Engaging Anthropology: The Case for a Public Presence
Thomas Hyland Eriksen
Anthropology ought to have changed the world. What went wrong? Engaging Anthropology takes an unflinching look at why the discipline has not gained the popularity and respect it deserves in the twenty-first century. From identity to multicultural society, new technologies to work, globalization to marginalization, anthropology has a vital contribution to make.While showcasing the intellectual power of the discipline, Eriksen takes the anthropological community to task for its unwillingness to engage more proactively with the media in a wide range of current debates. If anthropology matters as a key tool with which to understand modern society beyond the ivory towers of academia, why are so few anthropologists willing to come forward in times of national or global crisis? Eriksen argues that anthropology needs to rediscover the art of narrative and abandon arid analysis and, more provocatively, anthropologists need to lose their fear of plunging into the vexed issues modern societies present. Engaging Anthropology makes an impassioned plea for positioning anthropology as the universal intellectual discipline. Eriksen has provided the wake-up call we were all awaiting.