(P060)

Opportunities and challenges for the future of practicing anthropologists

Location 201 B
Date and Start Time 16 May, 2014 at 08:30

Convenors

Tomomi Naka (Tottori University) email
Sunga Lee email
Mail All Convenors

Short Abstract

Practicing anthropologists are increasingly contributing to public and private sectors. With this increasing presence comes greater opportunities and a greater need for internal reflection. Our panel will explore the issues and opportunities impacting the future of practicing anthropologists.

Long Abstract

Practicing anthropologists have been making inroads into greater spheres of engagement in both public and private sectors as well as non-governmental sectors (see Brondo 2010, Checker 2009). With this increasing presence comes greater opportunities and a greater need for internal reflection. Our panel will explore the issues and opportunities impacting the future of practicing anthropologists, addressing critiques and understandings of a globalizing and innovating field. Using internal and external lenses of theory, research, and action, the panel's goal is to present thought-provoking papers that reflect on trends and future impacts. Questions such as the following are pertinent to the panel's topic: Will practicing anthropology become the public face of anthropology and what will this mean for the discipline? What are the ethical implications of greater access to information and data in the future? What new methods might we see in the future? How will or how should theory interconnect with the practice of anthropology? In what ways will practicing anthropology form new associations within and outside anthropology and diversify? In what areas has practicing anthropology not yet made inroads? Is public engagement a moral obligation of anthropology? What are the future implications of whom practicing anthropologists work for and with? What considerations should be made for the future training and education of practicing anthropologists?

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Genealogy: beyond tradition in anthropological research

Author: Hari Charan Behera (ISI, Giridih)  email

Short Abstract

This paper is an attempt to explore how 'genealogy' can be effectively applied for thorough and comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of issues under developmental research beyond tradition in anthropological research.

Long Abstract

The anthropological tradition of using genealogy for kinship analysis is universally recognized. Genealogy gives a considerable advantage to understanding the past history of individuals and their families. Anthropologists have already explored and analyzed its scope in understanding social and cultural dynamics of societies through lineage. However, its scope in developmental research, for instance, for studies of poverty, social mobility, land use dynamics, and agrarian transition amongst others has been rarely examined. This paper is an attempt to explore how 'genealogy' can be very effectively employed to understand the detailed accounts of such issues through family charts and furthermore, processing and analyzing each family chart for a wider understanding of village/community issues. This is a participatory approach to data collection and gives opportunities for looking at both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the issues. It can be supplemented with household data collection for more clarity and a comprehensive understanding of the issues which is analyzed in the paper. The statistical application to processing genealogical data can further strengthen the outcome of research. The author shares his practical experiences of using this tool for understanding the dynamics of land use patterns and social mobility in his ongoing study in Jharkhand, India. Genealogy of the families has provided much useful information about change in housing patterns, landholding and land use pattern, cropping patterns, occupational mobility, and educational mobility amongst others.

Predicting Predictive Analytics in education

Author: Sunga Lee  email

Short Abstract

Predictive Analytics or Advanced Analytics is relatively new in education. Used to profile and track students to increase retention and performance, the use of technology promises to transform education. The paper focuses on the promises and problems of attempting to "predict" students' abilities.

Long Abstract

Predictive Analytics or Advanced Analytics is relatively new in education. As more and more students take online courses and more and more brick-and-mortar schools adopt the use of tablets, digital texts, and supplemental online resources, access to data from and for students is quickly increasing. Such data is used to maximize student success. While there is much excitement at the potential usefulness and effectiveness of predictive analytics in education, there is little research and discussion on the potential issues and challenges. Privacy issues notwithstanding, issues such as the perpetuation of bias, the meaning of "student success," and the disempowerment of learners are critical areas of concern that the paper addresses.

Applying and teaching "anthropological perspectives" beyond the anthropology department

Author: Tomomi Naka (Tottori University)  email

Short Abstract

As cross-cultural perspectives are emphasized in many fields, increasing need and opportunities are available to teach anthropology in non-traditional academic settings. This paper explores challenges and opportunities in teaching anthropological perspectives in diverse settings.

Long Abstract

As globalization progresses, nuanced understanding of cultural diversity is becoming increasingly important for business and education. The current emphasis on international/global perspectives in higher education in Japan, for example, provides ample opportunities for instructors and students to feel the value of anthropological perspectives. At the same time, inadequate understanding of anthropological perspectives can bring undesirable outcomes, including enforcing stereotypes and shallow perspectives of cultural diversity. Based on several case studies and actual examples, this paper explores challenges and opportunities in teaching anthropological perspectives in diverse settings.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.