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What insights can be gained from an anthropology of policy or expert knowledge? (Essay Sample)

NB. Please use ethnographic examples in developing and supporting your arguments Anthropologists have recently turned attention to contemporary knowledge practices and the working of institutional power whether in the field of finance, international law, journalism, global science research, or international aid and development, among others. The ethnographic focus here is on international institutions, professionals, expert knowledge, ‘global governance;' on the anthropology of organisations and ‘policy worlds' including those within which anthropologists themselves are positioned. This week will take selected ethnographic cases of ‘studying up' and the conceptual, methodological and ethical issues involved. Useful readings Institutional Power and Governmental Knowledge Bowker, C. Geoffrey and Susan Leigh Star. 2000. Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences. Cambridge, M.A.: MIT Press. Corbridge, S, G.Williams, M. Srivastava & R.Veron. 2005. Seeing the state: governance and governmentality in India. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Douglas, Mary. 1986. How institutions think. London: Routledge Ferguson, J. (1990) The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development‟, Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Goldman, M. 2005. Imperial Nature: The World Bank and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalisation. New Haven and London: Yale University Press Graeber, David. 2006. ‘Beyond Power/Knowledge: An Exploration of the Relation of Power, Ignorance and Stupidity', LSE lecture. 25 May 2006. Retrieved from http://www(dot)lse(dot)ac(dot)uk/collections/LSEPublicLecturesAndEvents/pdf/20060525-Graeber.pdf Kipnis, A. B. 2008. Audit cultures: Neoliberal governmentality, socialist legacy, or technologies of governing? American Ethnologist, 35: 275-89. http://onlinelibrary(dot)wiley(dot)com/doi/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2008.00034.x/pdf Li, Tania, 2007. The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics. Durham: Duke University Press. Li, Tania Murray 2005. Beyond ‘the State' and Failed Schemes. American Anthropologist 107 (3): 383-394 Mitchell, Timothy. 2002. Rule of Experts: Egypt, techno-politics, Modernity. Berkeley, C.A.: University of California Press Mosse, D. 2005. ' Global governance and the ethnography of international aid', in eds. D.Mosse & D.Lewis The Aid Effect: Giving and Governing in International Development. London: Pluto Press, pp1-36 Rose, N. and P. Miller. 1992. Political power beyond the state: problematics of government. British Journal of Sociology 43(2) 173–205. Scott, James 1998. Seeing like a state: How certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed. New Haven & London: Yale University Press (Chapters 1, 8 & 9) Herzfeld, Michael. 2005. Political optics and the occlusion of intimate knowledge. American Anthropologist. 107 (3) 369-376. Anthropology of Organisations and Policy Alvesson, Mats 1993. Cultural perspectives on organisations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gellner, D & Eric Hirsch 2001. Inside organizations: anthropologists at work. Oxford: Berg Herzfeld, Michael. 1993. The social production of indifference: exploring the symbolic roots of Western bureaucracy. University of Chicago Press. Heyman, Josiah 1995. Putting power in the anthropology of bureaucracy. Current Anthropology. 36: 261-287 Lewis, David and David Mosse (eds.). 2006. Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press Mosse, D. 2005. Cultivating Development: Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London: Pluto Press. Mosse, David, 2011. Politics and ethics: ethnographies of expert knowledge and professional identities. In Susan Wright, Cris Shore & Davide Pero (eds) Policy Worlds: Anthropology and Analysis of Contemporary Power. Oxford & New York: Berghahn (EASA Series).pp. 50-67. Nader, Laura. 2002 [1969]. ‘Up the Anthropologist. Perspectives Gained from Studying Up', in D. Hymes (ed.), Reinventing Anthropology. Ann Arbor, M.I.: University of Michigan Press, pp. 284–311. Power, Michael. 1997. The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Shore, C. and S. Wright (eds). 1997. Anthropology of Policy: Critical Perspectives on Governance and Power. London and New York: Routledge Shore, Cris, Susan Wright & David Pero (eds) . 2011. Policy worlds: anthropology and the analysis of contemporary power. Oxford & New York: Berghahn Smith, Dorothy (ed) 2006. Institutional Ethnography as Practice Rowman & Littlefield Stirrat, R.L. 2000. Cultures of consultancy. Critique of Anthropology 20 (1) 31-46. Strathern, Marilyn (ed.). 2000. Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics and the Academy. London: Routledge Uchiyamada Yashushi. 2004. ‘Architecture of Immanent Power. Truth and Nothingness in a Japanese Bureaucratic Machine', Social Anthropology 12(1): 3–23 Wright, Susan ed. 1994. Anthropology of organizations. London: Routledge Wedel, J., C. Shore, G. Feldman and S. Lathrop. 2005. ‘Toward an Anthropology of Public Policy', The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 600: 30–51. Ethnographies of experts and professionals Allahyari, R. 2000. Visions of Charity: Volunteer Workers and Moral Community. Berkeley, C.A.: University of California Press. Argenti-Pillen, A. 2003. ‘The Global Flow of Knowledge on War Trauma: The Role of the “Cinnamon Garden Culture” in Sri Lanka', in J. Pottier, A. Bicker and P. Sillitoe (eds), Negotiating Local Knowledge: Power and Identity in Development. London: Pluto Press. Arvidson, Malin. 2008 ‘Contradictions and Confusions in Development Work: Exploring the Realities of Bangladeshi NGOs', Journal of South Asian Development 3(1): 109–34 Friedman, J. 1997 ‘Global Crisis, the Struggle for Cultural Identify and Intellectual Pork-barrelling: Ccosmopolitans, Nnationals and Llocals in an Eera of Ddehegemonization,' In P.Werbner (ed.), The Ddialectics of Hhybridity. London: Zed Press, pp. 70–-89. Gupta, Akhil 1995. Blurred boundaries: the discourse of corruption, the culture of politics, and the imagined state. American Ethnologist 22 (2), 375-402. Harper, Richard 1998. Inside the IMF: an Ethnography of Documents, Technology, and Organizational Action, San Diego: Academic Press Harper, Richard. 2005. The social organisation of the IMF's mission work. In Edelman, Marc & Angelique Haugerud (eds) 2005. The anthropology of development and globalisation: from classical political economy to contemporary neoliberalism. Oxford: Blackwell. (Ch 25 pp 323-334) Haas, P. 1992. Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination'. International Organisation, 46 (1), 1–36. Heaton Shrestha, Celayne. 2006. ‘“They Can't Mix Like We Can”: Bracketing Differences and the Professionalization of NGOs in Nepal', in D. Lewis and D. Mosse (eds), Development Brokers and Translators: the Ethnography of Aid and Agencies. Bloomfield, C.T.: Kumarian Press. Holmes, Douglas, R. and George E. Marcus. 2005. ‘Cultures of Expertise and the Management of Globalisation: Towards a Re-functioning of Ethnography', in Aihwa Ong and Stephen Collier (eds), Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Oxford: Blackwell. pp 235–52. Holmes, D.R. & G.E. Marcus (2006) 'Fast Capitalism: Para-Ethnography and the Rise of the Symbolic Analyst.' in Fisher, Melissa S1962, Frontiers of capital: ethnographic reflections on the new economy, Duke University Press Latour, Bruno. 1987. Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press. Latour, Bruno 1996. Aramis, or the Love of Technology, trans. Catherine Porter. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press. Mosse, D. (ed) 2011. Adventures in Aidland: The anthropology of professionals in international development. New York & Oxford: Berghahn Press Miyazaki, Hirokazu and Annelise Riles. 2005. ‘Failure as an Endpoint', in Aihwa Ong and Stephen Collier (eds), Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics and Ethics as Anthropological Problems. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 320–31. Riles, Annelise 2004. ‘Real Time: Unwinding Technocratic and Anthropological'American Ethnologist 31 (3): 392-405 Riles, Annelise 2006. ‘Anthropology, Human Rights, and Legal Knowledge; Culture in the Iron Cage', American Anthropologist 108(1): 52–65. Smith, Dorothy. 2006. ‘Incorporating Texts into Ethnographic Practice' in D.Smith (ed.), Institutional Ethnography as Practice. Lanham, M.D.: Rowman & Littlefield. Lipsky, M. 1980 Street-level bureaucracy: dilemmas of the individual in public service. New York: Russell Sage. source..
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Table of Contents
3 1.0 Introduction
4 1.1Anthropology of Experts
7 1.2 Challenges faced by the study of anthropology
8 1.3 Anthropology of Policy 10 1.4 Anthropology Contribution to ‘third sector’
13 1.5 Insights gained from the study of Anthropology of experts and anthropology of policy
15 1.6 Conclusion
16. Reference
1.0 Introduction
Over the past few years, anthropologists have taken a keen interest in policy studies and issues related to policies. A motivating factor for this interest has been the inspiration by research directions within anthropology. The opening of ethnographic analysis of government bureaucracies, the apparatus of the modern state, international organisations, national elites, global commodity supply chains and multi disciplinary fields have also contributed to this interest by anthropologists.
This paper will look into the effects of policies on people and the population which includes the way people react over policy regimes and the new kinds of technology assemblages created by policies. It is a well documented fact that policy has is a prominent feature in studying various fields such as international relations, public administration, political science and management studies. Policy has however been treated as unproblematic. But the question that begs is; what is a policy. Where can a person find policies. Can they be found in the speech of a politician for instance or can it be found in a party manifesto. Furthermore, is the policy found in a country’s legislation, legislator’s guidelines or court rulings. Or can it be found in clients and bureaucrats street level interactions.
Approaching policy from an anthropological point of view gradually moves from identifying a problem and formulating policies to implementing policies and evaluation of the policies. As has been mentioned earlier, there have been increased studies in anthropological science and technology over the last few years. The anthropology of experts has been a promising venture in social-cultural anthropology.
1.1 Anthropology of experts In the 1950’s and 1960’s, ‘the expert’ began to appear in a social context within ethnography particularly in discussions of ‘religious experts’ and ‘ritual experts’ (Howell, 1953). However, this interest on ‘the expert’ confined itself to religion and rituals but did not touch expertise that much. ‘The expert’ remained a social designation and never bothered to further the theorization of anthropology. This development has progressed even as studies which focused on experts and expertise have grown to be among the thriving endeavors of social-cultural anthropology at the moment (Dominic, 2008). The rebirth of the anthropology of experts and expertise has been the concentration in the region of anthropological science and technology studies...
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