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Applied Anthropology?


Applied Anthropology? Or, Yes, You Can Get a Job as An Anthropologist! (modified from McGraw-Hill 2004) What is Applied Anthropology? Applied Anthropology refers to ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Applied Anthropology?

Applied Anthropology?
  • Or, Yes, You Can Get a Job as An Anthropologist!
  • (modified from McGraw-Hill 2004)

What is Applied Anthropology?
  • Applied Anthropology refers to the application of
    anthropological data, perspectives, theory, and
    methods to identify, assess, and solve social
  • Applied anthropologists work for groups that
    promote, manage, and assess programs aimed at
    influencing human social conditions.

Types of Applied Anthropology
  • Applied anthropologist come from all four
  • Biological anthropologists work in public health,
    nutrition, genetic counseling, substance abuse,
    epidemiology, aging, mental illness, and
  • Applied archaeologists locate, study, and
    preserve prehistoric and historic sites
    threatened by development (Cultural Resource

More Applied Anthropology
  • Cultural anthropologists work with social
    workers, businesspeople, advertising
    professionals, factory workers, medical
    professionals, school personnel, and economic
    development experts.
  • Linguistic anthropologists frequently work with
    schools in districts with various languages.

What is the Role of the Applied Anthropologist?
  • Three views
  • The Ivory Tower
  • The Schizoid
  • The Advocate

What is the Role of the Applied Anthropologist?
  • The ivory tower view contends that
    anthropologists should avoid practical matters
    and focus on research, publication, and teaching.

What is the Role of the Applied Anthropologist?
  • The schizoid view is that anthropologists
    should carry out, but not make or criticize,

What is the Role of the Applied Anthropologist?
  • The advocacy view argues that since
    anthropologists are experts on human problems and
    social change, they should make policy affecting

Jobs for Applied Anthropologists
  • Professional anthropologists work for a wide
    variety of employers tribal and ethnic
    associations, governments, nongovernmental
    organizations, etc.
  • During World War II, anthropologists worked for
    the U.S. government to study Japanese and German

Responsibilities of the Anthropologist
  • The primary ethical obligation of the
    anthropologist is to the people, species, or
    materials he or she studies.
  • Researchers must respect the safety, dignity, and
    privacy of the people, species, or materials
  • Researchers must obtain the informed consent of
    the people to be studied.

Responsibility to Scholarship and Science
  • Anthropologists should expect to encounter
    ethical dilemmas during their work.
  • Anthropologists are responsible for the integrity
    and reputation of their discipline, or
    scholarship, and of science.
  • Researchers should disseminate their findings to
    the scientific and scholarly community.

Responsibility to the Public
  • Researchers should make their results available
    to sponsors, students, decision makers, and other
  • Anthropologists may move beyond disseminating
    research results to a position of advocacy.

Academic and Applied Anthropology
  • Academic anthropology had its beginning in the
    early 20th century (Kroeber, Malinowski, Boas).
  • After World War II, the baby boom fueled the
    growth of the American educational system and
    anthropology, fostering the further growth of
    academic anthropology.

The Spread of Applied Anthropology
  • Applied anthropology began to grow in the 1970s
    as anthropologists found jobs with international
    organizations, governments, businesses, and
  • The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
    resulted in the new field of cultural resource

The Pragmatism of Cultural Anthropology
  • In the 1960s, anthropologys focus fit with
    prevailing social interests, which began the turn
    to practical applications.
  • Anthropologys ethnographic method, holism, and
    systemic perspective make it uniquely valuable in
    applications to social problems.

Applications of Cultural Anthropology
  • Applied cultural anthropology has excelled in
    four areas in particular
  • Education
  • Urban social issues
  • Medicine
  • Business

Anthropology and Education
  • In particular, anthropology has help facilitate
    the accommodation of cultural differences in
    classroom settings.
  • Examples include English as a second language
    taught to Spanish-speaking students different,
    culturally based reactions to various pedagogical

Urban Anthropology
  • Human populations are becoming increasingly
  • Urban anthropology is a cross-cultural and
    ethnographic study of global urbanization and
    life in the cities.

Urban vs. Rural
  • Robert Redfield was an early student of the
    differences between the rural and urban contexts.
  • Various instances of urban social forms are given
    as examples (Kampala, Uganda) social networks in

Medical Anthropology
  • Medical anthropology is both academic
    (theoretical) and applied (practical).
  • Medical anthropology is the study of disease and
    illness in their sociocultural context.
  • Disease is a scientifically defined ailment.
  • Illness is an ailment as experienced and
    perceived by the sufferer.

Disease and World Development
  • The spread of certain diseases, like malaria and
    schistosomiasis, have been associated with
    population growth and economic development.

The Three Theories of Illness
  • Personalistic disease theories blame illness on
    agents such as sorcerers, witches, ghosts, or
    ancestral spirits.
  • Naturalisitc disease theories explain illness in
    impersonal terms (e.g., Western medicine).
  • Emotionalistic disease theories assume emotional
    experiences cause illness (e.g., susto among
    Latino populations).

Health-Care Systems and Specialists
  • All societies have health-care systems.
  • Health-care systems consist of beliefs, customs,
    specialists, and techniques aimed at ensuring
    health and preventing, diagnosing, and treating
  • Health cares specialists include curers, shamans,
    and doctors.

What Have We Learned from Non-Western Medicine?
  • Non-Western systems of medicine are often more
    successful at treating mental illness than
    Western medicine.
  • They often explain mental illness by causes that
    are easier to identify and combat.
  • Non-Western systems of medicine diagnose and
    treat the mentally ill in cohesive groups with
    full support of their kin.

The Down-side of Western Medicine
  • Despite its advances, Western medicine has
  • Overprescription of drugs and tranquilizers.
  • Unnecessary surgery.
  • Impersonality and inequality of the
    patient-physician relationship.
  • Overuse of antibiotics.

Medical Development
  • Like economic development, medical development
    must fit into local systems of health care.
  • Medical anthropologists can serve as cultural
    interpreters between local systems and Western

Anthropology and Business
  • Anthropologists can provide unique perspectives
    on organizational conditions and problems within
  • Applied anthropologists have acted as cultural
    brokers in translating managers goals or
    workers concerns to the other group.
  • For business, key features of anthropology
    include ethnography, cross-cultural expertise,
    and focus on cultural diversity.

Careers in Anthropology
  • Because of its breadth, a degree in anthropology
    may provide a flexible basis for many different
  • Other fields, such as business, have begun to
    recognize the worth of such anthropological
    concepts as microcultures.
  • Anthropologists work professionally as
    consultants to indigenous groups at risk from
    external systems.