Re: Mob Scenes (after Mike's response)

Michael John Evans (g8726246@MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA)
Thu, 9 Dec 1993 00:32:42 -0500

This is not MIke (we share an e-mail) (among other things), but heather;
I am not quite sure (despite recent conversation with the author) just
what, exactly, Mike means by associating applied anthropology with eating
shit. Nevertheless, I too, entered this field of discourse and study
because it offers the *only* opportunity I could find for attempting to
find/access/participate/contribute to Honesty (despite all the
self-delusion our discipline has been recognising), NOT because I thought it
would provide me with a cushy tenured job (although that would be nice).
It seems to me that there are two undercurrents here (at least). One, the
lack of employment opportunities in anthropological academia are
symptomatic of the fates of a number of other academic
positions/departments/fields: the loss of the
Theatre (very socially critical theatre)/Fine Arts program at Dalhousie
is one example. I ask, what are departmental members of Faculty of
Graduate Studies Programs doing to support the opportunities for their
graduates? They sure don't seem to be pushing for maintaining
jobs/positions within their insitutions, that some graduate could step
into/hope for... the second is, Half of the anth. grads are working outside
of anthropological academia, yet most of us about-to-be-cut-loose-from-the-
respectability of
'graduate-and therefore-still-part-of-an-academic-mileu-cum-network' status
can only think of Margaret Mead as an example of an anthropologist whom
'outsiders' (also known as laypeople, joe public, my parents etc.) would
This is the really interesting question: If half of us are working outside
of the ivory towers, and some of us claim that anthropology is still
important to their daily work (as per a recent posting here), why is it
that 'people' ('the public') still don't know what anthropologists do, or
what the discipline is about? The only time someone asked me what I did
for a living, and didn't look puzzled at my reply, was when I was in
Gautemala, talking to a Mayan (or "indio") peasant....

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Mike Evans, Anthropology &/ Heather Young-Leslie, Anthropology
McMaster University, Hamilton /or: York University, North York,
Ontario. (905) 525 9140 x23907 Ontario Canada (416) 736 5261
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