The definition of 'applied anthropology' varies from period to period and from culture to culture. However, anthropology's centrality is, in my eyes, unquestionable. With that in mind, a significant part of the discipline's basic principles remained unchanged, despite recent socio-cultural, economic and technological changes sweeping the world in recent years. In this article I wish to present two case studies in which the inherent connection between anthropology, as a discipline, and other professions, is challenged. Through teaching anthropological theories and methodologies to industrial designers and architects I will present a somewhat different approach from those practiced by anthropologists. As a result I will redefine the role of the applied anthropologist as an essential member of the design team.
Caridad Hernández Sánchez
This article explores the pedagogical strategies of applying anthropology in the field of Education, particularly in the initial training courses for teachers. It shows a way of doing applied anthropology by anthropologists who work as non-anthropologists but use their anthropological training and knowledge in their work. This study presents anthropology as a productive discipline in promoting different perspectives for the analysis and understanding of the social phenomena which, used in the classroom, facilitates students in training as educators to critically approach the fundamentals of Education as much as the processes of teaching and learning. Ultimately, this article points out how the shifts in Education students' perspectives instigated by the use of anthropology in the classroom might eventually lead to changes in education policies.
Historical Obstacles, Current Situation, Future Challenges
Dan Podjed, Meta Gorup and Alenka Bezjak Mlakar
The article presents the state of applied anthropology in Europe, in particular focusing on the application of anthropological knowledge and skills within the private sector. Firstly, the text depicts the historical context, which has had a strong and often negative impact on the developments in contemporary applied anthropology and specifically on applying anthropology in for-profit endeavours. It then provides an overview of this type of applied anthropology in Europe by identifying its main institutions and individuals. Building on this analysis, the article elaborates on extant challenges for its future development, and outlines the most promising solutions. The authors conclude that it is of crucial importance for European anthropology to make the transition ‘from words to actions’, especially in the areas not traditionally addressed by anthropologists, such as business and design anthropology or consultancy work in the private sector. While the discipline has a longer applied history in areas such as development, human rights and multiculturalism, few anthropologists have played significant roles in the efforts usually associated with the private sector. It is argued that anthropology should – also outside the non-profit and non-governmental sectors – shift from being a descriptive, hermeneutical and interpretative branch of social sciences describing and explaining the past or commenting on the present, to an applied discipline intervening in shaping the future.
Relating the Past and the Present
This article addresses the relations between archaeology and social anthropology, as exemplified by archaeological research in the Middle East. It is argued that further integration between both disciplines, as well as between archaeological theories, methods and data, is necessary. As an example of such an 'archaeology of relations', an analysis of domestication in the prehistoric Middle East is presented in summary.
Dilemmas in Rural Mexico
Julia E. Murphy
Feminist promotion of gender equity in development began in the 1970s, challenging development policy and practice and producing a rich body of debate and scholarship. Feminist anthropologists, through scholarship and activism, made important contributions to the project of reforming development. A recent anthropological critique of development, however, referred to as the anthropology of 'development', has raised important questions about anthropology's relationship to development, presenting new challenges to feminist anthropologists who would engage with development. This new approach, despite its attention to power, has not had questions about gender at its centre. Drawing on fieldwork in southeastern Campeche, Mexico, this paper explores challenges of a feminist anthropology of 'development', including pressures for engagement and disengagement, and the apparent contradiction between reflexive critiques of, and feminist engagements with, development.
Udi Mandel Butler
What could a dialogical anthropology look like? That is, an anthropology where production of knowledge is premised on a close collaboration with research subjects, which is acutely mindful of the power relations inherent in such relationships as well as of the possible multiple publics through which such products could circulate. This article provides an inquiry into the possibility of this form of dialogical engagement, debating the notion of the 'public' of anthropological products and the 'uses' of such products. It discusses the work of some authors who have also been engaged with these themes before going on to provide examples of texts that have attempted to put this approach into practice.
This article offers a synthetic overview of the major opportunities and impasses of an emergent anthropology of experts and expertise. In the wake of the boom in anthropological science and technology studies since the 1980s, the anthropology of experts has become one of the most vibrant and promising enterprises in social-cultural anthropology today. And, yet, I argue that the theorisation and ethnography of experts and cultures of expertise remains underdeveloped in some crucial respects. The body of the article defines expertise as a relation of epistemic jurisdiction and explores the sociological and epistemological dilemmas emerging from research, that poises one expert (the anthropologist) in the situation of trying to absorb another regime of expertise into his/her own. With due appreciation for what the anthropology of experts has achieved thus far, I close with a manifesto designed to prompt a reassessment of where this research enterprise should go from here. I urge that we treat experts not solely as rational(ist) creatures of expertise but rather as desiring, relating, doubting, anxious, contentious, affective—in other words as human-subjects.
Widening Participation and the Challenge for Anthropology
Paul Hawkins and David Mills
Drawing on recent ethnographic research with 'non-traditional' humanities and social science students at a 'new' university in the North West of England, this paper explores their contradictory experiences of alienation and engagement, and their attitudes to institutional 'Widening Participation' initiatives. It argues that these students' institutional survival depends on negotiating the conflicting expectations of their academic relationships and their day-to-day social responsibilities beyond the university.
What might these findings mean for anthropology's own pedagogic strategies? The paper ends by suggesting that a subject that asks its students fundamentally to question their established senses of self and 'home' may pose a further challenge for students for whom strained personal and domestic relationships, ambivalence and self-doubt are dominant motifs of their whole university experience.
Hilary Callan and Brian Street
The article addresses the position of anthropology in new educational contexts, considering anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education. While some transatlantic comparisons are drawn, the emphasis is on developments within the U.K. These are treated historically, using the Royal Anthropological Institute's experience in working for an anthropological presence in pre-university education from the 1980s to the present as an extended case-study. The work done by the RAI's Education Committee to design and introduce a new GCE A-level in anthropology, culminating in its successful accreditation by the national regulator, is recounted in the style of 'rich ethnography'. A case is made for the potential of academic associations to create the alliances across sectors that are needed in this context; and conclusions are tentatively drawn regarding the implications of these initiatives for the future of the discipline and its public engagement.
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.