Journal Article

On the Social Ground Beneath our Feet: For a Cosmopolitan Anthropology

Published 1 January 2010 / By COMPAS Communications

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This article argues that for a truly cosmopolitan anthropology to come about, we need to reflect critically on the conditions of our knowledge production. Using the example of women’s under-representation within anthropology, and the marginalisation of the Caribbean, I argue that we need to think more about the social ground beneath our feet and recognise the differential access that anthropologists across the globe and at home have to the ongoing larger conversation that constitutes the discipline. We like to think that universities are republics of letters in the Enlightenment spirit, in which free-flowing conversations take place between equals. Yet like other domains of knowledge production, academia is embedded in hierarchical structures imbued with power. We need to situate our ongoing conversation and our commitment to a cosmopolitan anthropology in this broader context.

Berg, M.L. (2010) 'On the Social Ground Beneath our Feet: For a Cosmopolitan Anthropology', Social Anthropology, 18(4): 433-440