Professional Anthropologist (professional + anthropologist)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


Carla N. Littlefield
As academic positions become more competitive, many anthropologists are exploring the possibilities for creating their own consulting businesses. However, entrepreneurship is not a topic usually taught in graduate anthropology programs. In this article, two anthropologists provide advice on starting and operating a consulting business. The purpose of this article is to acquaint the budding professional with the basics of starting and operating a small business based on the skills, educational background, and experience of a professional anthropologist. The first part, Small Business Start-Up, describes the process of creating a business, from conducting a self-assessment to developing a plan to promote your services. The second part, Operating the Small Business, provides several frameworks for delivering good consultant services, from understanding the consulting process to an introduction to project management. Anthropologists are trained in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. We may also receive instruction on research design and how to conduct fieldwork and research. Our anthropological training in observing and understanding the beliefs and behaviors of groups, as well as seeing things from the client's unique perspective, gives us an edge as consultants. Our training helps us work in other cultural settings, and to work with different groups and subgroups. The authors emphasize networking as a fundamental promotion strategy that can take place at professional meetings (local, regional, or national) or with community organizations relevant to one's business (organizations, foundations, or coalitions). This article includes several useful websites for start-up topics and for networking with other anthropologists. [source]

Disputing the myth of the sexual dysfunction of circumcised women: An interview with Fuambai S. Ahmadu by Richard A. Shweder

Fuambai S. Ahmadu
Fuambai S. Ahmadu is both a professional anthropologist and an initiated member of the Bondo society of Sierra Leone. This interview with Ahmadu by Richard A. Shweder on the subject of female genital cutting serves to contextualize a submission by Carlos D. Londoño Sulkin, who describes the changes of perception he and other members of the audience experienced after a lecture by Fuambai Ahmadu on this subject at the University of Regina on 19 March 2009. The title of Ahmadu's talk was ,Disputing the myth of the sexual dysfunction of circumcised women'. In order to make sense of Londoño Sulkin's reactions to her account, Fuambai Ahmadu was invited to set out her case, which she does in the form of a question-and-answer session with Richard Shweder. [source]

The Story Catches You and You Fall Down: Tragedy, Ethnography, and "Cultural Competence"

Janelle S. Taylor
Anne Fadiman 's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (Noonday Press, 1997) is widely used in "cultural competence" efforts within U.S. medical school curricula. This article addresses the relationship between theory, narrative form, and teaching through a close critical reading of that book that is informed by theories of tragedy and ethnographies of medicine. I argue that The Spirit Catches You is so influential as ethnography because it is so moving as a story; it is so moving as a story because it works so well as tragedy; and it works so well as tragedy precisely because of the static, reified, essentialist understanding of "culture" from which it proceeds. If professional anthropologists wish our own best work to speak to "apparitions of culture" within medicine and other "cultures of no culture," I suggest that we must find compelling new narrative forms in which to convey more complex understandings of "culture." [medical education, cultural competence, tragedy, ethnography, theories of culture] [source]

Front and Back Covers, Volume 23, Number 3.

June 200
Front & back cover caption, volume 23 issue 3 PARTISAN ,ANTHROPOLOGY' The cover of this issue reproduces a Republican Party campaign poster from 1900, which claims that between 1896 and 1900 the American flag was being planted on foreign soil not ,to acquire more territory' but ,for humanity's sake'. The poster contrasts an image of economic decline at home and poverty in the Spanish colony of Cuba, alleged to be the Democratic legacy in 1896, with one of prosperity in the US and progress in its new dominion after four years of Republican rule. The next US presidential elections will take place in November 2008, and campaigning for nomination is already under way. Partisan proclamations that territories are occupied for ,humanity's sake' suggest good intentions, but anthropology researches and seeks to connect with humanity as a whole, not to serve one party or one nation over another. Bush's ,war on terror' has divided the world, generating a renewed interest in partisan use of the social and behavioural sciences, including anthropology, in the hope that these might help succeed where force has failed. The 2007 annual meeting of the Association of Social Anthropologists resolved that a research proposal by our principal research funding agency endangered lives and was in violation of our professional ethics. History will not judge us kindly if funding agencies proceed unilaterally, or if our professional associations fail to give clear guidance on the circumstances under which it is appropriate for professional anthropologists to be involved in such activities, if at all. Everyone supports non-partisan use of academic research for ,humanity's sake'. However, since anthropologists cannot research without first gaining and then retaining the trust of the peoples they engage with in the course of fieldwork throughout the world, in open and willing long-lasting relationships, partisan deployment of our research in war constitutes a potentially life-threatening development for the peoples we befriend, for ourselves, our students, our profession and for our family and colleagues. As part of an ongoing engagement with how our research, and that of other social and behavioural sciences, is being appropriated in war, this issue of ANTHROPOLOGY TODAY features discussions on their use in two areas of warfare, with contributions on counterinsurgency, by Roberto González, David Kilcullen and Montgomery McFate, and unwitting input into interrogation techniques, by David Price. [source]