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© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 1 Applying Anthropology What Is Applied Anthropology? The Role of the Applied Anthropologist Academic and Applied Anthropology Urban Anthropology Medical Anthropology Anthropology and Business Careers and Anthropology
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 2 Applied Anthropology –Academic anthropology – includes cultural, archaeological, biological, and linguistic anthropology –Applied anthropology – application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory, and techniques to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems American Anthropological Association (AAA) recognizes two dimensions
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 3 Applied Anthropology –Medical –Development –Environmental –Forensic –Physical Has many applications
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 4 Cultural Resource Management (CRM) –Involves not only preserving sites but allowing their destruction if they are not significant Branch of applied archaeology aimed at preserving sites threatened by dams, highways, and other projects
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 5 What Is Applied Anthropology? Practicing anthropologists practice their profession outside of academia Applied anthropologists work for groups that promote, manage and assess programs and policies aimed at influencing human behavior and social conditions
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 6 The Role of the Applied Anthropologist Combats ethnocentrism – tendency to view one’s own culture as superior and to apply one’s own cultural values in judging the behavior and beliefs of people raised in other cultures
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 7 The Role of the Applied Anthropologist –Identifying needs for change that local people perceive –Working with those people to design culturally appropriate and socially sensitive change –Protecting local people from harmful policies and projects that threaten them Proper roles of applied anthropologists:
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 8 Table 2.1 The Four Subfields and Two Dimensions of Anthropology
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 9 Academic and Applied Anthropology –During 1970s, and increasingly thereafter, most anthropologists still worked in academia but others found jobs with international organizations, government, business, hospitals, and schools –About half of students graduating with PhDs in anthropology will have careers outside academia Academic anthropology grew most after World War II
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 10 Theory and Practice –Theory aids practice, and application fuels theory –Anthropology’s systemic perspective recognizes that changes don’t occur in a vacuum Ethnographers study societies firsthand, living with and learning from ordinary people
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 11 Urban Anthropology –Human populations becoming increasingly urban –UN estimates that about a sixth of earth’s population living in urban slums Urban anthropology is the cross-cultural and ethnographic and biocultural study of global urbanization and life in cities
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 12 Urban Anthropology –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 context Urban vs. Rural
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 13 Medical Anthropology Disease – scientifically identified health threat caused by a bacterium, virus, fungus, parasite or other pathogen 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
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 14 Illness – condition of poor health perceived or felt by an individual Medical Anthropology Scientific medicine – distinguished from Western medicine, a health-care system based on scientific knowledge and procedures, encompassing such fields as pathology, microbiology, biochemistry, surgery, diagnostic technology, and applications
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 15 Medical Anthropology –Disease varies among cultures –Spread of certain diseases, like malaria and schistosomiasis, associated with population growth and economic development Different ethnic groups and cultures recognize different illnesses, symptoms, and causes
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 16 Medical Anthropology Naturalistic disease theories – explain illness in impersonal terms Emotionalistic disease theories – assume emotional experiences cause illness (e.g., “susto”) Personalistic disease theories – blame illness on such agents as sorcerers, witches, ghosts, or ancestral spirits
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 17 Health-care systems –All cultures have health-care specialists (e.g., curers, shaman, doctors) –Curer – specialized role acquired through a culturally appropriate process of selection, training, certification, and acquisition of a professional image; a cultural universal Beliefs, customs, specialists, and techniques aimed at ensuring health and preventing, diagnosing, and treating illness
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 18 Western Medicine –Thousands of effective drugs –Preventive health care –Surgery Medical anthropologists serve as cultural interpreters between local systems and Western medicine Biomedicine surpasses non-Western medicine in many ways
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 19 Western Medicine Overprescription of drugs and tranquilizers Unnecessary surgery Impersonality and inequality of the patient- physician relationship Overuse of antibiotics Despite its advances, Western medicine is not without its problems
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 20 Anthropology and Business Applied anthropologists act as “cultural brokers” to translate managers’ goals or workers’ concerns to the other group Anthropologists may acquire unique perspective on organizational conditions and problems
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 21 Key features of anthropology for business Cross-cultural expertise Focus on cultural diversity Ethnography
© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 22 Careers in Anthropology –Knowledge about traditions and beliefs of many social groups within a modern nation is important in planning and carrying out programs that affect those groups Anthropology’s breadth provides knowledge and an outlook on the world that are useful in many kinds of work
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