Why do you love anthropology?

26 thoughts on “Why do you love anthropology?”

  1. I fell in love in college. Not with a person but an idea. A philosophy that the world would be a better place if we all understood each other. That is anthropology.

    I have gone from forensic anthropology to sociology to archaeology to cultural anthropology to physical anthropology and now I am using all of the knowledge I have gained to understand how behavior and hormones have played a part in human evolution. That is the great thing about anthropology. It is a study that you can use everything in you bank of knowledge for your research. This relationship I have had with anthropology has lasted six years and it keeps getting better.

  2. I fell in love with anthropology when I was young, very philosophical, and obsessed with existential questions about the human condition. Studying anthropology has taken me places I never would have dreamed I would go and it has given me the intellectual tools to help others tell their stories about aspects of their lives that have meanings that run much deeper than we often think. Anthropology has helped me help others to understand cultural sensitivity and cultural competence, especially working in parts of the world where tolerance and understanding aren’t always paramount values. Anthropological fieldwork has taught me to be comfortable with discomfort in human social interactions and that this social discomfort and exploration of other cultures is crucial to one’s personal growth. Anthropology can teach all of us what it truly means to be human and the crucial value, the immense importance of this understanding cannot ever be understated.

  3. My love for Anthropology has to do with the Care Share and Dare aspect of especially Applied Anthropology – as A Design Anthropological Consultancy, in the Copenhagen based ‘Antropologerne’ we create deep insight and meaningful change with people every day. ‘The Why’ to Us is ‘The With’ and I #loveAnthropology because we make sense and because of ‘The With’ ❤️

  4. I love to publish anthropology because there is nothing more rewarding and inspiring than working with storytellers and researchers to share the lives of others with the world .

  5. I am a person who lives and breathes anthropology every day. It is a core part of my identity and it contributes significantly to my love of people, places, and things. I was fortunate to have spent a large portion of my career as anthropologist at General Motors where I helped the company recognize the effect of culture on its decisions and implement change accordingly. Seven years ago, I opened my own consulting practice, Cultural Keys LLC. My clients come from different industries, different settings. I work with private sector and non-profit organizations to help them understand their culture and change those aspects of it that are not working effectively. My research and change-management projects allow me to listen to the concerns expressed by employees, senior leadership, customers, and other stakeholders and respond to what I hear and see. My work easily spills over into my “private” life. I have worked on projects involving family traditions and recollections, church visioning and international mission trips, and volunteering with elders. My “life’s work” as an anthropologist is challenging and rewarding. Not a day goes by when I don’t realize how lucky I am to be involved in issues that make a difference in peoples’ lives.

    1. I had been an undergraduate in Physics and Math when I applied to Columbia in Anthropology. I must admit that I was influenced by the fact that there were women in Anthropology whereas the Chairman of Columbia’s Physics Dept. had said he would never accept a female candidate getting a Ph. D. in Physics. But more than that I was reading a lot of the then available Anthropology and was impressed by the greater interest in and knowledge about human beings compared to those in Physics. I was interested to Patrocia Tovar’s copmments about what she did before starting her Ph. d. becaue I also had worked for the same organization many years earlier.
      I also wanted to work in India and Anthropology offered me the opportunity to go there eventually. And I was able to meet Mead and Ruth Bunzel and Gene Weltfish .. 3 leading women of those days when I started in at Columbia. It was not easy because there was an overwhelming number of former GIs also taking Anthropology when I decided to study it, but still, I felt more welcomed because of finding 3 women struggling to get established at Columbia whereas in Physics there were none. I ended up doing my first research (for my Ph. D.) in East Harlem, NYC but I was able to work in India once I had my degree. I still am glad I went to Graduate School in Anthropology.

  6. Love Anthropology because it causes me to look deeper into every situation especially my neuroanthropological clients that have Parkinson’s, MS, or Stroke recovery, they tell me they feel understood. That allows me to help more.

    On Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 9:59 AM, Welcome to the AAA Blog wrote:

    > Anne Kelsey posted: “Why do you anthropology? We thought we’d get an > early start celebrating Valentine’s Day and next week’s Anthropology Day by > sharing the #AnthroLove. Read the responses below from AAA President Alisse > Waterston and her colleagues at John Jay College CUN” >

  7. Anthropology as a discipline and a mode of inquiry helped me make sense of myself and the way I interacted with the world. I always felt like an outsider in my small hometown, which made for a frustrating and often lonely childhood. But, as one of my undergraduate anthropology advisors told me, that made me a natural anthropologist…observing and seeking to understand the behavior, values, and practices of others; searching for a way to participate as part of a community in a meaningful way without also abandoning my sense of self; understanding life in its great complexity, both in structure and spontaneity.

  8. I have loved Anthropology before I even knew the word. As a small child we would go to Fossil Creek in upstate NY and I would collect, collect, collect — and proudly display my finds on my dresser along with my dolls. Later, as an elementary student in Denver I was offered a spot at Denver University’s University for Youth…in an Anthropology course. Once I entered University it was not even a choice — I was compelled. I still use my Anthropology training in corporate America to better understand the world & my peers as we work together globally. Anthropology has given me such gifts and a unique mindset for success.

  9. I love anthropology because it helps me understand the fact that processes of change in different societies of the world do not necessarily move in the European direction of change. Morever, another very important point that came from anthropology to my mind is that it is not only Europe but all people all over the world have their own ‘rich’ histories. No one is without history. It is anthropology that has developed my interest in social histories and ‘histories from below’.
    It is because of anthropology that I give more importance to the study of ‘cultural hybridity’ than ‘cultural purity’.
    The contact between the colonized and the colonizers is worthy to be researched if someone conducts research in the post colonial societies.
    This discipline teaches us celebration of differences in terms of cultural variations due to different social experiences but anthropology with Marxist and critical orientations sides with the struggle against economic or class differences in the world. I love anthropology because anthropology loves my worldview. This love is reciprocal.

  10. When I was eleven I was enrolled in classes biology, mineralogy, and Native American studies at the Buffalo Museum of Science. I decided then that I needed to work in museums. I got a bachelors in Anthropology, the a masters in Anthropology with minor in museum studies. I began my career at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum and retired from the South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum 30 years later. Anthropology “been bery, bery good to me.”

  11. I love anthropology because it gave me the chance to understand my life under a new perspective and full of new possibilities. Anthropology let me see how humans are diverse and the infinite roads they have taken. In this convulsionated world, other cultures can be the example to follow and anthropology has let us to see them as equals and as an alternative.

  12. I love anthropology because it can encourage new thoughts and behaviors based on models of true sustainability. Will this technology last for the next 500 years? Can this resource be relied on for the next 10 generations? This long-term thinking will hopefully become inherent in our attempts to, for example, usher in an era of human space colonization.
    I took time away from my undergrad to travel, and ended up doing environmental research for a year. My partner was an anthropologist and a geneticist. This time openened my eyes to a world so much broader, more varied, and exploratory than I’d ever experienced before. I developed a drive to help progress humanity as I witnessed its acts of great destruction. I am now finishing my undergrad as an anthropology major, and am honored to be part of a field so interdisciplinary, so relevant across time and space, and so acknowledging of the beauty in variation. I love anthropology because I love humanity.

  13. I love anthropology because it helps me make sense of the world around me. With the tools and methods one learns as an anthropologist, I have the ability to analyze social problems and find solutions. As a graduate student studying mental illness and stigma, I hope the research I conduct will one day help the community I work with.

  14. Anthropology challenges me to listen to not only what others say but what they mean. It allows me to probe at the most vexing problems with confidence that underneath it all is a history, a story, a narrative that provides access to understanding why we do things and how we make sense of them. I love anthropology because it requires that I see the biological, the cultural, the social, the historical, and the environmental issues that confront us and that result in the political and economic responses that govern our interactions. I love anthropology because there is no question that is outside our domain; if humans do it, then we seek to understand it. It is, for me, a perspective that has given me the tools to find our humanity even in the darkest moments of human interaction.

  15. I’m a teacher educator, an educational researcher, and an anthropologist. It’s because of that last part of my identity/job description that I am fascinated by how Mexican teachers make sense of and respond to students in their school who used to go to school in the United States, how US teachers feel hurt and angry and declare solidarity and protection of newcomers when a nearby ICE raid scares the children in their classes, how translanguaging is seen as a problem or an exciting display of multilingual competence. Indeed, I am fascinated by the whole idea (now practiced in almost all quarters of the globe) that a portion of childhood should be spent apart from family and in the tutelage of professionally trained strangers (i.e., teachers at school). I love the work of making the familiar strange and asking (because often it needs asking): ‘Why do we do this?’

  16. I love anthropology because it is a discipline that embraces difference. Growing up, most of the people I was surrounded by saw the world in black and white, and that never felt quite comfortable to me. So when I first encountered anthropology in my sophomore year in college (I had never heard of the discipline before then), I was introduced to a discipline that embraced complexity, cross-cultural difference, and empathy. This was a very powerful moment in my life, as I found a set of tools I could take with me to understand and navigate all contexts of social life.

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