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Toward Engaged Anthropology
Edited by Sam Beck and Carl A. Maida
178 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-910-7 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (July 2013)
eISBN 978-1-78238-037-5 eBook
“Toward Engaged Anthropology critically exposes the power relationships and asymmetries that constrain a legitimately engaged scholarship and that disconnect academics not only from the broader outside communities but from the core principles of the discipline… an excellent book, recommended for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and professionals working not only in anthropology but in all types of community research.” · Collaborative Anthropologies
“This is a very rich collection with a variety of different perspectives highlighted. Anthropology has always been engaged, but not necessarily with the right co-respondents. As the ‘ontological turn’ takes hold, it is this sort of anthropology that is at the cutting edge in the exploration of new paradigms.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale
“The book does not shy away from variations in the experience of engaged anthropology. This avoids any attempts at a homogenous definition for engagement, and instead emphasises the discipline’s flexibility and the importance of context in informing the form research and engagement should take. The texts are relevant to seasoned researchers and accessible to students and activists preparing their first field research. As such, this is a valuable contribution to the debate on the role of the researcher in society.” · Anthropological Notebooks
By working with underserved communities, anthropologists may play a larger role in democratizing society. The growth of disparities challenges anthropology to be used for social justice. This engaged stance moves the application of anthropological theory, methods, and practice toward action and activism. However, this engagement also moves anthropologists away from traditional roles of observation toward participatory roles that become increasingly involved with those communities or social groupings being studied. The chapters in this book suggest the roles anthropologists are able to play to bring us closer to a public anthropology characterized as engagement.
Sam Beck is Senior Lecturer in the College of Human Ecology and Director of the Urban Semester Program of Cornell University. His publications include Ethnicity and Nationalism in Southeastern Europe (1981, ed with John W. Cole) and Manny Almeida’s Ringside Lounge: The Cape Verdean Struggle for their Neighborhood (1992).
Carl A. Maida is Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. His publications include Sustainability and Communities of Place (2007), Pathways through Crisis: Urban Risk and Public Culture (2008), Children and Disasters (1999), and The Crisis of Competence: Transitional Stress and the Displaced Worker (1990).