Fetishizing Fieldwork

Adieu Culture: Fetishizing Fieldwork on the Road to Essentialism

Fieldwork and the ethnographic monograph invited closure around cultural wholes. Anthropology can defend the concept of culture while jettisoning the word.

Susanne Kuehling - Dobu

When culture starts looking like race: Dobu and why reifications matter

Anthropology saw culture as anti-race, yet descriptions of Dobu, recently revisited by Susanne Kuehling, show culture reified–and looking a lot like race.

Global Transformations - Purpose of Anthropology

Anthropology will only matter if it evokes a purpose outside of itself

Thinking about the purpose of anthropology–“Ultimately, anthropology will only matter . . . if it evokes a purpose outside of itself” (Trouillot 2003:5).

Brian Ferguson - Yanomami Warfare

Yanomami Ax Fight: Jared Diamond, Science, Violence & the Facts

The Ax Fight shows how Yanomami used steel axes long before anthropologists arrive. The Jared Diamond violence calculations must consider interconnection.

Patterns of Culture - Ruth Benedict

Patterns of Culture (1934) wins Jared Diamond (2012)

Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture trumps Jared Diamond for conceptual clarity, writing style, ethnographic example, and impact. Pretty good for 1934.

Cultural Relativism

Cultural Relativism 2011 – DSK, Guinea, Introduction to Anthropology

Assessing cultural relativism and anthropology as Mike McGovern’s “Before you Judge, Stand in Her Shoes” duels with “Don’t walk a mile in her shoes.”