The University of Arizona

Applying anthropology to what? Tactical/ethical decisions in an age of global neoliberal imperialism

James R. Veteto, Joshua Lockyer

Abstract


This article introduces the Journal of Political Ecology Special Section on 'towards a political ecology of applied anthropology.' We provide a brief overview and analysis of the history and application of applied and practicing anthropology. Examining moral and ethical issues related to the application of anthropology, we assess current endeavors and make suggestions for future directions from a political ecology perspective. Introducing five articles that exemplify our approach, we identify common themes and particular contexts that both unify and distinguish each of the contributions. Throughout this introduction, we propose a potential guidepost for a political-ecology informed applied anthropology: any applied anthropology that engages, documents, promotes, and supports cultural diversity, social justice and environmental sustainability is just. Conversely, any applied anthropology that threatens cultural diversity and environmental sustainability is unjust.

Key words: applied anthropology, imperialism, political ecology, neoliberalism, ethics


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v22i1.21113

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