropology brings to anthropologists and designers and for cross-disciplinary collaborations. Significantly named, Designing the Future was a response to what many in the field feel is a time when the world needs more engaged anthropologists to spark ideas and bring out informed and well-thought-out research-based solutions.
Report on the Third International Applied Anthropology Symposium in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Meta Gorup and Dan Podjed
third in this series of symposia was organised by the Applied Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) in collaboration with the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Faculty of Arts
Amanda J. Reinke
Informal justice refers to those legal practices that are traditionally outside the purview of formal law and legal systems. Since the advent of widespread social critique in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, informal justice models have become increasingly popular and implemented in communities and within the legal system itself. The existence of informal justice mechanisms alongside and within formal justice systems in the US raises a number of questions for applied anthropologists interested in legal anthropology. In this article, I leverage four years of ethnographic fieldwork in the US to argue for the capacity of applied anthropologists to effectively work in grey juridical spaces that are beside and between the law, activism, and emerging bureaucratic regimes.
Involving Women in the Design of Educational Materials in Rural Costa Rica
Nancy Romero-Daza, Mackenzie Tewell, David Himmelgreen, Oriana Ramirez-Rubio, and Elsa Batres-Boni
This article describes the involvement of women from rural Costa Rica, where tourism is predominant, in the creation of HIV/AIDS awareness materials that are appropriate for families and peers. The project was conducted in four towns in the Monteverde Zone, a region that has experienced a transition from an economy based on agriculture and dairy farming, to one dependent on tourism. Informed by previous research that shows the signi ficant impact of tourism on the economic and social landscape of the zone, this project responded to local residents' desire for participatory approaches to raise awareness about the potential spread of HIV/AIDS in their communities.
This paper examines the decisions and motivations of graduate students in cultural anthropology when defining the field sites and topics of their final projects. The decisions among students at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia are contrasted with those at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. A review of recent final projects in both universities was conducted, along with a survey and some follow-up questions with students in both institutions. A main difference found is that students at los Andes are more willing to do applied fieldwork at 'home', while students at Pittsburgh are far more reluctant to do so and prefer to go to distant fields. This distinction is partly explained by the histories of the anthropologies practised in each locale, and of what have been considered 'proper' field sites in cultural anthropology. In particular, a vision of anthropology as an applied enterprise emerged at different historical moments in these two geo-political locations, and those visions are associated with quite different, opposed values today.
Kevin A. Yelvington
Academic social and cultural anthropology concerned with tourism has provided thick descriptions of the tourist exchange in a number of contexts, with exegeses devoted to illustrate the sexualized Other, the appropriation of landscape, the uses of the past in the present, and the detrimental effects of tourism structures on the ‘host’ communities. It has shown us how pilgrimages, beaches and museums become iconic and fetishized in the tourist’s gaze, how the landscape is appropriated and a geographical space is turned into a cultural place. Yet, for applied anthropologists concerned with the impacts of the world’s largest industry on local ‘toured’ populations and how the (unequal) tourism exchange is (unequally) constituted through material and symbolic historical processes, do the theories generated in the academic tradition provide a use-value? Do those anthropologists engaged in community-centred methods such as participatory action research, and working in theoretical traditions through praxis, approach their subject in the same ways as their nonapplied anthropological counterparts? Indeed, what can applied anthropologists, as such, and the consideration of applied projects, contribute to theory in anthropological research on tourism more generally?
A Synthesis Waiting to Happen
This article explores the potential for developing anthropological investigation in the field of social circus – in particular with those projects that work with individuals living with disabilities. The author uses examples of research in Belfast to argue that the applied nature of anthropology is the ideal mechanism for analysing and comparing the emerging field of social circus projects around the world. In this case, anthropological tools were utilised that had a direct effect, not only on understanding the phenomenon of social circus projects but also on raising the levels of quality, leading to a direct improvement on services provided.
Reflections on a Village Tourism Project in Cyprus
On 1 May 2004, the Republic of Cyprus entered the European Union, unaccompanied by the Turkish-Cypriot population in the northern third of the island. The Green Line - the militarized border marking the cessation of hostilities in 1974 - now defines the outer edge of the European Union, creating a fluid and uncertain borderland which has become the focus for ongoing attempts to construct both the new Cyprus and the new Europe. Tourism has a central and contradictory role to play in these processes. It offers an avenue for stimulating economic activity and raising income levels in the Turkish-Cypriot north, and presents an opportunity to develop complementary tourism products north and south which could widen the appeal of the island as a whole and promote collaborative ventures between Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots. On the other hand, such developments face strong resistance from sections of the population north and south, who fear they will lead either to the legitimation and tacit recognition of the Turkish-Cypriot state in the north, or to a return to relations characterized by Greek-Cypriot dominance and Turkish-Cypriot dependence. The paper reflects on the author's involvement in a village tourism development project in Cyprus in 2005-2006 in order to explore what an anthropological approach to the use of tourism for political ends can tell us about conflict, and when, and under what conditions, tourism might be a force for peace and reconciliation.
The Office of Strategic Services' 1943 'Preliminary Report on Japanese Anthropology'
David H. Price
More than two dozen U.S. anthropologists worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during the Second World War. Some anthropologists at the OSS's Research and Analysis Branch analysed information on Japanese culture and tracked shifts in Japanese morale to estimate the best ways of employing psychological warfare. Among the papers produced by these anthropologists was a 1943 'Preliminary Report on Japanese Anthropology' which included the contemplation of biological warfare programmes using anthrax and other weapons of mass destruction on Japanese civilian and military populations. This article summarizes and critiques the roles of American anthropology in designing and opposing various programmes directed against Japanese soldiers and civilians under consideration at the OSS.