Re: Does a BA "Make" an Anthropologist?

Douglas B Hanson (dhanson@WORLD.STD.COM)
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 12:05:28 -0500

In the early '70s, I attended a small liberal arts college in Arizona whose
mainstay was "experiential education". Those of us who were majors in
anthropology, geology, and ecology, spent most of our classroom time in the
field for periods up to three months learning how to do fieldwork. The
faculty were reknowned scholars who involved us in their own research
programs and provided us not only with a theoretical basis for their work,
but taught us how to collect field data, analyze it, and present it. Each
of us were asked to focus on a particular research topic. Our fieldwork
experiences included, but were not limited to, detailed studies of
vulcanism in northern Arizona, a survey of prehistoric road systems in
Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, and Yaqui social structure in northern Mexico.

Many of us who graduated with degrees in anthropology went on to get our
Ph.D.s I started graduate school with much more fieldwork background to
draw on than many of the fourth year graduate students. Unfortunately, my
graduate years were much less enrichening than my undergraduate years
largely because most of the graduate faculty were focused more on "publish
or perish" than providing their graduate students with a graduate

-- Doug Hanson