Hi! My name is Eden. I’m a graduate student in an applied anthropology program. I’m also queer and non-binary (they/them pronouns). I’m from the United States, but have been living in South Korea for the past two years teaching English. This isn’t my first blog. However, this is the first blog where I’ll be specifically talking about applied anthropology, social science, ethnographic research, linguistics, and folklore, along with how all these fit both into my professional development and praxis as an activist (or wanna-be activist anyway). So, first things first:
What is applied anthropology?
Wikipedia provides a simple answer: “Applied anthropology is the application of the methods and theory of anthropology to the analysis and solution of practical problems.”
In other words, applied anthropology deals with problems outside of academia and involves searching for research-backed, data-driven solutions to them. Anthropology is a complex field, however, and splits off into a vast spectrum of sub-disciplines. The traditional four-field approach is, of course, socio-cultural, archaeology, linguistics, and biological anthropology. However, each of these split off further into fields such as business anthropology, activist anthropology, forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, medical anthropology, and countless others! It’s also heavily influenced by other science and humanities disciplines such as psychology, sociology, history, biology, literary theory, and many others. For me, anthropology acts as a bridge between the sciences and the humanities. Personally, I was a history major during undergrad, so that’s a big influence in my own theoretical framework. Postcolonialism, Marxist anthropology, feminism, queer anthropology, and linguistics also have a large impact on my work.
I plan on blogging about a lot of different, related topics. However, my interests are largely framed around how anthropology can be used to solve real-world problems. In particular, how anthropology can improve praxis in activist work and how anthropologists can collaborate with communities to solve real world, social problems that impact people all over the world. I’ll update this blog about twice a month or so, and each post will be informed by data-driven and research-backed information (with citations included!).
Please comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I’m open to discussion. Also, if you have any ideas for topics you’d like to see me write about, please let me know!
Picture taken on top of a mountain on Cat Ba Island in Vietnam.