Antrhopology's Importance to Poverty Alleviation

914 WordsFeb 17, 20184 Pages
Anthropology is the study of what makes us distinctively human, including culture. Culture is the system of human behaviors that is shared, patterned, learned, symbolic, and adaptive. Culture is a unique human capacity, which every society has but varies considerably across them. Culture comprises the myriad possible ways that human societies allow individuals address (and allow them to fulfill) their biological needs. As such, culture demonstrates how nothing human is ever 100% biological and hence is affected by context. The job of an anthropologist is to understand how different elements of a culture complement each other and create a cohesive worldview. Because of anthropologists’ capacity to examine the cultural lens of a society, their presence can ensure that the development project has the highest likelihood of success within the unique cultural context of its implementation. Anthropologists look at modes of organization and frames of meaning to carefully construct a cohesive cosmology for the culture they are studying. Modes of organization refer to the ways in which human societies are constructed and the composition of its social role relationships. This could include studies of political, family, and economic structure – and how these interactions influence each other. This is particularly important for poverty alleviation efforts because, as Paul Farmer points out in Anthropology of Structural Violence, economic, social, and political systems of

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