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Upcoming WAPA event (Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists)

“Cultural Sameness” and “Cultural Otherness”: Benefits and Drawbacks in Applied Anthropological Work

When: Tuesday, March 1 at 7:00 pm
Where: Charles Sumner School
1201 17th St NW
Washington, DC

Presenters: Michael Cernea, Stan Yoder, more TBA

Throughout much of the history of anthropology, students were expected to conduct fieldwork in cultures and societies not their own. That expectation shifted somewhat several decades ago, and students are able to do fieldwork in their own culture and society as well as in others. This panel discussion, led by Michael Cernea and assisted by Stan Yoder, will consider what is gained and what is given up in working in one’s own culture and society, or in a quite different one, with an emphasis on exploring the effects of “Cultural Sameness” and “Cultural Otherness” in the professional work of applied and development anthropologists. The discussion will continue the examination of issues that were raised following the Memorial Lecture in honor of Ruth Fredman Cernea in November of 2009.Also participating in the panel will be several people who work in applied anthropology: at least one working overseas and the other working domestically. The panel will explore the situations in which the work and insights of an indigenous anthropologist would be most effective, and those in which an anthropologist from the outside would be most effective. A description of the background to the panel’s topic and its relevance may be downloaded here (pdf document).

More information: March 2011 meeting

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