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Baruch Bigger Picture Book

28 Students from my Intro to Cultural Anthropology Course create an ethnographic book about student culture in the classroom and way beyond. We beg the question of not WHAT is Baruch College but WHO is Baruch College and WHAT MATTERS NOW to them?

Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.

on 1 May 2010

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Transcript of Baruch Bigger Picture Book

1) Anthropology, at least of the sort I profess and practice, involves a
seriously divided life. The skills needed in the classroom or at the desk
and those needed in the field are quite different. Success in the one
setting does not insure success in the other. And vice versa.

2) The study of other peoples' cultures (and of one's own as well, but
that brings up other issues) involves discovering who they think they
are, what they think they are doing, and to what end they think they are
doing it, something a good deal less straightforward than the ordinary
canons of Notes and Queries ethnography, or for that matter the glossy
impressionism of pop art "cultural studies," would suggest.

3) To discover who people think they are, what they think they are
doing, and to what end they think they are doing it, it is necessary to
gain a working familiarity with the frames of meaning within which they
enact their lives. This does not involve feeling anyone else's feelings, or
thinking anyone else's thoughts, simple impossibilities. Nor does it
involve going native, an impractical idea, inevitably bogus. It involves
learning how, as a being from elsewhere with a world of one's own, to
live with them.

From The Charles Homer Haskins Lecture for 1999: A Life of Learning by Clifford Geertz, American Council of Learned Societies Occasional Paper No. 45, 13-14; www.acls.org/Publications/OP/Haskins/1999_CliffordGeertz.pdf
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