W024
Transferring anthropological methods, theory and experience to applied health research

Convenors:
Rachael Gooberman-Hill (University of Bristol)
Isabel de Salis (University of Bristol)
Jónína Einarsdóttir (University of Iceland)
Chair:
Rachael Gooberman-Hill
Discussant:
Isabel de Salis
Location:
Chem LT1
Start time:
21 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This workshop will explore the dynamic between conventional anthropology and applied health research. Papers will examine shifts in method and theory that occur when anthropologists relocate to conduct applied research.

Long abstract:

The workshop will explore the relationship between conventional anthropological methods and theory and those used by anthropologists working in applied health research in both Europe and globally. Applied health research will be defined in its broadest sense to include work on health, illness, medicine, healing, well-being, advocacy, health policy, etc. Questions addressing methodological issues might include the following: How do anthropologists in applied settings draw on previous fieldwork experiences that were often in significantly different environments and circumstances? How do anthropologists trained to conduct ethnographic research based on a sole-fieldworker model then work within multidisciplinary or international teams? Is it possible to implement flexible and fluid research designs in applied settings? To what extent do applied anthropologists adapt ethnographic methods to use strategies such as interviews and focused observation, and how does this influence the conduct of the research and its theoretical content? Anthropology has a long tradition of privileging the interests and concerns of informants – does this assist in addressing the current drive to include participants in conducting health research? Focusing on theoretical concerns, papers in this workshop might address how and to what extent applied health anthropologists use, represent and contribute to anthropological theory. More generally, papers might address the interface between anthropological theories and those of other disciplines that also have a strong, or possibly stronger, presence in this area. These are some of the potential themes that might be explored. We hope that this workshop will generate innovative and constructive suggestions for the future of applied anthropology in health. The workshop welcomes submissions from those with a diverse range of experiences, including submissions from colleagues working in either applied or academic settings both within and outside Europe.