Prof Strang has asked me to circulate this:
ANTHROPOLOGY - A PRIMER
Dear Fellow Anthropologists,
I am in the process of writing an introductory 'primer' in Anthropology. This project has received enthusiastic assurances of support from several major anthropology associations and networks, and will be published by Berg publishers. The text will provide a simple and accessible description of Anthropology and the many different ways in which it is applied. The aim is to introduce the subject to school leavers (or undergraduates in other disciplines), who often have little idea about what anthropology is, or what anthropologists do. It will illustrate the intellectual gains offered by anthropology, and its potential to lead to diverse kinds of employment: for example in environmental management, development, advocacy, international organisations, government, business and industry, marketing, design, social policy, planning, or medical and forensic work.
It is hoped that making this potential more visible to school leavers will assist recruitment into the discipline.
The text has a secondary purpose: many potential employers - industries, agencies and government organisations - also have little familiarity with anthropology as a discipline, and thus only rarely make use of anthropologists and their particular skills. By providing them with an accessible introduction to the subject, the volume will - I hope - encourage greater use of anthropological expertise and the insights provided by ethnographic research.
With a view to making this a genuinely collective and international endeavour, I am circulating this information to about 90 anthropology societies, networks and groups, in countries all over the world. I am hoping that many anthropologists will want to contribute to the text. What I am looking for is a range of responses to some key questions, and a number of short autobiographical accounts, describing people's
experiences in applying anthropology. It would be useful, as well, to hear from people who have worked with applied anthropologists, with feedback on what they have gained from this engagement. And I'd also like to include some input from ex-students (even if they are not practising anthropology directly) on how they are making use of their studies in a variety of careers.
If you would like to be involved, there are several options. You can simply respond to the list of questions below, as fully or briefly as you like. All respondents will be given a 20% discount on the volume. You can forward this circular to any colleagues or ex-students who might be interested in participating. And/or you can offer a brief - and preferably lively - autobiographical account (between 1000-1500 words) describing your work as an applied anthropologist, if possible including some feedback about it from the people with whom you have worked. At this stage, a brief outline of this account
(maximum 200 words) will suffice. *If your full autobiographical account is included, you will receive a free copy of the book.
I do hope that you will support this effort to encourage wider engagement with our discipline. The project is clearly dependent upon getting a range of input from colleagues. So if you are doing some interesting things with anthropology, please let me know.
The deadline for questionnaire responses and outline accounts is May 30th, 2005, and the autobiographical case studies will be needed by October 1st 2005.
* What, in your opinion, are the key areas in which Anthropology is currently applied? What are further potential areas in which it could be applied?
* Do you also teach anthropology? If so, what are your
ex-students doing? Where/how are they making use of anthropology? (Include some feedback from them if possible).
* What about the people you studied alongside? Where and how are they using anthropology now?
* What kinds of applied work have you done yourself? With which agencies/organisations? What did this entail?
* How did you get involved in this kind of work?
* How do you generally describe the benefits of Anthropology to potential employers, funders or research users?
* What do you feel were the most important contributions made by anthropology in your
applied work? What difference did its inclusion make? What were the major outcomes/outputs?
* What kind of responses did the anthropological input get from the other people involved? (Please include some comments from them if possible).
* Would you be willing to write a brief (1000-1500 word) account of your experiences working as an applied anthropologist? If so, please include a brief outline (up to 200 words), and attach a brief CV and contact details.
I would also welcome any comments or ideas on this project as a whole.
Please send your responses- either by email or post - to the address below.
Professor Veronica Strang
School of Social Sciences
Auckland University of Technology
Private Bag 92006