July 10, 2009

OAC and the role of anthropology

So, just recently I joined the Open Anthropology Cooperative, and I have been excited about what such a project might entail. I also joined it without really looking too deep into what the whole site it all about, although it is admittedly being created and reshaped as we speak.

In light of a discussion that I have been involved in over at the OAC, and this post at Open Anthropology by Max Forte, I have been thinking a lot about the current and future role of anthropology. What is anthropology for, and why do anthropologists go around studying different people all over the world? What is the end result, and what are the effects of anthropological research? What right to anthropologists have to go around "studying" different groups of people? What direction should anthropology head in the future? Is it enough to create knowledge for the sake of creating knowledge, or should there be something more?

In my opinion, and as I have been taught, the number one priority for anthropologists are the people they study and work with. This understanding of mine stems not only from the long and varied history of anthropology, but also the ethical guidelines of the discipline.

Anyway, that's what's on my mind right now.


Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your link. You are asking some of the really big questions. It might help to think out loud perhaps, which is something I tried to do on my own blog before it became more audience-driven than I expected or wanted. I will try to write more about these issues in the future, time permitting of course.

R.A. said...

ya, i like the idea of using this site to 'think out loud' a little more, especially to see how people react and what they think.

i look forward to your take on some of this as well.