|About the Book|
“This provocative study sets ambitious goals for what might be achieved by a public anthropology - NOAM CHOMSKY Institute Professor, MIT- Voted the Foremost Living Public Intellectual (in a 2005 Prospect Magazine Global Survey)“Rob Borofsky deliversMore“This provocative study sets ambitious goals for what might be achieved by a public anthropology - NOAM CHOMSKY Institute Professor, MIT- Voted the Foremost Living Public Intellectual (in a 2005 Prospect Magazine Global Survey)“Rob Borofsky delivers a gem of a resource for anyone interested in anthropology - PAUL FARMER Kolokotrones University Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University- Co-Founder, Partners in HealthWhy a Public Anthropology? begins: “Cultural anthropology has the potential to change the world. It can bring institutional accountability, facilitating transparency in political and social matters. It encourages ‘big picture’ understandings that allow us to appreciate important problems in deeper and broader ways than we might otherwise.” To date, however, this potential remains mostly unrealized.The two key questions the book addresses are: Why hasn’t cultural anthropology lived up to its transformative potential? And how might it be encouraged to do so now? Each year, the field produces thousands of publications. But producing more publications on more topics is not necessarily the the same as producing more knowledge. It may generate instead unverified assertions of uncertain value.The book argues that the way for anthropology—or any social science—to realize its potential for serving the common good is to increase transparency and, through such transparency, accountability to the broader society that funds it. By exposing the functions (and dysfunctions) of the academic system to public light, Why a Public Anthropology? hopes to draw the field to effectively address the critical problems that the wider world very much wants and funds it to address.