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Thread: Cultural Anthropologists doing Anthropology

  1. #1
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    Cultural Anthropologists doing Anthropology

    Paper exposing conflicts in their field:

    https://quillette.com/2019/10/05/the...nthropologist/

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Baltimore1937 For This Useful Post:

     jardul (10-08-2019),  Lirio100 (10-07-2019),  mainer (06-03-2020),  Michalis Moriopoulos (10-08-2019),  MikeWhalen (10-07-2019)

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    Thanks for sharing this. It is a very telling difference. Some anthropologists argue that assuming something like an essential human nature prevents us from exacting a critical look at the invisible hand of culture.By which they mean cultures make certain kinds of human action acceptable and certain others unacceptable. Seen this way, the posited essential human nature does not exist; if it does the most that can be said is that human nature is malleable. Similarly, they argue that economic growth and opulence alone cannot be a mark of development. Late-capitalism, they argue, is religious in its hold and impact on people. After all, many people--and even societies and govts--believe that the world should be governed by the invisible hand of the market, which amounts to worshipping of the profit principle.
    On the other hand, there is the conflict between those who, like Chagnon, favored thick description over a quantitative, purely statistics-based approach. In effect, the former calls for interpretive ethnography, whereas the latter aim to spot patterns among allegedly diverse sections/demographics to look for some underlying unity/pattern--things such as the z-score formula are used to this end.
    I, for one, favor the interpretive method since it is nonnegotiablly based on the acknowledgment of limitations and biases.

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     Baltimore1937 (06-04-2020)

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