Essay about Why Do Study Anthropology?

821 Words May 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
Why Study Anthropology?

The study of anthropology is crucial because it enables the public to gain a better understanding of diverse cultures, norms and values. This insight will hopefully, lead to a greater appreciation and respect for an individual’s choices and cultures which differ from one’s own. For instance, instead of westerners viewing hijabs as a restrictive clothing item that women in the Middle East are forced to wear, ethnographic research could help the public realize that women can wear hijabs by choice (Sanghani). Anthropology can be valuable, but it can also be inherently “othering,” as the anthropologist is entering an unfamiliar civilization, and the customs and rituals can appear quite alien and different from their own experiences and culture (Abu-Lughod, 153) This creates an innate biased, which anthropologists need to recognize and consider when documenting their observations. However, too often, the anthropologists fail to acknowledge how their personal perspectives influence their research, which in turn, magnifies the “othering” effect. In addition, an anthropologist’s work is often done alone, giving them the ability to decide which observations should be documented and how these findings are reported. Despite these noted flaws, I still think the study of Anthropology, when done accurately, can produce results that are extremely beneficial, rather than detrimental.
For those participating in anthropological studies, it is important to remember…

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