Wednesday, July 05, 2006

During my stint as an anthropology major I was often questioned by countless people as to what the heck anthropology is. Of course, there are plenty of occupations and disciplines that face similar opposition. However, you would think that a discipline that studies inherent qualities in societies and the nature of humans would at least be known by umm…. People. Yet, this is not the case. It’s almost as if anthropology is this elite club that the brilliant people who can maneuver through its complexities are invited. Through the last twenty years, anthropology has faced a great deal of obstacles due to its obscurity. The field has also become increasingly vexed in the last decade. Agreement is hard to find within the field. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Rather, I think the contrasting opinions have led to a period of unprecedented depth. Nonetheless, I believe that anthropology as a whole is on a dangerous path. To put it plainly, anthropology needs to revamp the way they interact with the public. Anthropology needs to be made more accessible to the public. I understand that some feel that this may be a step down for the discipline as a whole. I look at it as a natural strategic evolutionary move towards adapting to one’s environment to flourish. Anthropology is full of insight and rich text, and there is definitely a place for that in the academic world. However, it would be nice to see more than a small shelf at Barnes and Nobles bookstore. It would be nice to see more popular literature written by anthropologists. It’s time to take off the secret decoder club rings and reveal to the world the knowledge and truth than can be found in the perplexing world of anthropology.

No comments: