AAA: Not Just a Journal

Fri, 23 Feb 1996 10:19:33 CST

I am concerned that many on the list think of the AAA as nothing more
than the publisher of the AA. Your fees affiliate you with the American
Anthropological Association! Its rolls are the very first place an inf
ormed outsider looks in order to verify that you really are an anth
ropologist--not that being there "proves" you are, or not being there
"proves" you aren't; but it's probably the best, most widely used "first
test." We need to understand that real professionals do not abandon
their professional organizations over matters such as editorial
policy--unless they intend to create a competing professional
organization. I understand that many will say, "I belong to the SAA" or
"The AAPA is enough for me"; and they are right insofar as that gives
them an authentic professional affiliation. But do such people really
feel that anthropology as a whole needs no organization? Do they really
endorse the all-too-common deterioration of general requirements in
graduate programs? As for those who belong to *no* professional
anthropological association, I would assume that they lack a
professional commitment. Joining the AAA is the best single thing you
can do to help others--and yourself--think of you as an anthropologist.
--Bob Graber