Written Activity #2 : When Anthropologists Go “Public
This assignment is next in a series of activities called “Public Anthropology” that we will do this semester. It is inspired by Margaret Mead’s engagement with wider publics – not just other anthropologists. The world, it seems, could benefit from a more anthropological perspective. What is anthropology, what kinds of questions or issues does it raise for you, and how are the skills applicable? What is the “Big Question” that interests you? This is what we are ultimately getting to.
Objective: To think about and synthesize your anthropological learning these past years, and to articulate to nonspecialist audiences the complexities of bringing an anthropological approach to a human problem.
Outcome: Analze the ethics, benefits, and pitfalls of bringing anthropological approaches to wider publics.
First, read the following articles. As usual, some of these are quite short. Your basis for understanding the readings should be the works and discussion from Week 1.
1. Liebow (2018) Actions No More Passive Bystanders, Please
2. Dresser (2020) (Links to an external site.)The Meaning of Margaret Mead (external link); https://aeon.co/essays/how-margaret-mead-became-a-hate-figure-for-conservatives
3. Scheper-Hughes (2009) Actions Making Anthropology Public;
Starn, Orin (1986) Actions Engineering Internment
4. Price (2000) Actions Anthropologists as Spies
In one post of appx. 750 words (yes, you may have more), answer the following questions:
1, What are the ethical concerns of bringing anthropology to the wider public? Briefly discuss three points.
2. What are the ethical concerns of NOT bringing anthropology to the wider public?
3. What are the benefits of bringing anthropological perspectives and methods outside of the academy? Discuss three specific points.
4. What are the dangers of bringing anthropological perspectives and methods outside the academy?
The standard Activities Rubric will be used to grade this exercise.
1. Anthropological Perspectives (4) Exhibits awareness and understanding of ethnocentrism, cultural relativity, contexts, and power in all activities;
2. Course Concepts (4) Directly and appropriately utilizes course terminology in all writing and activities;
3. Examples (4) Describes and utilizes appropriate examples from course materials (readings, films, individual fieldwork, media sources);
4. Follows Instructions (4) Is this a compare/contrast discussion? Did you find outside sources if required? Were you supposed to upload an image? Follow the directions!! And put in some effort;
5. Writing, Style, Organization (4) Writing is always important. The writing can be indicative of your effort (see #4 above).