Welcome to Anth in Practice. Hah. Sounds like a college course, but I promise not to lecture (too much). So, like most who chose anthropology as their career/passion, I get asked on almost a daily basis, "What is anthropology?" And like others, I've given the somewhat meaningless definition of anthropology — which usually results in glazed eyes, vigorous nodding, and abrupt exits. Rarely has the same person ever asked an anthropological question of me again, so, it's time for a change.
Anthropology is all around us—it's in how we connect with each other, how we interact with our environments, and the ways we use media. Opportunities for anthropological discussion and analysis can strike anywhere. Anthropology is not confined to a classroom full of bored freshmen, or remote areas of the world where people eat unusual bugs, and—most importantly—it's not confined to people who wear Indiana Jones-style hats and carry whips.
What I hope to do here is show how anthropology is woven into everyday life and do it everyday language. Put down your pens and close your books—there's no midterm (and the final is an essay). Let's chat—about life and the reasons we do things we do.
How do you define anthropology? And what do you see as it's purpose?