I was recently reading Kay Warren’s chapter, “Perils and Promises of Engaged Anthropology: Historical Transitions and Ethnographic Dilemmas,” where she discusses different strands of engaged cultural anthropology. Certain approaches—like critical takes on ladino/Maya relations and inequality in Guatemala—struck me as being at quite some remove from neuroanthropology. But one strand she describes did seem closer to me:
Another perspective is that we need to move beyond the antagonisms of the past to grapple with new issues: gang violence, alienation, and the mass marketing to the urban underclasses of commodities from foreign clothing styles to mood-altering drugs; the globalization of popular culture that undercuts local authority and parental status in the eyes of many youths and their parents; and consumer expectations and forms of employment that, as they respond to transnational media and forms of production, are independent of local space (Garcia Canclini 2000).
This chapter raised the question: What are the on-going theoretical and ethnographic discussions in cultural anthropology that are closest to the work we are doing on this blog?
Or, to take it further afield and include Todd and sociology, what strands of social science research offer the most immediacy to our work? Where are the fruitful collaborations and theoretical synergies likely to be found?
I present this as a question to people who read this blog. I would love to see plenty of comments, and look forward to a fun conversation.