Fieldwork, Applied Anthro Training and the BA Degree

Wed, 22 Feb 1995 01:01:14 -0500

Reading the many messages that have arrived on the net in response
to the question, "Does a BA 'Make' an Anthropologist?", I think it
is important to make a distinction between offering undergrads a
fieldwork experience, and offering undergrads a fieldwork experience
in applied anthro. Investigating an 'alien" culture systematically
(even if it is the culture of the local bowling league) is not the
same as the two-stage process involved in applied anthro, learning
the culture plus applying that knowledge to the solution of a
specific "problem." It might be more accurate to speak of
internships in applied anthro, to distinguish this type of
training from simply learning basic fieldwork skills. Other
commentators over the last couple of days have said as much, but
I believe the point needs to be underscored.

Eileen M. (de la Torre) Mulhare, Ph.D.
Research Associate, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346
Phone: (315) 824-3102; Fax: (315) 824-7726