Why a Public Anthropology?


“This provocative study sets ambitious goals for what might be achieved by a public anthropology and offers ways to carry forward a project that could be far-reaching in its consequences.”NOAM CHOMSKY Institute Professor, MIT; Voted the Foremost Living Public Intellectual (in a 2005 Prospect Magazine Global Survey)

“Rob Borofsky delivers a gem of a resource for anyone interested in anthropology, especially students of the field.Part polemic and part review of vexing problems in the discipline, Why a Public Anthropology? offers a critique (one to which other social sciences are also vulnerable): the discipline’s history of producing new knowledge without building upon foundational theories; and its consequent reluctance to engage in activism on behalf of the communities and societies granting the privilege of studying them. Borofsky’s final message is one of transformation: he calls on those both within the discipline and without to practice anthropology in service of the public—to not simply ‘do no harm,’ but to do good.” PAUL FARMER Kolokotrones University Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University; Co-Founder, Partners in Health