Anthropology, Development and the Post-Modern Challenge by Katy Gardner, David Lewis

By Katy Gardner, David Lewis

Through exact case stories and the problems raised via them, Gardner and Lewis define key social matters and difficulties of improvement, and finish that anthropological views can give a contribution absolutely to improvement coverage and practice.

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Extra info for Anthropology, Development and the Post-Modern Challenge

Example text

This was a different type of anthropology from that which most practitioners were prepared to undertake.  Gulliver's comments, particularly towards the end of the passage quoted above, also reflect continuing tensions within the discipline between theory and practice and illustrate the dilemma which still haunts many anthropologists considering working in development today.

Post­modernism is thus characterised by a multiplicity of voices.  These arguments have had a radical effect on the authority of 'experts', fundamentally undermining many of the earlier assumptions which came out of the colonial, and post­colonial, North.  We suggest, however, that development theory has reached a profound impasse, and that this is partly a result of post­modern tendencies.  The new trends also relate more directly to practice and policy rather than theory.  This can be both confusing and directionless, and liberating: a source of potential creativity.

In the US, opportunities for applied anthropology originated through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which became a sponsoring body for research into local customs, political institutions and landholding patterns and rights.  The gradual professionalisation and institutionalisation of development after the Second World War led to the creation of formal opportunities for applied anthropologists to work in development agencies or as private development consultants.  We conclude by considering the various ways in which anthropologists have been deployed within development (as consultants, advisors and researchers) and we suggest the direction that applied anthropology might take in the future.

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