Anthropological Dilemmas: The Encounter of Practice and Theory
Harvey Goldberg and Rina Neeman
The relevance of anthropological knowledge beyond the spheres of research and teaching is considered with reference to anthropologists engaged in practice-oriented projects. This introduction addresses dilemmas encountered in anthropological inquiry external to academia in areas such as social policy, work with diverse communities, or planning. Stated more broadly, it concerns the potential role of anthropology in fashioning social, cultural and physical horizons. The envisioned potential would, at times, entail cooperation with experts in scientific and technological fields, in professions such as architecture and design, or in vocations such as healthcare and education within a rapidly changing world. The discussion stresses the hierarchical assignment of priority to academic anthropology that inhibits the potential contributions of an anthropology of practice. Dialogue and cooperation between formal academic anthropology and practice-oriented anthropologists, in a range of extra-academic settings, would enhance both the relevance and the advancement of the discipline as a whole.