The Practice of Anthropology: People and Ideas in Action – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

Department of Anthropology > Research > Research projects > Current Projects > The Practice of Anthro...

The Practice of Anthropology: People and Ideas in Action

The humanities and social sciences are being pushed to justify their relevance. Yet there is an increasing demand for them to respond to a wide range of scientific questions and societal problems. This also counts for anthropologists. But what do anthropologists actually do in the various kinds of collaborations they become part of? What is the impact of anthropology? How does collaboration with other professionals affect anthropology in return?

This project moves beyond the increasingly obsolete distinction between knowledge and its application - between theoretical and applied anthropology - by changing focus from anthropology as research to anthropology as a social practice inside and outside academia.

Since the 1980s anthropology has sought its object in new professional arenas and has been pulled towards and gains much of its vitality in other academic communities, e.g. medicine, science and technology, and business. It is also within these arenas that a majority of the graduates from the Department of Anthropology in Copenhagen are finding employment. What do anthropologists working in these arenas actually do? What is the impact of anthropology? How does collaboration with other professionals affect anthropology in return? And what can we learn from anthropology as a social practice that may be useful not only for anthropology itself but also for other disciplines within the humanities that engage with these new challenges and opportunities?

The four sub-studies are:

  1. Health Care: Collaboration between anthropologists and health workers (Associate professor Hanne Overgaard Mogensen)
  2. Interdisciplinary research: Collaboration between anthropologists and other scientists (Professor Morten Axel Pedersen)
  3. Business: Collaborations between anthropologists and corporate consultants (Ph.D. Student Jazmin Cullen)
  4. Management: Collaborations between anthropologists-cum-managers and their employees (Post. Doc. Birgitte Gorm Hansen)