Re: Does a BA "make" an Anthropologist

John Taylor (jtaylor@OYSTER.SMCM.EDU)
Thu, 23 Feb 1995 14:02:16 -0400

student seeking a BA in Anthropology, I decided I needed to respond.

I have seen people's opinions on UG fieldwork as needed for experience in the field. I,
however, believe there is another reason for it. The field of Anthropology is so wide and
varied, an UG degree cannot specialize in any one part of it very well. That is what
graduate schools are for. But the biggest problem I have found as an UG is that without
fieldwork (of all kinds), how can one such as myself be prepared to participate in a graduate
program without knowing what is out there and whether or not I like it and am willing to
spend A LOT of money being trained in it.
Case in point: I used to believe ethnographic fieldwork to be extremely exciting until I
had to do a small ethnography for a class I was taking. Had I never had to do that, I would
have never had known that ethnographic fieldwork was not for me.
I hope I am not too off on this post, but my point is, UG students need fieldwork in order
to actually experience it and decide if that is what they wish to pursue.

peace, john taylor