February 22, 2009

Invisible Anthropology

Not one of my non-anthropology friends can name a single contemporary anthropologist. What does this mean? Does it mean that anthropology is useless? No. But it does mean that anthropology is, in general, behind the curve when it comes to public discourse and interaction.

Do I think that anthropology should increase its public presence and voice? Yes, and for two reasons. The first is the fact that anthropology is often funded by the public, so there has to be some kind of dialog or feedback, in my opinion. And second, our current political discourse includes many academics and "experts" from fields like Political Science, Economics, and even Psychology. When was the last time an anthropologist was on CNN giving a perspective about an international or domestic issue. Ya, I can't recall one either.

One very critical reason why I think the anthropological perspective should be pushed into public discourse a little more is because disciplines like economics and political science often focus on very large scale, overarching, "macro" perspectives. Anthropology is all about the details, and I think that often those details must be taken into consideration.

As one commenter on this post wrote, maybe anthropology needs its Paul Krugman.

3 comments:

Moisés Santos Mena said...

I´m not an Anthropologist and I can name Michael Wilken, Alejandra Sánchez and Ernesto Barajas!!
Check and explore this blog:
http://pweb.jps.net/~dlaylander/

Saludos:
Moika.

Moisés Santos Mena said...

Oh yes! I forgot to mention Everardo Garduño, Michael Winkelmman, Greg Glascoe, Steve Bouscaren and Arnulfo Ochoa...

R.A. said...

Hey, I know Mr Wilken too--he's the one who sent me the link to your site! Nice. Well, you're way ahead of all my friends when it comes to knowing anthropologists.

Thanks for stopping by again.