Molly McMahon Anthr4710 11/9/11 Dr. BJ Isbell Ross’s Take on Cornell-Peru Project In his article, Eric B. Ross discusses how the field of “applied anthropology” had initially emerged to serve and meet the political interests of U.S. policy-makers. Its influence in the Cornell-Peru Project served to justify and legitimize the motives for modernization of the peasant-culture of the Andean community of Vicos. In fact, these anthropologists essentially invented the myth that “peasants were too conservative in their cultural values to be autonomous agents of rural change”; thus, making such groups appear as a potential threat to possibly be overtaken by the Communist party, which ultimately legitimized the U.S’s interests in its intervention (modernization) in the name of “community development”. Furthermore, Ross builds on this notion by pointing out the political ties of those who initiated the Cornell-Peru Project. Morris Opler, who led this major anthropological venture, had
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