Against the Anthropological Grain (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, 1998 - Social Science - 211 pages
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"Readers can benefit from exposure to a cross-grained critic, especially one who write well and accessibly as Washburn does." -- "Choice"

Washburn critically examines key anthropological beliefs, especially the importance of cultural relativism and Western colonialism's harmful effects on Third World cultures. He turns the tables on theorists from the discipline. The questions raised force us to rethink our entrenched assumptions about the human condition, national identity and the future of anthropology.

  

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Contents

Does Anthropology Have A Creditable Past?
17
The Promise of Cultural Relativism Why Did It Fail?
35
What Are Anthropological Ethics?
45
Should Anthropologists Involve Themselves in the Politics of Individual Tribes?
63
Should Anthropologists Involve Themselves in Intertribal Conflicts?
81
Should Anthropologists Try to Influence Public Policy?
93
Do Ideology and Archaeology Mix?
109
Should Museums Collect Information or Objects?
113
Should Museums Return Sacred Objects from Their Collections?
133
Is There a Museum Science?
141
Is There a Museum Profession?
149
How Have Museums Changed in the Past Twenty Years?
167
Is Anthropology Continuing to Ignore the Rights of the Individual Within the Group?
175
Does Anthropology Have a Future?
187
Sources of Original Essays
203
Index
205

Do Museums Provide Adequate Care of their Anthropological Collections? The Frobisher Relics
123

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Page 5 - The anthropologist must relinquish his comfortable position in the long chair on the verandah of the missionary compound, Government station, or planter's bungalow, where, armed with pencil and notebook and at times with a whisky and soda, he has been accustomed to collect statements from informants, write down stories, and fill out sheets of paper with savage texts. He must go out into the villages, and see the natives at work in gardens, on the beach, in the jungle...

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