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Applications of Anthropology

Applications of Anthropology: Professional Anthropology in the Twenty-first Century

Edited by Sarah Pink
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Applications of Anthropology
    Book Description:

    At the beginning of the twenty-first century the demand for anthropological approaches, understandings and methodologies outside academic departments is shifting and changing. Through a series of fascinating case studies of anthropologists' experiences of working with very diverse organizations in the private and public sector this volume examines existing and historical debates about applied anthropology. It explores the relationship between the "pure and the impure" - academic and applied anthropology, the question of anthropological identities in new working environments, new methodologies appropriate to these contexts, the skills needed by anthropologists working in applied contexts where multidisciplinary work is often undertaken, issues of ethics and responsibility, and how anthropology is perceived from the 'outside'. The volume signifies an encouraging future both for the application of anthropology outside academic departments and for the new generation of anthropologists who might be involved in these developments.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-688-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of illustrations
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. viii-viii)

    • Introduction: Applications of Anthropology
      (pp. 3-26)
      Sarah Pink

      In a recent guest editorial inAnthropology Today(19(1)), Paul Sillitoe urged anthropology to ‘promote its professional identity beyond the academy’ in what he saw as the obvious areas ‘such as development … forensic science, the media, the ‘culture’ industry, heritage work, museums and galleries, teaching, intercultural relations, refugee work and the travel industry’ and what were to him the less obvious occupations ‘such as law, banking, social work, human resources, retailing, management and the armed forces’ (2003: 2). This, Sillitoe hoped, would help anthropology to develop a profile as a profession and in doing so increase student numbers and...

    • Chapter 1 Machetes into a Jungle? A History of Anthropology in Policy and Practice, 1981–2000
      (pp. 27-54)
      Susan Wright

      In the early 1980s, there were about a 100 anthropologists with doctorates in the U.K. whose education was based entirely on the assumption that they would want to become university lecturers. Yet, at that time, only 1–2 academic posts were advertised in a good year. This chapter presents a history of the organisations set up in the early 1980s and continuing to the late 1990s which aimed to provide anthropology graduates with the additional knowledge and skills, and the contacts, they needed to use their anthropology in policy and practice. It especially traces the development of GAPP (Group for...

    • Chapter 2 Dinner at Claridges? Anthropology and the ‘Captains of Industry’, 1947–1955
      (pp. 55-70)
      David Mills

      The brief love affair between social anthropology and the ‘captains’ (all-male) of British industry in the years after the Second World War is one of the more glamorous chapters in the history of the discipline’s application. Black tie soirees at Claridges are not an obvious anthropological haunt, but in what follows I tell the story of the prandial relationship between the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI), Israel Sieff (co-founder of Marks and Spencer) and his friends. Sieff spent a great deal of time in the early 1950s wooing both academics and his business colleagues with his vision of anthropology’s potential contributions...


    • Chapter 3 The Pure and the Impure? Reflections on Applying Anthropology and Doing Ethnography
      (pp. 72-89)
      Simon Roberts

      Writing in 1981, Raymond Firth complained that ‘much has been written of what anthropology can do, little has been shown of what anthropology has done’. Uncertainty as to the applicability of anthropology as a practical discipline is not new. This volume, and the efforts of which it is a part, marks a re-engagement with a critical question confronting organised anthropology in the U.K., namely, what is the present and future of anthropology outside the academy? From this question spring others, including how the subject is taught and its contribution to, and voice in, wider society. This chapter is an account...

    • Chapter 4 The need to Engage with Non-Ethnographic Research Methods: A Personal View
      (pp. 90-108)
      Adam Drazin

      Some anthropologists would consider themselves to be fundamentally different from market researchers, and see market researchers as similar rather to marketing executives. The author’s personal experience, however, is that many market researchers would see themselves as similar to anthropologists, united by an interest in doing research. This chapter argues the case for anthropologists to engage with a wider ‘research industry’ which is large enough to incorporate many professions. A handful of different kinds of research methodologies from the author’s experience are examined briefly, in terms of their appropriateness for different contexts and questions. On any particular project, ethnography may be...


    • Chapter 5 International Development, Social Analysis, … and Anthropology? Applying Anthropology in and to Development
      (pp. 110-129)
      Maia Green

      This chapter explores some aspects of the current place of social anthropology within the international development sector. It looks at the changing context and nature of anthropological input as approaches once associated with anthropology become subsumed within ‘social development’ as an emergent specialisation within an increasingly professionalised field. Social development methods and approaches have much in common with social anthropology, but there are substantial differences. Perhaps the most fundamental of these is the fact that what constitutes social development knowledge is determined by the need to meet policy priorities within what is defined as ‘development’ at a particular time rather...

    • Chapter 6 Anthropology at the centre: Reflections on Research, Policy Guidance and Decision Support.
      (pp. 130-144)
      Mils Hills

      This chapter offers something of an insight into the application of anthropology in government in terms of its contribution to research, and wider uses in the development of policy, doctrine, strategy, and decision support within and without the context of crises. I hope this contributes something distinctive to the range and breadth of writing in this book.¹

      I joined the Civil Service via the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD's) research agency DERA (the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency) in 1998. This followed the completion of my Ph.D. at the University of St Andrews. More recently, I have been seconded from...

    • Chapter 7 Speaking of silence: Reflections on the Application of Anthropology to the U.K. Health Services
      (pp. 145-168)
      Elizabeth Hart

      Reflecting on over twenty years’ experience of fieldwork in the same region of the U.K. (the Midlands), seventeen of which have been in the National Health Service (NHS), this chapter draws out some observations about the application of anthropology to such a politicised and volatile organisation for others who might wish to take on the challenge and tread a similar path. The chapter presents three of the seven studies in which I have been involved directly since 1985, drawing on unpublished primary data such as fieldnotes and end of award reports to illustrate what these studies involved. The three studies...


    • Chapter 8 Anthropologists in television: A Disappearing World?
      (pp. 170-190)
      Paul Henley

      The application of anthropology to the production of television programmes in Britain has taken two principal forms: first, the provision of specialist ethnographic knowledge by career academics to documentary film-makers; and second, the application of an anthropological training by graduates seeking to develop a career in television as documentary film-makers themselves.¹ These two applications have occasionally overlapped in the sense that anthropology graduates working in television have sometimes used the specialist knowledge they acquired whilst studying for their anthropology degrees. But this is the exception that proves the rule and typically applies only in the early stages of a career,...

    • Chapter 9 Research, Representations and responsibilities: An Anthropologist in the Contested World of Foxhunting
      (pp. 191-208)
      Garry Marvin

      The main theme of this chapter is that of responsibility and the differing forms of responsibilities that have emerged as a result of a research project on English foxhunting in which I have been engaged for the last few years. Although my ethnographic example here is rather specific, my concern is not with foxhunting as a social or cultural practice, nor with issues pertaining to foxhuntingper se. Rather, I will use this case as an illustration to consider some wider questions associated with applying anthropology. In particular, I am interested in issues of responsibilities and representations, that arise when...

    • Chapter 10 ‘Culture’ in Court: Albanian Migrants and the Anthropologist as Expert Witness
      (pp. 209-228)
      Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers

      These examples are just some of the reactions noted in the aftermath of, or in connection with, asylum and criminal court cases involving Albanians from Albania and Kosovo² in conflict with the law in the U.K., for which I have produced anthropological expert reports. In recent years I have received approximately 150 requests to give expert evidence regarding asylum cases and occasional requests regarding criminal cases. Usually, in both types of cases, I was asked to explain various issues involving ‘Albanian culture’, either in a written report or, on some occasions, as an expert witness in court during trial. Such...

  9. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 229-232)
  10. Index
    (pp. 233-244)