The Real World of Democracy (and Anthropology)

Review essay, Part 2 (see Part 1) Referring to the process by which he studied Cuban democracy, August explicitly refers to it as “ethnographic research” (p. xiii). This is an important point, because he was trained as a political scientist in Montreal, but he is producing the kind of book that no anthropologist has offered, […]

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 3)

Within the question of the professionalisation of the discipline lies a still largely unexplored area of how Anthropology serves as a western, largely white, middle-class mode of ‘consumption’, specifically the consumption of knowledge about the world that has been ‘appropriately’ filtered, organized, and translated. Of course getting a degree in Anthropology is not just like any other form of consumption, just as it is not merely an expression of curiosity: the process results in formal certification.

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Anthropology: The Empire on which the Sun Never Sets (Part 2)

Anthropology as a discipline, and anthropology as curiosity about difference or as a philosophy of the human condition, certainly overlap but they are not the same. Enforcers of the discipline have tended to monopolistically speak in the name of the project as a whole. This appropriation, whether intentional or simply a mistake, confuses analysis of the purposes of institutional Anthropology.

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