Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 18 items for

  • Author: Christine McCourt x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

Christine McCourt

The beginning of the new decade brings with it important developments that are likely to impact significantly on anthropology in the UK, and perhaps more widely. A coalition Tory-Liberal UK government is radically shaking up higher education in England and Wales and debates abound in the British media about whether concern about government deficit reduction strategies, following the large-scale bail out of banks, is being utilised as a cover for ideologically driven reforms in the public sector.

Free access

Christine McCourt

The focus on the public impact of academic research is growing in the U.K. and elsewhere. Debates continue about the appropriateness or possibility of auditing or measuring impact through exercises such as the U.K. ‘Research Excellence Framework’ which attempts to set criteria, judgements and formulae for rewarding research excellence. Despite the questions an audit approach raises about what constitutes worthwhile impact, how it can actually be measured and over what time frame, it is noteworthy that this is the first time public impact of research has been explicitly recognised – and we are told – explicitly rewarded in the U.K. Higher Education system.

Free access

Christine McCourt

Although this issue of the journal is not a themed issue, the articles included here provide an encouragement and opportunity to think and reflect on the nature of ethnographic fieldwork, how it has or has not changed over the years, and about the ethical implications of anthropological research. The studies they describe prompt questions for me about how anthropologists (or other researchers) should be engaged with their ‘subjects’ and in what manner. How far have ‘subjects’ been transformed into participants, and what does the researcher give to and gain from this transformation? Is the anthropologist’s engagement with the field an obligation that anthropologists have shied away from, or something which is too easily assumed to be a good thing?

Free access

Christine McCourt

The year 2012 saw a number of major events that featured anthropology in some form. On a global scale, these included continuing national and international economic crises and depression, the re-election of Barack Obama in the U.S. and his nomination of Dr Jim Yong Kim for Presidency of the World Bank. Dr Kim (with a PhD from Harvard in 1993) was the first anthropologist (and medical doctor) to head the World Bank and one of the few anthropologists to work for the Bank, whose leaders and ranks are largely economists. Obama was the president dubbed an anthropologist as a form of populist or anti-intellectualist critique (McCourt 2012), providing an illuminating vision of the, oft en negative, popular view of anthropology as well as other disciplines.

Free access

Christine McCourt

In a range of countries, the public value of and support for a range of academic disciplines has been questioned and debated. While in the U.S., the role of humanities and social sciences and their place in higher education have been challenged, in the U.K. funding support for less obviously ‘applied’ subjects has also been cut, along with the introduction of higher student fees in all subjects. The current focus on demonstrating the utilitarian value of higher education, particularly for the less clearly professional or technical subjects, as opposed to those referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering and medical) subjects requires more discussion.

Free access

Christine McCourt

Would you like to get some practice in writing for publication? Would you like a free copy of that interesting new book you really should read? Would writing a review help you to make sure you read it?

Anthropology in Action is always happy to hear from potential reviewers. Reviews are normally short—about 500 words—but a more in-depth review can also be planned if you wish.

Free access

Christine McCourt

Would you like to get some practice in writing for publication? Would you like a free copy of that interesting new book you really should read? Would writing a review help you to make sure you read it?

Anthropology in Action is always happy to hear from potential reviewers. Reviews are normally short—about 500 words—but a more in-depth review can also be planned if you wish.

Free access

Christine McCourt

I should start my first introduction as editor with a note of thanks to the outgoing editor, Jonathan Skinner, and publishers Berghahn for the work they have done to establish Anthropology In Action as a highly regarded journal. It started life as the newsletter of the Anthropology In Action network, and when an electronic discussion list took on some of the news and networking functions, evolved into a more conventional journal format, with the support of Berghahn as publishers. The focus throughout has been on anthropology that addresses itself to issues of policy and practice. It has aimed to involve anthropologists working both inside and outside academic departments of anthropology, and those in other fields who are interested in the contributions that anthropological theory and methods can bring. Today, I think it is reasonable to say that the journal combines excellent academic quality with accessibility to a broad readership. I hope that as editor, and with the support of an able editorial board, I can do justice to these aims and achievements. We intend to continue the distinctive role set for the journal as one that is about anthropology in action, to stimulate debate and reflection, and to develop anthropological contributions to public discourse.

Free access

Christine McCourt

In opening this 2009 volume of Anthropology in Action, it seems important to comment on what are self-consciously interesting times. The first quarter of the year has already witnessed the inauguration of Barack Obama as US president, bitter and destructive bombing campaigns in Gaza, and further financial shocks in the world’s markets, with a seeming domino effect of wealthy capitalist institutions turning to national governments for support. Global and local relations, networks, identities and conflicts have been brought into sharp focus by world events, but anthropology is rarely visible in the news, and anthropologists rarely called upon to comment, despite a wealth of potentially valuable knowledge. Applications of anthropology are becoming gradually more accepted within the academy, but seem to have come only a short distance in terms of public profile or ability to influence national and trans-national policies.

Free access

Christine McCourt

This issue includes articles that provide examples of anthropological research applied to, or with resonance for policy and practice issues. In the first, ‘“Love Goes through the Stomach”: A Japanese–Korean Recipe for Post-conflict Reconciliation’, Stephanie Hobbis Ketterer takes the well-established anthropological topic of commensality and looks at the role it may play in conflict resolution. In the second, Mark Powell and co-authors from a range of disciplines describe a small case study that used ethnographic methodology in the short term to explore the working experiences of accident and emergency staff in a U.K. hospital.