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MANI-003: Practicing Anthropology

MANI-003: Practicing Anthropology

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MANI-003/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: MANI-003

Assignment Name: Practicing Anthropology

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Attempt a total of five questions. Attempt at least two questions from each section. 20x5




Q1) Define practicing anthropology. Discuss how practicing anthropology as a field developed during the 2nd World War.

Ans) A career-focused journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology is called Practicing Anthropology. Its overarching objectives include offering a means of communication and a source of career information for anthropologists working outside of academia, fostering a connection between practise inside and outside of the university, investigating the applications of anthropology to the development and implementation of public policy, and acting as a forum for discussion of the current state and potential directions of anthropology generally.


With the advent of the Great Depression and the New Deal, applied anthropologists were in great demand in the United States as the need for data by the government rose. But when World War II drew near, anthropological employment experienced a boom. Anthropologists got active in a variety of issue areas and political settings during all of these times. Along with collecting generic ethnography, they also focused on study on a wide range of other topics, including migration, nutrition, education, and culture contact. Both the United States and Britain experienced this.


In the 1930s, there were numerous applied research organisations founded in the United States. Anthropologists worked for several organisations, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Agriculture's Rural Life Studies, the Applied Anthropology Unit, and others. Along with anthropological viewpoints, these committees investigated the nutritional and psychological elements of humans. The Great Depression and World War II increased anthropologists' involvement. By adopting a resolution that said that the "specialised skill and knowledge of its members, were at the country's disposal for the effective prosecution of the war," the American Anthropological Association made a commitment to the nation.


The atmosphere of the 1930s and 1940s clearly changed in Britain with the advent of World War II and also significant changes in colonial policies. The British were criticised for not paying attention to the growth of the colonies' economies. They got involved in fresh affirmative administrative planning to correct the situation. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation provided a flood of funds for this reason, enabling anthropologists to examine their subjects more thoroughly. In order to gain an insider's perspective on the impacts of policies, the British also engaged native anthropologists in Third World countries, like India. These individuals were taught to study their own cultures and states. Before the Second World War, this occurred. In the hopes that it may alter the course of their countries, these applied anthropologists conducted purely academic study. They want to create a powerful, contemporary nation-state.


However, their involvement in doing pragmatic research, changing policies, or other activities did not contribute to the development of applied anthropology in academic settings or other settings. This was primarily because, despite the fact that the colonisers recruited native researchers and anthropologists for local involvement, the British anthropologists held control of the fields of pure anthropology. However, there were disagreements between Oxford's and LSE's intellectuals since the latter thought that financing for social academic research should be decided by academics themselves rather than by a colonial organisation like CSSRC. Due to the failure of the British colonies to find a settlement by 1961, funding for these conflicts ceased, and other funding sources emerged in the 1970s.


Q2) Discuss in detail the participatory approaches in practicing anthropology.

Ans) PAR methods involve the detection of problem, collection of data, preparation of collective plan, and finally action. These are the characteristic methods which most often transpire concurrently. The PAR process begins when members of a community recognise some problems they want to solve by bringing change. As time went on, the practitioners dealt with more and more facets of a certain applied topic. The anthropologists took on a greater role in issue solving as they became increasingly involved in application and intermediation. This required that the researcher-instructor-consultant key roles for professional anthropologists be enlarged. The practise of anthropology methodology took on a significant shape with the proliferation of roles. The role extension's first output was a higher level of participation.


With the aid of the community, they were working with, anthropologists in this capacity began to engage as participatory agents of change rather than only monitoring and predicting it. This new position required involvement and movement. With the aid of the community, they were interested in, anthropologists were intimately participating in change-producing behaviour in these action-oriented roles. This transition led to a variety of new techniques for using anthropological information rather than just one new strategy. These include collaborative research, action research, participatory action research, and cultural action. In this approach, the anthropologist collaborates with the community to comprehend the circumstances that lead to the issues that the people encounter.


Action Research and Participatory Action Research: Action research is a practice-oriented, problem-solving approach used by practitioners, in which action is used to comprehend, assess, and effect change.

  1. Identify Problems and Constraint: The PAR process starts when community members identify issues they want to address through change. The practitioner themselves, along with important community informants, can develop the themes for assessment by developing simple questions about the needs of the community in areas like health, agriculture, the environment, economy, and education.

  2. Obtaining Information, Formulating Policies/Plans, and Action: Data collection, which starts with the initial discussion of the PAR, is a crucial method of gathering information. Participants who continue to converse with other community members and start to have a deeper understanding of the issue throughout data collecting turn into researchers. From the participants' suggested solutions, planning and policies are developed. Plans for action also cover how much participation is required, how to get the resources needed, and strategies for ongoing review.


Collaboration Approach/Collaborative Research Approach: The goal of the collaborative approach is to conduct research for "joint issue solving and constructive social change" by networking researchers, programmers, and community members. Here, collaboration refers to use one's scientific expertise to further communal objectives.

a) The Components of Successful Collaboration: There are numerous definite guidelines that must be followed for cooperation to be successful. The collaboration is successful because the community controls the research activities.

b)  Steps in Collaborative Approach: According to Schensul, the collaborative process is thought to consist of a number of steps. As follows:

i) Building Relationships and Credibility of Applied Research

ii) The naming of important indigenous action programmes.

iii) Between Applied Researchers and Action People, relationships are being negotiated.

iv) Initial involvement in particular action programmes.

v) The determination of the action people's specific informational needs.


Cultural Action: The goal of cultural action is to alter the dynamic between the powerful and the underclass. With this approach, a community can learn about the causes of its situation via study and contemplation. It emphasises expanding self-determination in the face of cultural dominance and oppression and is very participative. The concepts have been used in a variety of settings, despite being conceived in the context of underprivileged populations.



Q3) Define the term disaster. Discuss the role of anthropologists in disaster management.

Ans) The French phrase "Desastre," which combines the terms "des," which means bad or evil, and "astre," which means star, is where the word "disaster" first appeared. Disaster thus denotes a terrible star. In this context, the phrase is used to describe a supernatural or extra-terrestrial event over which humans have no control. Disasters are often linked to religion, where they are thought to be the result of God's wrath.


Since the beginning of time, disasters have impacted the human population. They have always posed a threat to human civilization, and some data even hints that natural calamities may have completely destroyed it. Archaeologists have identified one of the oldest examples of floods sweeping away human habitation as being from the Indus Valley Civilization. Floods were cited as one of the primary reasons for the early civilisation's demise. The work of B.B. Lal, who conducted out excavations in Hastinapur and in the upper Ganga and Sutlej basins, provides another example of flood wreaking devastation. The Mahabharata epic makes mention to the capital city of Hastinapur.


This definition highlights two crucial aspects of the term disaster, which are as follows:

  1. Disasters include incidents that pose a major threat to the environment and may result in environmental degradation in addition to human casualties and property damage.

  2. Additionally, because of their size and scope, disasters are beyond the community's ability to cope. This implies that the community will need support and assistance from outside sources to deal with the occurrence.


Opportunities for Anthropologists in the Field of Disaster Management

The part anthropology is currently and potentially playing in catastrophe management. This has increased the number of fields in which anthropologists can work and are working. Students who are more interested in undertaking research in this area will have numerous options both domestically and abroad. With each new calamity that claims lives, disaster management becomes more and more crucial. For improved administration, this requires high-quality research and documentation.


To manage calamities, a lot of economic resources are being diverted. These resources are used to carry out projects on the effects of catastrophes and the establishment of institutions of national significance to comprehend disasters. People trained in this specialised subject have a wealth of opportunities thanks to organisations like the National Institute of Disaster Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and numerous Indian colleges offering disaster management courses.


The study of disasters is the focus of some international projects, such as the sixth framework project of the European Union, "Integrated Health Social and Economic Impacts of Extreme Events: Evidence, Methods and Tools," which included anthropologists on the research team and served as the project's coordinator. In addition, a large number of national, international, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are conducting extensive disaster management projects and need employees with training in the disaster research methodology. As a result, the discipline of disaster management presents an exceptional opportunity for cutting-edge, ground-breaking research and social service where you may help make this world a better place to live.



Q1) Define Forensic Anthropology. What are the methods used in forensic anthropology in identification of a body?

Ans) The field of physical anthropology known as forensic anthropology deals with the identification of more or less skeletonized remains that are known to be or are presumed to be human for forensic purposes. The identification procedure offers an opinion on the person who is being excavated's age, sex, ethnicity, stature, and other characteristics, which may lead to his or her recognition. A whole or partial skeleton is typically present when someone is dead.


From these examples, it is possible to divide the identity problem into three categories: criminal cases in which an unidentified body, skeleton, skeletal remnant, etc. is discovered; cases in which the dead of a mass disaster, whether natural or man-made, are identified in order to resolve religious, inheritance, compensation, and insurance issues; and cases in which mass graves are found in war and genocide cases. Physical or biological anthropology is applied to the judicial system in forensic anthropology.


Humans are the subject of anthropology, which is a branch of forensic science. In this field, physical or biological anthropologists specialise in the study of the human body as it relates to accident investigation or crime solving, frequently homicide. Applying anthropological methods and research to medical and legal matters is the goal of forensic anthropology.


The discipline of forensic anthropology has three divisions, including:

  1. Criminal Osteology (the study of the skeleton).

  2. Criminal archaeology (involves the controlled collection of human remains).

  3. Forensic Anthropology (involves the study of changes to the body after death, including decomposition and environmental modification).


In criminal cases, forensic anthropologists frequently examine human remains. By attempting to determine the age, sex, stature, ancestry, and distinctive traits of a skeleton, as well as potentially recording injuries to the skeleton and its postmortem interval, their study of human remains aids in the detection of crime.


When examining skeletal remains, forensic anthropologists employ a variety of methods, including:

  1. A graphic or clay facial recreation.

  2. Electron microscope scanning

  3. Radiographic procedures

  4. Ways for superimposing images or videos.

  5. Bone histology thin-sectioning methods.

  6. Casting skeleton components.

  7. Use of commercial preservatives to preserve skeletal materials.

  8. Preservation and rehydration of soft tissues that have been mummified or degraded.


Among forensic anthropologists' roles are the following:

  1. Providing forensic pathologists and coroners with advice and consultative services.

  2. Visiting the crime scene and writing reports that describe the scene observation and recovery process

  3. Adhere to a defined methodology for gathering data.

  4. Supporting the organisation of a disaster event that involves victim identification fatality reaction plan.

  5. Peer-reviewing anthropological research results produced by regional experts


Most frequently, forensic anthropologists collaborate with forensic pathologists, homicide detectives, and odontologists. Although they can work full-time, particularly for the U.S. government and the military, the majority of forensic anthropologists prefer to work as consultants and teach at colleges and museums. One needs to be knowledgeable about human osteology to recognise the bones.


The fixed number of bones in the human body can be divided into flat bones (such as the cranium, innominate, and scapula), long bones (such as those in the upper and lower limbs), short bones (such as those in the hand and foot's metacarpals, metatarsals, and phalanges), and irregular bones (vertebrae, carpal and tarsal bones). Due to their distinctive characteristics, complete bones are easy to identify, but when they are fragmented, it depends on the portion of the bone that can be examined.


Q2) Discuss Genetic Counselling and Genetic Screening.


Genetic Counselling

One significant area of applied human genetics that can be used in society is genetic counselling. The counsellor needs to be sufficiently knowledgeable about the counselling procedure. The counsellor should ideally be a medical professional with expertise of human genetics. A counsellor’s responsibility is to provide the required genetic details, together with information on the social, economic, and psychological elements of the case.


Harper defines genetic counselling as "the process by which patients or relatives who are at risk of a disorder are informed of the effects of the disorder, the likelihood of developing and/or transmitting it, and the means by which this may be prevented or ameliorated." This entails making a precise diagnosis and calculating the likelihood of recurrence or incidence in a family member.

One or more people with the necessary training will endeavour to assist the person or family in:

  1. Know the relevant medical information, such as the diagnosis, expected course of the condition, and potential treatment options.

  2. Recognize how heredity affects the condition and the likelihood of recurrence in specific families.

  3. Consider your options for reducing the chance of recurrence.

  4. Choose a course of action that, in the context of their risk, family objectives, and moral and religious principles, feels appropriate to them, and then carry it out.

  5. to make the greatest possible adjustments to the disorder in a member of the affected family and/or the possibility of the disorder returning.


Genetic Screening

Genetic screening is a common diagnostic method used to identify people who are either carriers of hereditary diseases or who have the diseases themselves. Genetic testing is more relevant for populations than for individuals. Phenylketonuria is the condition for which genetic screening is used the most frequently in the United States. A blood test known as the Guthrie test is used in all hospitals in the United States to check new-borns for PKU. Following genetic testing, it is simpler to calculate the likelihood that a child will inherit a genetic disease if both parents are heterozygous for it and the genotypes of both potential parents are known.


The likelihood of parents who are at risk is significantly reduced by genetic counselling and antenatal diagnosis, which also lowers the prevalence of genetically faulty people in the general population. These steps are unlikely to completely eradicate the harmful alleles from a population, though. This is true because heterozygotes for the majority of genetic abnormalities have recessive alleles. It has been suggested that faulty genes can be fixed using advanced genetic procedures, either in developing embryos or in certain tissues of an adult patient; this method is known as genetic surgery.


Embryo treatment consists of:

  1. Egg fertilisation in vitro.

  2. Several copies of the healthy allele of the faulty gene are produced.

  3. Introduction of this DNA into the growing embryo's zygote or cells.

  4. DNA integration is necessary so that it can operate normally, ideally in lieu of the faulty allele.


The goal of patient therapy is to transfer the normal gene into the patient's important tissue, or the tissue where the affected gene needs to express itself the most, such as the pancreas in the case of a genetic condition like diabetes. Similar procedures are used in patient therapy and embryo therapy. Many human genes can already be isolated, identified, and multiplied, and for many more, techniques are likely to be developed soon.

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