Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Intro to Anthro and My Personal Motivations

Anthropology is a curious beast. In a broad sense, it is the study of humanity- from cultural, biological, linguistic, and archaeological perspectives. It is one of the most holistic fields and can incorporate the study of almost anything. For example, "the diet of ancient Egyptians, the formation of lolcat kitty pidgin, a comparison of HIV infection rates among social groups in Brazil, and the development of cross-cultural vampire mythology" are all anthropological studies.

Since anthropology itself is so broad, the contents of this blog will be as well. However, I want to be a medical anthropologist, so many of my posts will fall under that category. One day I hope to do research on cross-cultural perspectives on disability and the development of culturally competent health care. Some of my other interests include: social justice, poverty relief, gender, human rights, environmentalism, sexuality, reproductive rights, art, violence, food, music, myth, and world peace.

I don't pretend to be an expert on everything I discuss here, just hoping to promote some tolerance and understanding through the lens of anthropology. This blog aims to discuss some topics in anthropology and show how an anthropological perspective is not only valid, but also an imperative. Culturally constructed views of race, intelligence, success, beauty, disease, gender... your mom, etc... shape our lives in more ways that anyone can know. Everyone is a product of their culture, for better or worse. I seem the duty of the anthropologist to use their understanding of other people to protect humanity from the potential harms of culture clash.