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George Mason University Anthropology 640 Wednesday 7:20-10:00pm SOAN Conference Room, Robinson Hall B 313

Dr. Cortney L. Hughes

310 Robinson Hall B Office Hours: Wednesday 3:15-5:15pm or by appointment

Applied anthropology uses the perspectives, methods, and theories from the discipline to address various practical everyday issues. This course is designed to prepare students to conduct research and to practice applied anthropology in both academic and nonacademic settings. It emphasizes important theories, methods, and skills necessary for professional roles, as applied anthropologists often work for non-profit organizations, companies, and governments planning, implementing, and evaluating programs, products, services, and policies. We will give attention to the ongoing and dynamic interaction between theory and practice and to how ethnography is a useful method to answer critical questions. After discussing the development of applied anthropology and some of the ethical challenges of the field, we will examine specific areas in which anthropologists work, such as in healthcare, corporations, and the government, and will practice preparing documents, including a grant proposal, a career portfolio, and a policy issue brief, that will be useful in your academic career at GMU and in pursuing a career as an applied anthropologist in the United States or abroad.

Method This course will be organized around critical discussion and analysis of class readings and time and attention will also be given to your and your classmates’ work. Group discussion is most productive when all members

of the seminar keep up with the readings and come to class prepared to contribute ideas and questions. Please

bring with you to each class some key reflections/reactions. You are responsible for careful, timely

completion of reading assignments and active contribution to classroom discussions.

Contacting the Instructor You are more than welcome to see me during my office hours on Wednesdays, but also, please do not hesitate to contact me to make an appointment to discuss any of your assignments. In addition, I am more than willing to talk with you about professionalization (career paths, funding opportunities, research), or to refer you to someone who can better answer your questions. Email is the best way to get in touch with me, but please give me 24 hours to respond to your message. On a day in which you have an assignment due,

please email me no later than noon the day before the due date so that I have time to respond. After that there

is no guarantee that I will be able to get back to you before you need to turn in the assignment. I will always

let you know when I will need to be out of town for a few days so that you can ask any questions beforehand.

Readings for the Course

A textbook is not required for this course. Our readings come from books, edited volumes, journals, and

popular culture sources. All readings will be available through Blackboard at least one week prior to when you need to complete them. Please read the texts assigned for the day they are listed on the schedule. It is your responsibility to print the readings and please bring them with you to our meeting each week. On some weeks you will need to read your classmates’ work. You do not have to print out all of these documents, but I expect that you will have read them and will be able offer thoughtful comments and suggestions during our seminar. You may use track changes in Microsoft Word and send these to your classmates after our meeting; however, this does not replace your responsibility to contribute feedback during class. Applied Anthropology

by Ervin Alexander is on reserve at the library.



Plagiarism and Cheating Plagiarism and cheating will result in disciplinary action at the university level and an F in this course. Please do not put your academic career at risk. See the university policy found at: plagiarism.htm.

Special Needs If you have any special learning needs, please contact the Office of Disability Services at George Mason University located in the Student Union Building so that you can receive the proper assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns about your learning.

Add & Drop Policy The last day to add and drop classes this semester is Tuesday September 6, 2011 without tuition penalties. This course is done by electronic registration. We will not enroll more students than the maximum cap in the course (12 students). If you are trying to take the course, please try to add electronically before discussing a “forced” add with me. If you decide not to take the course due to scheduling conflicts or other reasons, please drop in a timely manner so others can enroll.

Grading and Assignments

1. Course Facilitation

100 points

2. Discussion Board

90 points

3. Practitioner Profile

80 points

4. Career Portfolio

175 points

5. Grant Proposal

175 points

6. Policy Issue Brief

130 points

7. Short Ethnography

250 points


1000 points

Course Facilitation (1 time = 100 points): I ask that each of you facilitate one of our meetings. You may choose to facilitate any of the following weeks: weeks 2-5, weeks 7-8, week 10-11, or weeks 14-15. I ask that when you facilitate the class you do not summarize the readings, but synthesize their main points, discuss key themes and concepts, and raise critical questions. The purpose of the facilitation is to encourage participation of and discussion among all members of the seminar. You should have a flexible plan for guiding our discussion through the elements of the week’s assigned readings. Feel free to link or contrast a particular reading and argument to others that we have covered and I highly encourage you to pursue your classmates’ Message Board posts (see below). If you see connections between the articles, draw those out. You may certainly prepare a handout if you like, although it is not required, and throw out questions for the entire group to answer during our meeting.

Discussion Board (6 times x 15 points = 90 points): You are required to make short posts on our Discussion Board that is set up through Blackboard. You need to post six times throughout the semester. You may only post during a week designated above for facilitation (i.e. weeks in which reading other than just your classmates’ work is assigned). You can pick which six weeks you want to post. Demonstrate engagement with the readings, themes, and issues raised and consider each author’s position or approach. Again, these are not to be summaries of the readings, but rather, they are to help raise issues and questions for discussion. Please post by noon on Wednesday so that the facilitator has time to look over your posts in preparation. Your posts should each be about a paragraph in length.

Practitioner Profile (80 points): This project will provide insight into the variety of career opportunities as well as the career tracks of leading practitioners in the field. Select an applied anthropologist from Paula Sabloff’s Careers in Anthropology: Profiles of Practitioner Anthropologists. I will distribute close-ups in



class during week 1 and you can choose which practitioner you would like to focus on. What influenced their applied career? Where are they now? What issues have they addressed? How have they used anthropology to influence changes in policies or procedures? How have they improved the human condition? What theoretical paradigm(s) guide their work? Write a 2 to 3 page response typed double-spaced with standard font and margins addressing these questions. The profile is due on Wednesday September 14.

Career Portfolio (10 points for cover letter and CV/resume drafts + 165 points for portfolio = 175 points):

This assignment is designed to refine the communication of your skills and qualifications. Compile a selection of your professional vision, experiences, and philosophies into a presentable format including such items as a resume/CV, writing samples, teaching and research philosophies, and a cover letter for a position like one that you may apply for. Please include the original job ad in your portfolio. (You must have between four and six items in your portfolio.) Please post a draft of at least your cover letter and CV/resume along with the original advertisement to the Discussion Board by midnight Monday October 3 so we can discuss them during our meeting that week. Your final portfolio is due on Wednesday October 12.

Grant Proposal (10 points for draft + 165 points for proposal = 175 points): Proposals in the workplace, whether long or short, are often the mechanisms for taking purposeful action. As an applied anthropologist, you may often be required to write grant proposals for your own projects or for larger collaborative studies. In this course, you will be required to craft a grant proposal that will be circulated in class for your peers to comment upon. Early on, I will distribute detailed instructions for the project and will give you a sample grant application to prepare. I will select specific parts of the proposal you will need to include as I recognize you may not have time to prepare a full proposal, although you certainly may for practice. You can write about a fictitious project, one you are currently involved in, or one that you hope to pursue in the future. Please post a draft of your grant proposal to the Discussion Board by midnight Monday October 23, as we will talk about them during our seminar that week. Be prepared to offer comments on others’ work! The final proposal is due on Wednesday November 9.

Policy Issue Brief (130 points): In an organization, sometimes you will be required to write briefs using only public information that is already available to you. You may not be quite familiar with the topic and fieldwork may not be possible to do. A policy issue brief is widely used in the government and industry and is about a public “problem.” For this assignment, you must select a specific topic or current event and research it, remembering that you can only use open source information (i.e. newspaper articles, magazine articles, published government reports, online journal databases). You will need to provide a policy issue brief in the form of a 1-page memo (single spaced with standard margins and font) that identifies the problem presented in the materials (the real heart-of-the-matter), notes the major stakeholders, presents one or more possible alternatives, and discusses any foreseen opportunities and barriers to action. Remember this needs to be jargon free, as you may not be talking to specialists. This should be done from the standpoint of applied anthropology and how we can use the theories and methods in our toolkits to solve “problems.” The brief is due on Wednesday November 30.

Short Ethnography (250 points): This final assignment brings together many of the components of the course by addressing an issue that is important to an organization. You will first select an organization, such as the World Bank or George Mason University, and do some research as to what the organization’s mission and values are and what issues it considers important. Then you are to conduct original ethnographic research including a mixture of informal and formal interviews, observations, oral histories, document content and image analyses, surveys, etc. Think of this ethnographic research as preliminary data collection and then by using it, you will propose social science research that would provide the organization with strategies to address a major issue. Using this data, you will then articulate the theoretical paradigm that best explains the issue and the proposed research strategies citing books and articles from our course (and others you may find through anthrosource, jstor, and other search engines). You are then to draft a 8 to 10 page report typed double spaced with standard margins and font that details: 1) background information, 2) the questions at hand, 3) your preliminary findings and the methods you used, 4) the relevant literature and how your



research relates to it, and 5) potential strategies for addressing the issue or problem that you gleaned from your ethnographic work. Given that applied anthropologists often work in interdisciplinary teams, you may either work on your own or in a group of two or three people. If you choose to work in a group, I ask that each person have a hand in conducting the ethnographic research. (Groups must turn in a paper listing who did what). Your final report is due in my mailbox or office by Monday December 12 (note the date). Electronic copies will not be accepted.

Course and Reading Schedule If there are any changes to this schedule, I will post them on our website and/or announce them in class.

Week 1: Introduction and Course Objectives

Wednesday August 31

1. Chambers, E. 1977. Working for the Man: The Anthropologist in Policy Relevant Research. Human Organization 36 (3):258-267.

2. Sillitoe, Paul. 2007. Anthropologists Only Need Apply: Challenges of Applied Anthropology. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute


3. Grace, Jocelyn 1999. Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't: The Dilemma of Applied Anthropology (Two Case Studies from Indonesia). In Applied Anthropology in Australasia. Pp. 124-139.

Week 2: Real Tales from the “Field”

Wednesday September 7

1. Rylko-Bauer, Barbara, Merrill Singer, and John Van Willigen. 2006. Reclaiming Applied Anthropology: Its Past, Present, and Future. American Anthropologist 108(1): 178-190.

2. Heyman, Josiah McC., Maria Cristina Morales, Núñez Guilermina Gina. 2009. Engaging with the Immigrant Human Rights Movement in a Besieged Border Region: What do Applied Social Scientists Bring to the Policy Process? National Association for the Practice of Anthropology Bulletin


3. Moreno, Margarieta Carmenate and Leticia Artiles Visbal. 1999. The

Application of Anthropology in Clinical Practice: A Public Health Program for Peri-Menopausal and Menopausal Women. Practicing Anthropology


4. Fote, Maximillian C. 2011. The Human Terrain System and Anthropology:

A Review of Ongoing Public Debates. American Anthropologist


5. Camenson, Blythe. 2005. Path I: Creating Your Own Anthropology Career

in Great Jobs for Anthropology Majors. Pp. 96-106 (Close-Ups)

Week 3: Development of Applied Anthropology and Its Approaches

Wednesday September 14

* Practitioner Profile Due *

1. Ervin, Alexander M. 2005. Chapter 2: A Brief History of Applied Anthropology in Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice. Pp. 14-29.

2. Kedia, Satish. 2008. Recent Changes and Trends in the Practice of Applied Anthropology. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 29:14-28.

3. Escobar, Arturo. 1991. Anthropology and the Development Encounter: The Making and Marketing of Development Anthropology. American Ethnologist 18(4): 658-682.




Angrosino, Michael. 2000. The Culture Concept and Applied Anthropology. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 18(1):67-78.

5. Ferguson, James. 1997. Anthropology and Its Evil Twin: “Development” in the Constitution of a Discipline In The Anthropology of Development and Globalization: From Classical Political Economy to Contemporary Neoliberalism (2005) by Marc Edelman and Angelique Haugerud. Pp. 140-


Week 4: Ethical Challenges and the Institutional Review Board

Wednesday September 21

1. Read Society for Applied Anthropology’s (SFAA) Ethical and Professional Responsibilities,

2. Read IRB protocols distributed in class during week 3

3. Ervin, Alexander M. 2005. Chapter 3: Ethics in Applied Research and Practice in Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice. Pp. 30-43.

4. Fetterman, David M. 1983. Guilty Knowledge, Dirty Hands, and Other Ethical Dilemmas: The Hazards of Contract Research. Human Organization


Week 5: Looking towards the Job Market as an Applied Anthropologist

Wednesday September 28

1. Read sample cover letters and CVs/resumes

2. Ervin, Alexander M. 2005. Chapter 17: Becoming a Professional in Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice. Pp. 243-


3. Harman, Robert C., Jim Hess, and Amir Shafe. 2001. Master’s of Applied Anthropology Alumni Survey. Anthropology News 42(5):25.

4. Nolan, Riall. 2002. Chapter 4: Getting In: Finding Your Job. In Anthropology in Practice: Building a Career Outside the Academy. Pp.


Week 6: Discussion of Cover Letters, CV/Resumes, and other Career Portfolio Pieces

Wednesday October 5

* Career Portfolio Draft Due *

1. Read materials distributed by your classmates and prepare comments

Week 7: Conventional and Unconventional Methods

Wednesday October 12

* Career Portfolio Due *

1. Ervin, Alexander M. 2005. Chapter 1: Orientations to an Anthropology of Policy and Practice, Chapter 13: Quantification through Social Indicators and Questionnaires, Chapter 14: Rapid Assessment Procedures, and Chapter 15: Participatory Research. In Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice. Pp. 6-13 and 189-218.

2. Anderson, Ken. 2009. Ethnographic Research: A Key to Strategy. Harvard Business Review (March),


3. Bernard, H. Russell. 2002. Chapter 5: Research Design: Experiments and Experimental Thinking (selections). In Research Methods in Anthropology:

Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Pp. 105-124.

4. Johannsen, Agneta M. 1992. Applied Anthropology and Post-Modernist Ethnography. Human Organization 51(1):71-81.




Sobo, Elisa J. Chapter 10: Refocusing Focus Group Data Collection and Analysis and Chapter 11: Making the Most of One-Time Interviews. In Culture & Meaning in Health Services Research. Pp. 177-210.

Week 8: Grant and Proposal Writing

Wednesday October 19

1. Read sample grant proposals and Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

2. Prepare comments about how you would respond to the RFP from an applied anthropology standpoint.

3. Turner, Edith. 2007. Introduction to the Art of Ethnography. Anthropology and Humanism 32(2):108-116.

4. Silverman, Sydel. 1991. Writing Grant Proposals for Anthropological Research. Current Anthropology 32(4):485-489.

Week 9: Discussion of Grant Proposal Drafts

Wednesday October 26

* Grant Proposal Draft Due *

1. Read your classmates’ grant proposal drafts and prepare comments.

Week 10: Anthropology of Public Policy

Wednesday November 2

1. Ervin, Alexander M. 2005. Chapter 4: What is Policy and How Does it

Relate to Anthropology? and Chapter 7: Program Evaluation in Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice. In Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice. Pp. 44-58 and 91-110.

2. Fiske, Shirley. 2011. Anthropology’s Voice in the Public Policy Process. Anthropology News 52(4):17.

3. Wedel, Janine R, Cris Shore, Gregory Feldman, and Stacy Lathrop. 2005. Toward Anthropology of Public Policy. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 600 (July):30-51.

4. Angrosino, Michael. 2001. Catholic Social Policy and U.S. Health Care Reform: A Relationship Revisited. Medical Anthropology Quarterly


5. Krause, Elizabeth L. and Milena Marchesi. 2007. Fertility Politics as “Social Viagra”: Reproducing Boundaries, Social Cohesion, and Modernity in Italy. American Anthropologist 109(2):350-362.

Week 11: Case Study – Working in Healthcare

Wednesday November 9

* Final Grant Proposal Due *

1. Horton, Sarah B and Judith C. Baker. 2010. A Latino Oral Health Paradox? Using Ethnography to Specify the Biocultural Factors behind Epidemiological Models. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 34(1):68-83.

2. Lee, Simon J. Craddock. 2011. Access to Clinical Research in an Era of Health Care Reform. Anthropology News 52(2):26.

3. Adams, Inez F. 2007. The Ethnographic Evaluation of Michigan’s High- Risk Hepatitis B Vaccination Program. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 27(1):81-92.

4. Sobo, Elisa J. 2009. Chapter 4: Anthropology in and of Health Services and Chapter 5: Health Services: An Insider’s Guide. In Culture & Meaning in Health Services Research. Pp. 69-99.



Weeks 12 & 13: Class Cancelled (reschedule one meeting to Finals Week)

Wednesday November 16

* American Anthropological Association Meeting *

Wednesday November 23

* Thanksgiving Break *

Week 14: Case Study - Corporate Anthropology and the Government

Wednesday November 30

* Policy Issue Brief Due *

1. Fiske, Shirley J. 2008. Working for the Federal Government: Anthropology Careers. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 29: 110-130.

2. Darrouzet, Christoper, Helga Wild, and Susann Wilkinson. 2009. Participatory Ethnography at Work: Participating in the Puzzle Palaces of a Large, Complex Healthcare Organization In Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter: Reflections on Research in and of Corporations by Melissa Cefkin. Pp. 61-94.

3. Fischer, Michael M.J. 2009. Emergent Forms of Life in Corporate Arenas in Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter: Reflections on Research in and of Corporations by Melissa Cefkin. Pp. 227-238.

4. Moed, Andrea. 2010. Back to the Future of Ethnography: Internal User Research at a Consumer Internet Company. Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings (2010)1:14-25.

Week 15: Applied Anthropology in the 21 st Century

Wednesday December 7

1. Young, Philip D. 2008. Practicing Anthropology from Within the Academy:

Combining Careers. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 29: 56-69.

2. Bennet, Linda and Sunil K. Khanna. 2010. A Review of Tenure and Promotion Guidelines in Higher Education: Optimistic Signs for Applied, Practicing, and Public Interest Anthropology. American Anthropologist


3. Baba, Marietta L. and Carole E. Hill. 2006. What’s in the Name ‘Applied Anthropology’?: An Encounter with Global Practice. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 25(1):176-207.

4. Maynard-Tucker. 2008. Becoming an International Consultant. National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Bulletin 29:181-194.

5. Intel Research Day: Money Podcast. home/3502/intel-research-day-money (Hsain Ilahiane is an anthropologist)

Finals Week:

! Reschedule one class meeting

* Final Short Ethnography Due on Monday December 12 (note the date) *