Anthropology - Other

Development Anthropology

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Development anthropology is a branch of anthropology that refers to the study of developing nations and the economic, social, and political issues that come up within them. Development anthropologists tend to stress the importance of listening to locals, rather than making broad generalizations that can have severe consequences on the indigenous peoples. It emerged onto the anthropological scene during the 1970s, as critiques citing a lack of focus on underdeveloped societies started to come to light. While development anthropologists aren't very connected with listed materials, curriculum, and methods of study, they are all focused on developmental issues.

Anthropology, with its study of the basis of human societies and cultures, has always been a prime candidate to study and advocate developing cultures. Although there has always been different branches and subtypes of the study, many focused on biological, cultural, linguistic, and medical portions of Anthropology prior to development's readjusting toward the disadvantaged.

The many anthropologists in this field criticize not only the often unfair treatment from developed nations, but also the efforts from international agencies that focus on depoliticizing the current system yet refrain from uprooting the developmental problems. An example would be building a school, yet not protecting the children from a corrupt government. With the decolonization of former colonies such as India, Lebanon, and several other African countries, Post-Colonialism began with the retainment of resources by the Western world. The United States, Britain, and other occident powers still maintain the allocation of colony resources via indirect control often clothed as "developmental aid". As intelligent scientists in the development field of anthropology, these anthropologists often point out the inconsistent hypocrisy endorsed by the major countries.

Many major universities across the globe are beginning to introduce development anthropology as a major field of the study. Yet, there is still much growth to be done within the subtype. Our friends in cultural anthropology, for now, have significantly (for the most part) endorsed focusing efforts on the nations that need it, specifically the 3rd world. Still, many in the discipline have been calling applied anthropology no longer a science but an advocacy if effort is focusing on help rather than pure data accounting. It is for the student to decide whether he or she desires to help those countries that require aid, or to devote time to the strict study.


- Culture and Publication, Development Anthropology

- Anthology of Ideas, The four fields of anthropology

- Indiana University, Anthropology and Development

More about this author: Daniel Khalil

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