The essence of applied anthropology

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Applied anthropology may be a branch of anthropology which deals with the appliance of knowledge , theory, methods, and perspectives of identifying, assessing and solving social problems. It facilitates change. The anthropologist during this field applies their knowledge to deal with a problem within the society actively. it’s different from academic anthropology because academic anthropology focuses on training people regarding the sector , researching and writing. In academic anthropology, knowledge is transferred within the framework of a tutorial setting. Through writing and speaking, applied anthropologists, make the tutorial world conscious of their experiences. Applied anthropologists can add governmental structures, hospitals, and non-governmental organizations but they are doing not add a tutorial setting. Another notable difference is that applied anthropology it does not contain true theories which make this field overlooked or ignored.

Question 2

Examples of applied anthropology include:

In forensics

Applied anthropologists work hand in hand with forensic teams in solving crimes. They use archaeological methods to help the police to find out the facts surrounding a criminal act.


Applied anthropologists work with non-profits with the aim of determining the best possible way to meet a community’s needs. This can be either short term or long term.

Solving disputes

Applied anthropologists also work with indigenous groups to help resolve some issues. An example is land claims. Applied anthropologists can follow up on the history of the land and determine the rightful owner.

Question 3

When carrying out an applied anthropology research, the following stages are followed to ensure a standard project.

Becoming aware of a social problem. For research to be conducted a problem must be present in the population.

The researcher should then clearly articulate the problem, that is, identify the stakeholders, the contexts and the cultural constructs which are at play.

Formulating a research focus which will guide the researcher in solving the problem. The researcher should identify the study population and the opportunities and risks that may arise in the course of the research.

Gather background information about the problem by consulting what other researchers have done in the past. This will help the researcher know what to expect and what gap exists in the field.

Formulate a research design that best fits the problem. This is the most important part of research and here, the researcher defines the research questions, selects the data collection method to be used, handles the issues of consent and ethics, identifies the deadlines and milestones and assigns duties to the fieldworkers. A poor research design will lead to poor results which cannot be used to make inferences about the population.

Actual data collection. The data is documented by taking field notes, recordings during interviews, taking photographs and videos. After data is collected, it should be validated using the triangulation method.

Analysis of the collected data. After quantitative and qualitative analysis, explain the findings which are important is answering the questions. The most important thing to note after analysis is what the results obtained mean and what one can say regarding the question.

Draw conclusions from the findings. The conclusion is usually the answer to the research question. It should state the implications of that research.

Propose solutions the problem and make recommendations for future research.

Question 4

Quantitative ethnographic fieldwork methods are used to collect data with the aim of answering questions on relationships among variables with a purpose of giving explanations, predictions of a certain phenomenon while qualitative methods are used to collect data with the aim of answering questions regarding the complexity of a phenomenon. Qualitative methods are good at simplifying data without destroying the complexity of the question and are appropriate for research questions where preemptive data reduction will avert discovery. The limitation of these methods is that the findings cannot be applied to the general population with the same certainty as for the quantitative methods. Examples include participant observation and unstructured interviews. Quantitative methods are good at studying relationships and making predictions, and the findings can be extended to the general population with a high degree of certainty. However, these methods cannot be used to study the complexity of a given phenomenon in the population. Examples include surveys and census.

Question 5

In schools, there are students from different races and ethnic groups. They have different cultures and treat each other differently. They have different perceptions about equity with some thinking equity is about having an equal share and others thinking that equality is about access. I am of the opinion that student equity projects should not focus on target populations based on race and ethnicity. The more projects focus on school equity based on one’s race and ethnicity, the more the rift continues to grow. There is a risk to the populations identified in the study because this influences perceptions about some ethnic groups and races. The way some people conceptualize the relationship that may exist between student equity and one’s racial and ethnic identity can be very problematic.

In the world, we are working on bridging the gap between races and ethnic groups to help people co-exist as one without discrimination which means that more projects based on race and ethnic groups undermine this. In schools, students get to interact more on a daily basis which means that conducting projects on equity and looking at race as a determinant will lead to a breakdown in any attempt to bring people together regardless of their races and ethnic identities. There are many other determinants of student equity which are worth studying without undermining people from some races and ethnic groups. Student equity projects should pay more attention to the social constitution of the target populations and not races and ethnic groups. This is because social identities are useful proxies of equity among students. Student projects can also turn their focus to the economic differences among the students because some students view equity regarding wealth. This will help to promote the peaceful co-existence of people of different races and ethnic groups together without discriminating.

Question 6

A study on how different students view the cultures of other students through a lens of their culture and the problems that arise at Foothill. Cultures can be compared to underground rivers running through people and their relationships. The give messages which shape and impact the perceptions, ideas, and judgments that we make. Cultures entail more than one’s language, dressing, and customs on food. People in a cultural group may share race and ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, religious affiliations, and language. The cultures are always changing, and they give us information on what is important. At Foothill College, there are students from different cultural groups based on their socioeconomic status. Some students are from rich families while others are from families in the lower quartile. There is need to study how the two subgroups view each other’s culture and the problems that arise as a result of this. From past studies, some of the problems that arise as a result of how people view other people’s culture include; interpreting the comments and the actions of others, conflicting behaviors’ and predicting behaviors’.

This is a social problem, and research will be conducted to help solve it. Those who stand to benefit from this research are the students at Foothill College from the different socio-economic classes. Since the problem is practical, an anthropological approach will be adopted.

The stakeholders in this study will be all the students from the different socio-economic classes. The students from the rich families may undermine the students from families in the lower quartile while those in the lower quartile may view those from rich families as spoilt and privileged. This results in a rift between the two subgroups. The target population will be all students enrolled at Foothill College. The population consists of students from diverse backgrounds, and hence a sample will be representative of the entire population. The project will aim to establish whether there is a relationship between whether there is a difference between how students’ view others culture form their own culture and some independent variables such as family’s level of income and parents view of other cultures which may help explain their response. The achievement gap in this setting between the two subgroups have been well documented, and therefore there is a need for action to be taken to close the gap.

Data will be collected by the methods of observation, interviews, and questionnaires. The method of observation will be convenient because one will be able to observe how the students from the two subgroups interact with each other, interviews will help follow up on an issue and questionnaires will help collect information from the selected sample in a short period. These methods will help obtain detailed information regarding the subject. Data collection will be dealt with in three weeks to give more time to the analysis of the data so as to make valid conclusions and recommendations.

The process of data collection will ensure that the proper guidelines will be followed. The questions asked will not have any negative implication on the two subgroups. The data will be beneficial in helping group the gap that exists, and all information will be confidential. Those who will answer the questions will not be forced to do it, that is, interviews and questionnaires will be optional.

The validity of the data will be ensured by a triangulation method. This is a method which makes use of data from different sources. Questionnaires and interviews will be used on many students so as to have more data for cross-referencing. Variables such as the income of a family will be used as a continuous variable and not as a categorical variable because as a continuous variable a unit change in the income levels can be explained with regards to one’s perception regarding other people’s culture.

At the end of the project, I expect to determine whether there is a difference between how students view other students’ culture from their own culture. I also expect to know some of the problems that arise as a result of how students’ view other students’ culture from their own.

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