Anthropology in action

E. Said throwing_a_stone_at_israeli_soldiers

A series of links and articles about how anthropology becomes when it decides to enter into action, i.e. coming out of an (impossible) “pure” observation and getting politically involved into the field it studies. In the seventies, in Italy, they used the expression “ricerca-intervento“, that translated the english “action research”. Many experiences of those times are having a continuity until today, for example the “inchiesta operaia” (worker’s inquiry) autogestionated and driven by activists or by the same people who participate of social conflicts. While the field of “applied anthropology” is being colonized by NGOs and development plans, almost always under control or even financed by the same governments, the social movements are developing some other forms of creation of knowledge. In Barcelona in 2004 a workshop was held (in the Ateneu de Nou Barris) with the title “Investigaccio“, the book Recerca activista i moviments socials (El Viejo Topo, 2005) was a product of this activity; among others, the anthropologist Jeff Juris collaborated with it. In the USA academies now there is a strong debate on what they call “public anthropology” (see the article by Robert Borofsky and the section Public Anthropology Review of American Anthropologist review). Also interesting is the perspective called
collaborative anthropology“, (see the article by Joanne Rappaport) that aims to break with the individual production of knowledge by the ethnographist. But it seems that in recent years this perspective basically dedicated to writing and reading blogs… To go back to our point: two books on anthropology and anarchism,