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BANC-112: Anthropology in Practice

BANC-112: Anthropology in Practice

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022

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Assignment Code: BANC-112/ASST/TMA/Jan 2022

Course Code: BANC-112

Assignment Name: Anthropology in Practice

Year: 2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Total Marks: 100

** Disclaimer: Q3 A contains helpful information to write the answer on your own. Please use the information provided to formulate your own answer. All other answers have been solved completely.**

There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in all the Sections.

Assignment – I

Answer the following in about 500 words each. 2X20= 40

a. Discuss the history and growth of the early phases in applied anthropology.

Ans) In 1896, Brinton, an American anthropologist, discussed the use of applied anthropology in the management of indigenous societies (Foster 1969: 198). This period coincides with the integration of indigenous communities, generally referred to as Indians, in America with the majority European populations, during which these groups' traditions and cultures were rapidly vanishing. The United States of America's government founded the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879, and anthropologists were hired by the government to gather information about indigenous communities in order to handle their affairs.

These anthropologists were primarily responsible for two tasks: (a) salvaging and documenting the lives and cultures of these rapidly vanishing societies, and (b) advising the government on the implementation of reforms and changes that would aid in the assimilation of these groups into the American way of life. However, it is important to highlight that anthropologists at the time did not try to protect and save the rapidly dwindling communities. People and their cultures were being chronicled as they left the societies, largely for academic purposes.

Anthropologists played a comparable role and function in the British Empire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The British administration used anthropological expertise to better understand the customs and cultures of their colonies in Asia and Africa. As a result, we can see that applied anthropology began as a tool to assist and control the administration in dealing with and controlling 'native' problems. Anthropologists were hired to teach British officials how to study cultures and traditions, with the goal of 'civilising the savages.'

Between 1929 and 1930, after International War I, there was a period in history when the world economy was crumbling and there was a terrible economic slump. One of the most important contributions made by American anthropologists was their work as liaisons with the War Relocation Authority, which was in charge of the internment camps for Japanese Americans.

Applied anthropologists were also on the increase in academia during this time. Margaret Mead's endeavour, the Society for Applied Anthropology, arose around this time. Its significance is emphasised by Spicer's assertion that the founding of SfAA was "one of the most important events in the evolution of anthropology in the twentieth century." Under the aegis of SfAA, which eventually became known as Human Organization, Applied Anthropology as a publication arose. The Institute of Social Anthropology was founded in 1943 under the Smithsonian Institute by George M. Foster, a pioneer of medical anthropology, with health research as one of its main focuses. The emphasis on health and welfare was heightened because the war's ramifications were enormous and had left a mark on every element of human life.

b. What is development? Assess critically why anthropology should engage with development.

Ans) The phrase 'development' has become a buzzword in world politics as a vital notion for visualising societal transformation. We are now aligned to seventeen universally applicable, integrated sustainable development objectives promulgated by the United Nations as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a fifteen-year schedule to be accomplished by 2030. These objectives carry with them a futuristic focus on environmental preservation, as well as an understanding that developmental challenges must be understood in relation to one another and addressed by the entire world.

Prior to the SGDs, the development sector was sharply divided between the developed and the developing, initially referred to as the first, second, and third world countries, and later as Western developed countries, and the rest of the world, i.e., developing and underdeveloped countries; also referred to as the global north (developed) and the global south (underdeveloped) (needs development). However, the western developed world has been called into question throughout the years regarding different social issues as well as its role in environmental deterioration and ecological imbalance.

Anthropology has grown as a result of self-reflection and critical thought. As a result, it has the ability to see both sides of a coin, i.e., to consider a phenomenon in terms of both its drawbacks and benefits (and the grey areas in-between). Being able to see the potential drawbacks can be a valuable asset in a meaningful connection. Long describes intervention as "an ongoing, socially constructed and negotiated process," "an ongoing transformational process that is constantly reshaped by its own internal organisational and political dynamic, as well as the specific conditions it encounters or creates, including the responses and strategies of local and regional groups who may struggle to define and defend their own social spaces, cultural boundaries, and positions within the larger power field."

While Long writes about grassroots communities, the recognition of power politics within the development management chain, between programme implementers and the community, or the community's own social undercurrents to use development programmes for their own political agendas are all issues that can and must be negotiated, and anthropologists are frequently recognised for their role in facilitating communication and synergies. Furthermore, there is no denying that there are societal issues that require anthropological consideration. The majority of these issues are being examined through the lens of development, which is today's dominating socio-political reality.

Globalisation has exposed the world to a wide range of influences, and it cannot be overstated that addressing interconnected social issues necessitates multidisciplinary methods. In order to contribute effectively, anthropologists must collaborate with another disciplinary specialist, drawing on their methodological perspective, fieldwork methodologies, in-depth understanding of the local community, the importance of local/indigenous knowledge and agency, and critical analysis. Anthropology and its methodologies are becoming more important in the collaborative effort. If intervention is a constantly evolving, socially constructed, and negotiated process, anthropologists must continue to negotiate growth in their many positions.

Assignment – II

Answer the following in about 250 words each. 2X10=20

a. Write a note on business and corporate anthropology

Ans) Business anthropologists undertake ethnographic research by observing people, conducting informal or structured interviews, and advising businesses on how to conduct business in a culturally appropriate manner. They assist businesses in maintaining positive working relationships between employers and employees, researching customers and their behaviour, and developing effective marketing tactics. According to Wayne State University research, failures in international business environments are typically caused by an inability to comprehend and adapt to foreign thinking and behaviour. It is beneficial to understand the cultural backdrop of business. The value of culture is critical in today's environment, as business models must cater to global clients.

A business anthropologist would regard an organisation as a culture, with all aspects of the organisation, such as structure, reward systems, standards of conduct, and goals, being components of the culture. Research on the division of labour, the company's beliefs and objectives, organisational structure and leadership behaviour, group formation and communication, organisational artefacts such as attire and logos, and building type are all part of any organisation study. An anthropologist's contribution to organisational study has been the idea of culture and qualitative fieldwork techniques that are applied to business to understand organisations. Later in the Unit, we'll see how business anthropologists have utilised the culture construct to analyse not only the inside of an organisation, but also the services/products it provides to its customers and cross-cultural communication.

b. Write a short note on the role of practicing anthropology in epidemiology and public health.

Ans) The indicators of mortality and morbidity in populations are measured by epidemiologists using tools such as rates, ratios, and proportions. To compute the crude and specific death rates, case fatality rate, proportional mortality rate, survival rate, and standardised death rates, data from death certificates are collected and used. Incidence and prevalence are used to investigate morbidity statistics in communities. The study of illness trends, size, and patterns, the identification of disease causative factors and high-risk groups at the community level, health care planning, and defining and refining the characteristics of medical problems are all examples of epidemiology in action.

To prevent diseases and promote health, public health relies on community initiatives. Biological, social, environmental, and cultural factors all impact health behaviour. Multidisciplinary techniques are used in public health to develop culturally sensitive and acceptable strategies to promote community health. Disease surveillance is carried out by public health experts on a regular basis in order to understand disease patterns and develop strategies to reduce and control them. Anthropology's contributions to the gathering and interpretation of public health data include ethnographic research of perceptions and beliefs about sickness and health-seeking behaviour in various cultures, as well as qualitative, quantitative, and quick assessment methodologies. The fast assessment technique offers public health researchers with trustworthy contextual information, allowing them to make judgments on the implementation of public health programmes in local settings.

Answer the following questions in about 150 words each. 2X5=10

a. Difference between Academic and Practicing anthropology

Ans) Using anthropology to address societal issues and facilitate change is referred to as practising anthropology. The majority of Arleen's time is spent directly addressing the non-issues profit's in developing effective programming. Her position is classified as applied anthropology since she applies her expertise to a role that is actively addressing a societal issue. Because it applies information in the real world, this type of anthropology is also known as practising anthropological. Academic anthropology, on the other hand, refers to the practise of teaching anthropology and contributing to the field's general knowledge base. Jackson's position as a professor is an example of a position in academic anthropology. It is more concerned with teaching people about the area, as well as conducting research and writing. His work continues to make a substantial contribution to the profession, but knowledge transfer occurs more in the context of an academic setting.

b. Define action anthropology

Ans) The Fox Project gave birth to action anthropology. The name 'Fox' comes from the Meskwaki tribe's totemic moniker. Sol Tax and his University of Chicago students worked on the Fox Project. Initially, the Fox Project was involved in a study of the Meskwaki Indians outside of Tama, Iowa, which began as field methods training for University of Chicago PhD students. As the Meskwaki Indians' concerns about assimilation and integration grew, the students became interested in supporting them in dealing with their tumultuous relationship with white culture. The origins of action anthropology can be traced back to the 'local' population's involvement in finding answers to their problems. The focus is on the community's desires. Although the answers may not always benefit the community, Sol Tax believed that everyone has the freedom to make mistakes. 'Whether or not the community turns out to have selected a wise course of action is completely beside the issue,' he added. If a person is free, he or she has the right to make judgments, and so must have the right to make mistakes.' As a result, the process relies on trial and error.

c. Role of anthropology in policy research

Ans) "With its emphasis on 'othering,' anthropology has been a colonial power discipline." Since the beginning of discipline history, anthropologists have been advisors to administrative authorities in their study of local and indigenous cultures. "How anthropologists have supported displaced tribes for relocation and resettlement is a widespread phenomenon that has been documented in the Indian context. The findings gathered by anthropologists had a significant impact on policymakers during the restoration process. Beyond the strength of their research, their capacity to speak up for the impacted populations gained the respect and a voice in policy circles." This type of participation exemplifies the link between advocacy and policy. Another area of interest in policy research is policy analysis; for example, Okongwu compares the United States and Namibia to show how policy decisions contribute to a lack of meaningful employment and a high percentage of female-headed households in each society.

d. Biometrics

Ans) Biometrics is made up of two words: bio, which means life, and metric, which means measurement or quantitative identification and recognition. Simply put, what would you do if you had to choose a T-shirt to go with your blue jeans? Your activity would be to pick and match from a pile; similarly, in biometrics, we compare supplied patterns to those already in the database. It is related to brain recognition with its stored observations, and biometry has evolved for faster and more accurate work. In simple terms, biometrics is the process of identifying someone based on characteristics relating to their physiology, chemistry, or behaviour. Biometrics is described as the use of unique biological characteristics and technologies to identify and authenticate persons in a reliable and timely manner, resulting in an acceptable method of solving a crime. Biometrics' benefits include accuracy, uniqueness for identification, speed, and resilience.

e. Visual anthropology

Ans) Photographs and ethnographic videos are used to chronicle, research, and produce ordinary life in visual anthropology, a sub-field of cultural anthropology. The terms visual anthropology and ethnographic cinematography are frequently used interchangeably. The anthropological study of visual representation includes areas such as performance, museums, art, and the production and consumption of mass media. Visual anthropology is concerned with all things used in daily life that symbolise a culture, such as pottery, jewellery, paintings, sculptors, photography, and so on. As a result, visual anthropology is concerned with the visual narration of a tale in anthropology. Visual anthropology as a sub-field gained popularity in the 1960s, however visuals in anthropology have always been a focus for anthropologists. Many of the earlier monographs used photography to depict ceremonies, dance, and other cultural elements.

Assignment – III

a. Prepare a synopsis by identifying a topic that you can work on as a practicing anthropologist. Use participatory rural appraisal as a research technique. 20


Synopsis is the gist of your planned project submitted for approval from competent authorities. It gives a panoramic view of your research for quick analysis by the reviewers.

Thus, a protocol or a synopsis forms an integral part of a research project or a thesis. Many universities have made it mandatory for the postgraduate degree student to prepare a thesis as a part of their postgraduate training. A good knowledge about how a protocol or a synopsis is written is imperative to all people involved in medical research.

Literally, protocol (Greek word, protokollon - first page) means a format procedure for carrying out a scientific research. Synopsis (Greek word, sun - together, opsis - seeing) means brief summary of something. Frequently, both the terms are used as synonyms but the term ′synopsis′ is used more often.

A synopsis should be constructed in a manner that facilitates the reviewer to understand the research project at a glance. It should be brief but precise. A synopsis can be structured in the following manner:


Statement of the problem and hypothesis

Aims and objectives

Review of literature

Research methodology


Official requirements

b. Write a note on: 10

(a) Participatory research

Ans) Anthropologists in academic or other professional sectors are in charge of this type of research. Local individuals or communities who would otherwise be considered the ‘subjects' of a research project are included or teamed up with these researchers. Instead than focusing on improving the state of groups, individuals, or organisations under observation, this type of research is primarily concerned with the extension of knowledge in the scholarly world. Participatory research approaches include group discussions on personal experience, interviews, surveys, and document analysis. Community issues like dirty water supplies and school curricula, employment issues like working conditions and unionisation, and theoretical issues like consent and resistance to domination have all been investigated using this method. Participatory research is a viable alternative for social scientists who question the traditions of being detached and value-free, and who desire a less hierarchical method that supports the interests of individuals with less power.

(b) Participatory action research (PAR)

Ans) It's a method that's been around since the 1940s. It entails researchers and participants collaborating to learn more about their community and effect change. Because of its ultimate focus on societal transformation, PAR aspires to promote democracy and oppose inequality. The detection of an issue with the participation of community people is the first step in participatory action research, which is followed by data collecting using various approaches such as focus groups and structured interviews. Following the collection and analysis of data, a communal plan with the local community is devised, and eventually, everyone takes sustainable action.

The work to support a men's self-help group in planning, implementing, and evaluating their activities is an example of PAR in action in a rural Aboriginal Australian community. Community members are acting as researchers, researching important issues affecting their lives, recognising their resources, providing information, and taking action to improve their situation with the help of the research team. Participants see the continuous PAR reflection and action process, which includes participant observation, informal talks, in-depth interviews, and a "feedback box," as contributing to their enhanced feeling of self-awareness, self-confidence, and hope for the future

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