Re: applied anthropology

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Mon, 20 Feb 1995 11:24:50 PST

On Feb. 19, Tim Wallace wrote:

>Why is it that when an engineer graduates, s/he is called an
>engineer? However, when an undergraduate anthro student
>graduates, s/he is not an anthropologist? What qualifications define
>an anthropologist? Was E.B.Tylor an anthropologist?

It depends on who's doing the calling and what is meant.
Engineering sometimes just refers to a person's activities.
There are many "engineers" who are not college-graduate, board-
certified engineers. I even heard a computer software company
refer to its technical support person as a "customer support
engineer". Can we call the persons who collects trash as
sanitary engineers?

There's an official designation of "registered professional
engineer" which is under the direction of each of the states in
the U.S. When an "engineer" graduates s/he can take a test to be
designated as "Engineer in Training". Then after a certain
number of years of experience (number varies) can take the final
comprehensive examination to obtain professional registration.
These are the persons that can legally conduct business with the
public under the state-licensed title of "Professional Engineer".
Other "engineers" can only work as employees.

Since you're comparing the two, I don't think there's any sort
equivalent professional registration of anthropologists.
Another difference is that the term "anthropologist" is not
used in a generic sense while the term "engineer" often is.