ERIC Number: ED243746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
The Anthropology of Anthropologists.
Turner, Paul R.
Anthropology as an academic discipline in the United States experienced an explosive growth during the late 1960's and early 1970's, when the Woodstock generation embraced anthropology. However, interest in anthropology as a discipline declined in the late 1970's and early 1980's, when the new work-oriented generation held anthropologists at arms length. Anthropologists must change and adapt by applying the basic characteristics of anthropology to themselves: holism, cultural relativism, and participant observation. For example, anthropologists have been preoccupied with studying non-modern societies. One of the larger societies that needs to be studied from a holistic perspective is the U.S. academic socio-cultural system. The discipline's health depends on anthropologists' knowing the nature of the environment to which they need to adapt. In spite of their commitment to cultural relativism, anthropologists make negative judgments about practices of American society. They need to respect and become knowledgeable about their own culture. Studying U.S. culture with the commitment of a participant observation approach, which involves emphatic identification of the analyzer with the person(s) being analyzed, should make anthropologists less escapist and more like the people they interact with on a daily basis. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cultural Relativism; Participant Observation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (82nd, Chicago, IL, November 16-20, 1983).