Thursday, August 2, 2012

Action Anthropology

“Action Anthropology—the Art of Social Science”

Cultural anthropologists are generally tremendous observers of how people learn and behave, especially of how people transfer their traditions, ethnic identities, and lessons in life from one generation to another.

Action anthropologists engage in the cultural world of the host population. This role expands the fieldwork notion of participant observation with the goal to help the people of the host population help themselves with needs of their own communities.

The action anthropologist is a social scientist, and as such, must apply the discipline and what it has to offer with utmost professional discretion among the decision makers of the host.

Karl Schlesier said his hosts saw him as a person first, then as an anthropologist who taught them a new meaning of the discipline he represented. He was a teacher and in the “Cheyenne culture teaching is the most honorable profession of all…”

What began as the science of man has become the search for the knowledge of being and becoming human once more.

In these observations of the human condition, action anthropology represents a degree of artistry.
(excerpt from video script)