Scope of this blog

The practice of anthropology has tended to exist somewhere else, usually in places far from the United States. (The videos we show in introductory anthropology classes tend to show people in “other”, far away cultures.) The fact that anthropology still sits awkwardly within the U.S. landscape mandates that anthropologists in the U.S. help create new types of public conversations about the plethora of social issues that affect us all within the United States. I believe this becomes an even more important challenge when we acknowledge our collective entrance into a new era of mass communication. This era is defined by various types of human interaction (e.g. through ‘social media’) that are loud and often quite distorting. With that in mind, this blog takes on the notion that anthropology is a systematic and scientific challenge of the status quo of knowledge production and knowledge maintenance in the United States and beyond. Anthropology, unlike other social sciences that look primarily to statistics or “records” to help decipher the meanings of today’s world, seeks to reveal and complicate the human element through deliberate attention to experience and practice in our backyard.

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