Re: Does a BA "Make" an Anthropologist?

Wed, 22 Feb 1995 13:23:50 EST

Yes, again, this is what internships are for. Internships should do
what you are suggesting, i.e., help find sites that are willing to
take students, help in their training and using the the faculty's
supervision get them some skills. This should be done towards the
end of the BA not at the beginning of course and presumably students
will have already been exposed to ethical issues in the classroom at
least. If they also have a lab training in cultural (e.g., how to do
basic field methods) then they may have already gotten their feet
wet. It is not appropriate to jsut send out (unleash) students and I
do not think applied anthropology programs do that. Certainly they
do not recommend it.


> Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 23:25:38 -0400 (EST)
> From: wilkr <>
> Subject: Re: Does a BA "Make" an Anthropologist?
> To: Paula L Sabloff <>
> Cc: "James M. Wallace" <>,
> Tim Wallace <>,
> "Cheryl Williams (ANT)" <cwilliam@LUNA.CAS.USF.EDU>,
> Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L <>,
>, Brad M Biglow <>,

> Paula Sabloff asks an excellent and important question.
> Archaeologists would never think of sacrificing a site in order to train
> students. Nor should people in applied sociocultural anthro (or academic
> for that matter) use people and places in this way, without thought about
> making a contribution or meeting professional and ethical standards.
> I have thought about the ethics of training undergrads through field
> exercises a lot. I do this in every introductory class - but mainly
> asking students to work with each other. Sending students out to work in
> the community raises all kinds of problems.
> If my department ever got serious about including applied anthropology as
> a component of our undergrad program, I think I would search out local
> organizations that need applied research. I made some initial contacts
> two years ago when I thought I was going to teach an undergrad applied
> anthropology course, and quickly found three groups that wanted help with
> surveys, needs assessments, and evaluation. One was a local land trust,
> another a community center for the elderly.
> This kind of engagement would do more than train students in methods. It
> would teach them how applied anthropology requires ethical committment,
> engagement with political realities and constant questioning of values.
> Rick Wilk
> Richard Wilk Anthropology Dept.
> 812-855-8162 (voice) Indiana University
> 812-855-4358 (fax) Bloomington, IN 47405

James M. (Tim) Wallace Tel: 919-515-2491
Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology Fax: 919-515-2610
N. Carolina State University Email:
Box 8107, Raleigh, NC 27695-8107