Critical Anthropology: Investigating the Transnational World
Summer 2014 quarter
The processes of economic and political globalization reshape and undermine the lives of people and communities throughout the world. Some anthropologists have turned their attention to the effects of globalization on traditional and modern societies, attempting to bring to light the full complexities and consequences of these transnational practices. For example, Joao Biehl develops an argument linking global economic activity in Brazil to what he calls the development of "zones of social abandonment" in most urban settings. Anthropologists conduct their studies through ethnographic research, which involves gathering data, over long periods of time, as both "participant" and "observer" of those they are studying. Doing ethnographic research is simultaneously analytical and deeply embodied. This program includes an examination of ethnographic research methods and methodologies, a study of varied theoretical frameworks used by anthropologists today to interpret and find meaning in data, and an opportunity to design an ethnographic project of interest. Students will read and explore a range of ethnographic studies that reveal what an anthropologist—whom Ruth Behar calls a "vulnerable observer"—can uncover about the lives of people today, and advocate on their behalf.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day
Advertised schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.