“Helping people to understand and increase their tolerance for cultural others has turned out to rest very little on anthropology the discipline and to be instead about finding creative pedagogical techniques for communicating anthropology’s most basic and in some ways simple insights. And most of all, it means understanding cultural diversity not because it is a politically correct “must,” but because it enriches and even eases our own lives to be able to see many patterns in the kaleidoscope.”
Can we use cultural analysis to help others understand the particularity of their own culture? Is anthropological thought and practice useful when not ‘preaching to the choir’? And do we have the tools to help professionals identify their taken-for-granteds? Rebecca Popenoe, Ph.D. in anthropology, addresses these questions in her text “Doing anthropology to teach anthropology”, covering her time as student in Indonesia as well as her experience of teaching reflexivity and cultural understanding to practitioners in the field of medicine.
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