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 problems. 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 subfields Biological anthropologists work in public health, nutrition, genetic counseling, substance abuse, epidemiology, aging, mental illness, and forensics. Applied archaeologists locate, study, and preserve prehistoric and historic sites threatened by development (Cultural Resource Management). 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, policy. 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 people. 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 culture. 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 studied. 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 nonanthropologists. 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 schools. The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 resulted in the new field of cultural resource management. The Pragmatism of Cultural Anthropology In the 1960s, anthropology’s focus fit with prevailing social interests, which began the turn to practical applications. Anthropology’s 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 techniques. Urban Anthropology Human populations are becoming increasingly urban. 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 particular. 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 illness. 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 problems. Overprescription of drugs and tranquilizers. Unnecessary surgery. Impersonality and inequality of the patientphysician 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 medicine. Anthropology and Business Anthropologists can provide unique perspectives on organizational conditions and problems within businesses. 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 careers. 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.