Ali2009 - Management Science and Engineering ISSN 1913-0341...

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Management Science and Engineering ISSN 1913-0341 Vol.3 No.4 2009 12/20/2009 Http:// Http:// E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] 16 Anthropology and the Changing World: How Can Anthropologists Serve Humanity? H.M. Ashraf Ali 1 Abstract: My principal objective in this paper is to delineate how anthropologists can understand and help solve human problems emerging from the global change. In this paper I will focus on three major anthropological domains. Firstly, following a brief overview on epistemology and foundations of anthropological knowledge (i.e. scientific methodological tradition), I will discuss contemporary human problems emerging from global change and assess how sociocultural anthropology can contribute to understandings of gender and health issues in development. Secondly, I will assess emerging development problems in Bangladesh with a critical anthropological lens, considering how anthropological viewpoints can contribute to solving these problems. In other words, I will contextualize how anthropological knowledge generated from socially-grounded methodological traditions can be applied to solve the problems of the contemporary humankind. Finally, following changing foci within academic anthropological discussions, I will examine the prospects of anthropology as an agent in both understanding and serving humanity. Key words : Applied anthropology; development; cultural relativism; changing world 1 PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, 13-15 HM Tory Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2H4, Canada. Email: [email protected], [email protected] Assistant Professor (On Study Leave), Department of Anthropology. University of Chittagong. Chittagong, Bangladesh. * Received 5 October 2009; accepted 12 November 2009 1. INTRODUCTION Change is perhaps the most common aspect of human life experienced in every society of today’s world. There may be differences in context, pattern, speed, scale, or extent of changes, but peoples across the globe more or less seem to share experiences of social, cultural and economic alteration in their everyday lives. Globalization, through the spread of the free market economy, the revolution of information and communication technologies (e.g., the spread of the Internet, media and entertainment technologies) rapid urbanization, the spread of consumer culture, and transnational migrations, have interconnected the world economically, culturally and politically. Even remote communities have been influenced by
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H.M. Ashraf Ali /Management Science and Engineering Vol.3 No.4 2009 16-26 17 global change. Such change has both positive and negative consequences on peoples’ lives. Though many people’s have been blessed by economic and technological advancements, economic inequalities between and within nations proliferate. In addition to the continuance, even growth of global poverty, violation of human rights, discrimination and violence against women, and stigmatization and exclusion
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Ali2009 - Management Science and Engineering ISSN 1913-0341...

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