Transcript Slide 1

Anthropology and Sociology of
Anthropology, Development and
Development Studies
• 1.Contributions-*anthropological approaches, *anthropological
research and the produced knowledge
• 2.Drawbacks-*time consuming, *forms and language of
presentation of research findings is not so popular to the interdisciplinary team, *generally recommendations are negative
• 3.Consequently-*focus is on the contribution of the anthropologists
to the development projects, *instead of the contribution of
anthropology in understanding the process of development itself
• 4.Impact-*introduction and continuation of a sterile debate about
the performances of anthropologists in development , *creation of
a false division between the practical usefulness of the discipline
and its theories
Anthropology: As a Discipline
Anthropology and Development Studies
Anthropologists and Development Projects
As a Discipline
• Doing fieldwork, searching for general
features of human culture, documentation of
cultural diversity
• Different Theories and the Changes
Evolutionary theories
• Origins of anthropology as a discipline and the idea of social
• Late nineteenth century (Lewis Henry Morgan, E.B.Tylor).
• Australian Aborigines or Native Americans vs. civilized
• Non-Western societies are considered as living fossils because
of their early developmental stages that were already passed
by the Western societies.
• The new field of anthropology thus tried to locate the
different stages of development and collect observations of
savage and barbarian peoples. That on the other helps to
study the earlier stages of human history.
Evolutionary theories
• Three underlying premises embedded in nineteenth century
social evolutionism: 1- different societies need to be
understood as discrete individuals where each society making
its evolutionary progress independently, 2- though discrete
still all societies proceed for the same destination (human
history is one story, not many), 3- differences between
different societies are to be explained as differences in their
level of development.
Anti-evolutionism and relativism
• Criticism of nineteenth century evolutionism as ethnocentric
and speculativeby Boas ( Historically oriented school) and
Malinowski (Functionalist school) in the early twentieth
Practical anthropology and postwar
• After world war two along with the postwar planning of
colonial empires the origins of a global project of
development can be found.
• New project of official modernization and applied work of
development reject the idea of academic world of theory.
The idea of planned social change gave birth to different
‘development agencies’, ‘development projects’ as well as
disciplines like ‘development studies’ and ‘development
• By 1970S the coining of the term development anthropology
is noticed.
Neo-Marxist critique
• The rise of dependency theory, criticism of modernization
theory and traditional anthropology.
• Neo-Marxist critique of 1970s fundamentally challenged two
pillars of developmentalist thought in anthropology.
Development anthropology
• The radical theories and the study of development in the
context of an increasingly radicalized and politicized discipline.
• The wider institutional context was changing dramatically by
mid-1970s. Mainstream development agencies developed and
they placed a new emphasis on the basic needs of the poor
and on the distinction between mere economic growth and
real development.
Anthropology and Development
• Anthropological research methods like intensive fieldwork and
the approaches (different theories) in studying human
behavior and cultural diversity can contribute to the
understanding of development processes
• This contribution is important and relevant as well for future
development projects
• Critical examinations of some dominant development
paradigm like ‘ tradition-bound peasant model’ is also
• Still we may notice confusions whether anthropologists will
work positively for the well-being of the community in
Anthropologists and Development
• Anthropologists, specially in the Third World
countries, needed to bear the criticism mentioned
earlier because of the discipline’s colonial heritage
• Because of the application of the structuralfunctionalist theory anthropologists failed to study
the wider processes of colonial domination
(however, colonial domination was intellectually
supported by the 19th century theories of social
evolution that were criticized heavily by the
structural-functionalist theory of the colonial era.
• Anthropologists tried to criticize the basic
assumptions of colonialism not only through their
writings, but also through their behavior, for
example, in time of field research they emphasized
on the importance of staying with the community
under study instead of maintaining their contacts
with the Europeans.
• Anthropologists are too academic (to overcome this
problem it is important to open new fields that can
be considered as possible places for employment)
• For anthropologists the question is not
whether but how and for whom to involve
themselves in development
• In three different ways anthropologists may
influence the planning of development
projects-1-as advocates, 2- as mediators, 3-as
• Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural
Anthropology—Alan Barnard, Jonathan
• Encountering Development, The Making and
Unmaking of the Third World—Arturo Escobar
• Anthropology and Development, in P. Leeson
and M. Minogue (eds.) Perspectives on
Development. Manchester University Press,
Manchester, pp. 126-59.