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Applying Anthropology


2 Applying Anthropology Anthropology: The Exploration of Human Diversity 11th Edition Conrad Phillip Kottak Applying Anthropology Overview What Is Applied Anthropology? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Applying Anthropology

Applying Anthropology
AnthropologyThe Exploration of Human
Diversity 11th Edition Conrad Phillip Kottak
Applying Anthropology
  • Overview
  • What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • The Role of the Applied Anthropologist
  • Academic and Applied Anthropology
  • Anthropology and Education
  • Urban Anthropology
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Anthropology and Business
  • Careers and Anthropology

  • Applied anthropology used to identify and solve
    problems involving human behavior, social
    conditions, and public health
  • Educational
  • Urban
  • Rural
  • Medical
  • Business settings

What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • Applied Anthropologyapplication of
    anthropological perspectives, theory, methods,
    and datain this case from all four subfieldsto
    identify, assess, and solve contemporary social

What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • Practicing anthropologists (applied
    anthropologists) practice their profession
    outside of academia
  • Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) founded
    in 1941
  • National Association for the Practice of
    Anthropology (NAPA) founded in 1983

Applied anthropologists work for groups that
promote, manage, and assess programs aimed at
influencing human behavior and social conditions
What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • Applied anthropologists 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 (a.k.a. cultural
    resource management).

What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • Applied anthropologists (continued)
  • 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 a wide range of

What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • Applied archaeology, usually called public
    archaeology, includes such activities as cultural
    resource management, contract archaeology, public
    educational programs, and historic preservation.

What Is Applied Anthropology?
  • Cultural Resource Management (CRM)branch of
    applied archaeology aimed at preserving sites
    threatened by dams, highways, and other projects
  • Involves not only preserving sites but allowing
    their destruction if they are not significant

The Role of the Applied Anthropologist
  • Combats ethnocentrismtendency to view ones own
    culture as superior and to apply ones own
    cultural values in judging the behavior and
    beliefs of people raised in other cultures

The Role of the Applied Anthropologist
  • Proper roles of applied anthropologists
  • Identifying needs for change that local people
  • Working with those people to design culturally
    appropriate and socially sensitive change
  • Protecting local people from harmful policies and
    projects that threaten them

The Role of the Applied Anthropologist
  • In the 1940s, most anthropologists focus on the
    application of their knowledge

In context of British empire, specifically its
African colonies, Malinowski proposed that
practical anthropology (his term for colonial
applied anthropology) should focus on
westernization, the diffusion of European culture
into tribal societies
Academic and Applied Anthropology
  • Academic anthropology grew most after World War II

During 1970s, and increasingly thereafter,
although most anthropologists still worked in
academia, others found jobs with international
organizations, government, business, hospitals,
and schools
Academic and Applied Anthropology
  • Theory and Practice
  • Ethnographers study societies firsthand, living
    with and learning from ordinary people
  • Applied anthropologists likely early request is
    some variant of take me to the local people

Academic and Applied Anthropology
  • Theory and Practice
  • Theory aids practice, and application fuels theory
  • Anthropologys systemic perspective recognizes
    that changes dont occur in a vacuum

Anthropology and Education
  • Anthropological research in classrooms, homes,
    and neighborhoods
  • Viewing students as total cultural creatures
    whose enculturation and attitudes toward
    education belong to a larger context that
    includes family, peers, and society

Anthropology and Education
  • Sociolinguists and cultural anthropologists work
    side by side in education research

In a diverse, multicultural populace, teachers
should be sensitive to and knowledgeable about
linguistic and cultural differences
Urban Anthropology
  • Human populations becoming increasingly urban
  • Urban anthropology is the cross-cultural and
    ethnographic and biocultural study of global
    urbanization and life in cities

Urban Anthropology
  • Urban versus Rural
  • Robert Redfield focused on contrasts between the
    rural and urban contexts in the 1940s
  • In any nation, urban and rural represent
    different social systems

Applying anthropology to urban planning starts by
identifying the key social groups in the urban
Medical Anthropology
  • Unites biological and cultural anthropologists in
    the study of disease, health problems,
    health-care systems, and theories about illness
    in different cultures and ethnic groups

Diseasescientifically identified health threat
caused by a bacterium, virus, fungus, parasite or
other pathogen
Medical Anthropology
  • Illnesscondition of poor health perceived or
    felt by an individual
  • Scientific medicinedistinguished from Western
    medicine, a health-care system based on
    scientific knowledge and procedures, encompassing
    such fields as pathology, microbiology,
    biochemistry, surgery, diagnostic technology, and

Medical Anthropology
  • Different ethnic groups and cultures recognize
    different illnesses, symptoms, and causes

Disease varies among cultures
Spread of certain diseases, like malaria and
schistosomiasis, associated with population
growth and economic development
Medical Anthropology
  • Personalistic disease theoriesblame illness on
    agents such as sorcerers, witches, ghosts, or
    ancestral spirits
  • Naturalistic disease theoriesexplain illness in
    impersonal terms (e.g., Western biomedicine)
  • Emotionalistic disease theoriesassume emotional
    experiences cause illness (e.g., susto among
    Latino populations)

Medical Anthropology
  • All societies have health-care systems
  • Health-care systemsbeliefs, customs,
    specialists, and techniques aimed at ensuring
    health and preventing, diagnosing, and treating

Medical Anthropology
  • All cultures have health-care specialists (e.g.,
    curers, shaman, doctors)

Curerspecialized role acquired through a
culturally appropriate process of selection,
training, certification, and acquisition of a
professional image the curer is consulted but
patients, who believe in his or her special
powers, and receives some form of special
consideration a cultural universal
  • Emerge through a culturally defined process of
    selection and training

Medical Anthropology
  • Western Medicine
  • Despite its advances, Western medicine is not
    without its problems
  • Overprescription of drugs and tranquilizers
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Impersonality and inequality of the
    patient-physician relationship
  • Overuse of antibiotics

Medical Anthropology
  • Biomedicine surpasses non-Western medicine in
    many ways
  • Thousands of effective drugs
  • Preventive health care
  • Surgery

Medical anthropologists serve as cultural
interpreters between local systems and Western
Anthropology and Business
  • Anthropologists may acquire unique perspective on
    organizational conditions and problems

Applied anthropologists can act as cultural
brokers to translate managers goals or workers
concerns to the other group
Anthropology and Business
  • Key features of anthropology for business include
  • Ethnography
  • Cross-cultural expertise
  • Focus on cultural diversity

Careers in Anthropology
  • Anthropologys breadth provides knowledge and an
    outlook on world that are useful in many kinds of
  • Knowledge about the traditions and beliefs of the
    many social groups within a modern nation is
    important in planning and carrying our programs
    that affect those groups