Applied Anthropology: Tools And Perspectives For Contemporary Practice by Alexander M. ErvinApplied Anthropology: Tools And Perspectives For Contemporary Practice by Alexander M. Ervin

Applied Anthropology: Tools And Perspectives For Contemporary Practice

byAlexander M. Ervin

Paperback | June 10, 2004

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The most up-to-date and accessible text on the subject, Applied Anthropology provides the skills, perspectives, and methodologies needed when working in today's communities and organizations.

An invaluable resource, this practical book answers the question, “What can I do with a degree in Anthropology?” In addition to a focus on method, this book provides a solid foundation in the history, activities, and ethical concerns of applied anthropology. The book stresses decision-making and the need to understand policy through anthropological analysis. Because an anthropologist must communicate effectively with the general “non-anthropological” public, the text employs an accessible, jargon-free writing style. More than twenty case studies plus many “real-world” examples of anthropological practice reinforce the usefulness of anthropology in the real world. New material includes a summary of Elizabeth Guillette's research, a case study summarizing the work of Kendall Thu on intensive livestock operations, an analysis of Rapid Assessment Procedures and a summarization of the work and ideas of Robert Chambers.

Title:Applied Anthropology: Tools And Perspectives For Contemporary PracticeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.9 × 7 × 0.7 inPublished:June 10, 2004Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205414095

ISBN - 13:9780205414093


Table of Contents

All chapters conclude with “Summary.”



1. Orientations to an Anthropology of Policy and Practice.

Types of Anthropology.

How Does Applied Anthropology Relate to Anthropological Theory?

Some Challenges.

2. A Brief History of Applied Anthropology.

Nineteenth-Century Beginnings.

Applied Anthropology between the World Wars.

World War II and Its Aftermath.

Academic Applied Anthropology and Consulting for Development, 1950-1970.

Applied Anthropology in Canada.

The Emergence of the “New Applied Anthropology” of Policy and Practice: 1970 to the Present.

Other National Traditions of Practice.

3. Ethics in Applied Research and Practice.

The Host Community.

The Client.

The Profession of Anthropology.

The General Public.

Professional Codes of Ethics for Research and Practice.

Informed Consent.

The “Clinical” Model of Informed Consent.

Confidentiality and Personal Rights to Privacy.

Dissemination of Knowledge.

Special Concerns and Dilemmas for Practicing Anthropologists.

Summary: Collaboration and Collegiality in Ethical Consultation.


4. What Is Policy and How Does It Relate to Anthropology?

The Many Meanings and Contexts of Policy.

Policy as a Process.

The Significance of Anthropology for Policy.

The Domains of Policy Activities within Anthropology.

Some Roles Taken by Anthropologists in Policy Analysis and Practice.

Some Anthropological Stages of Policy Engagement.

5. Strengths, Weaknesses, and Future Directions in Policy Analysis and Practice.

Case Study of Policy Research and Action: The Comadrona Project.

Anthropological Assets for Policy Analysis and Practice.

Some Barriers “Putting People First” in Policy.

Case Study: An Anthropological Difference in Policy Illustrated through the International Potato Center.

6. Needs Assessment.

What Do We Mean by Needs?

Purposes and Expectations of Needs Assessments.

Models or Types of Needs Assessments.

Methods and Sources of Data for Needs Assessments.

Developing the Right Strategies for Needs Assessments.

Case Study: The Saskatoon Needs Assessment Project.

7. Program Evaluation.

Program Evaluation in the Policy Cycle.

Methodological Considerations: An Emphasis on Measurement in Quantitative Approaches.

Qualitative Approaches.

The Growth of Qualitative Methodologies.

Approaches to Program Evaluation.

Some General Considerations.

Case Study: An Anthropological Evaluation of an American Government Agency.

Case Study: Mexican American Strawberry Co-Op in California.

Case Study: Helping to Enhance Self-Evaluations.

Other Examples of Anthropological Program Evaluations.

8. Social Impact Assessment.

Case Study: The Construction of a “Science” Town in the Canadian Arctic.

The Stages of Social Impact Assessment.

Ethnography and the Ecological Perspective in Social Impact Assessment.

Challenges and Controversies.

9. Some Recent Trends in the Application of Environmental Anthropology.

Disasters and Involuntary Migration.

Environmental Risk Assessment.

Case Study: Anthropology and Ground-Water Contamination.

Case Study: Nuclear Wastes and Risk Assessment.

Political Ecology, the Environment, and Human Rights Advocacy.

Case Study: Uranium Mining on American Indian Reservations.

Case Study: Pesticide Bans and Impacts upon Yaqui Children.

10. Advocacy Anthropology.

“The Truth, Yet Not Necessarily the Whole Truth.”

The Case against Anthropological Advocacy.

Response to the Criticism: The Pro-Advocacy and Anthropology Case.

Research and Technical Writing: An Advocacy Role for Practicing Anthropologists.

Case Study: Anthropology in Court.

Case Study: The Bottle-Formula Controversy.

Lessons from the Nestlé Boycott.

Advocacy for Individuals.

Case Study: Anthropology and Intensive Livestock Operations.


11. Ethnography: Participant Observation and Key-Informant Interviewing.

Ethnography and Participant Observation.

Key-Informant Interviews.

12. Focus Groups and Other Group-Interviewing Techniques.

Focus Groups.

Nominal Groups.

Delphi Groups or Conferences.

Appendix: Sample Results from a Delphi Conference Held with Service Providers to Immigrants in Saskatchewan.

13. Quantification through Social Indicators and Questionnaires.


Social Indicators.

Case Study: Anthropological Improvisation Using Indicators.

Survey Questionnaires.

Elements of Questionnaire Design and Administration.

Case Study: Attitudes on Needle Transfer among Injecting Drug Users in Ohio.

Case Study: Programs for Inmates.

14. Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAPs).

The Problem: Policy Makers in a Hurry, Anthropologists Taking Their Time.

What Is Meant by Rapid Assessment.

The Field Manual Approach to RAP: An Example from the Health Field.

Rapid Assessment in Agricultural Development.

Some Cautions and Criteria for Effective RAPs.

Essentials of the Rapid Assessment Process.

Improvisation on the Field Manual Approach.

15. Participatory Research.

Participatory Rural Assessment (PRA).

Participatory Action Research (PAR).

Challenges of Participatory Action Research.

Case Study: Language and Heritage Research in the Northwest Territories.

Case Study: Work with a Blind and Visually Impaired Group on the Topic of Informational Needs.


16. Some Principles for More Effective Practice.

Keeping a Policy Focus.

Consulting with Stakeholders.

Communicating Effectively.


Maintaining a Wide Range of Skills and Upgrading Them.

Maintaining Professionalism and a Sense of Social Responsibility in Ethical Practice.

Emphases on Team and Multidisciplinary Work, Establishing Networks, and Submerging Egos.

17. Becoming a Professional.

Skills and Aptitudes for Practice.

Some Basic Steps toward Getting a Job.

Appendix: Some Course Assignments for Applied Anthropology


Name Index.

Subject Index.