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Constructing Anthropologists: Culture learning and culture making in U.S. doctoral education

Laura Bathurst

Keywords: GRADUATE EDUCATION; REFLEXIVITY; CONTROLLING PROCESSES; CULTURE SHOCK; SYMBOLIC DOMINATION; LANGUAGE; PUBLIC ANTHROPOLOGY

Abstract

In the tradition of anthropological reflexivity, this article examines how the structure of early doctoral training contributes to the construction of particular kinds of anthropologists. Based on research conducted in an anthropology department in the U.S.A. during the late 1990s, the experience of the transition from undergraduate to doctoral studies is explored as simultaneously a process of culture learning and culture making, with power relations expressed, imposed, and contested through language. The implications for questions animating current anthropological debates, including calls for 'public anthropology', are considered.

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