The Relevance of Anthropology: Part -II

The importance of anthropology in public private and business sector

Manjah Tillman

Anthropologists can be found working at various levels of government. They may be directly involved in planning and policy-making activities, obtaining jobs in government funding bodies, or senior administrative roles. Almost every aspect of government decision-making benefits from a deep understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the actors involved. In these situations, anthropologists use their skills in communicating anthropological knowledge and insight to non-specialists, and demonstrating how anthropology can transcend disciplinary boundaries.


Academic Careers: On campuses, in departments of anthropology, and in research laboratories, anthropologists teach and conduct research. They spend a great deal of time preparing for classes, writing lectures, grading papers, working with individual students, composing scholarly articles, and writing books. A number of academic anthropologists find careers in other departments or university programs, such as schools of medicine, public health, ethnic studies, cultural studies, community or area studies, linguistics and education.


Corporate and Business Careers: Many corporations look explicitly for anthropologists, recognizing the utility of their perspective on a corporate team. A corporate anthropologist working in market research might conduct targeted focus groups to examine consumer preference patterns not readily apparent through statistical or survey methods. These anthropologists use their research skills to talk to consumers and users of technology to find out how products and services could be improved to better meet the needs of consumers.


Government Careers: State and local governmental organizations use anthropologists in planning, research and managerial capacities. Contract archaeology is a growing occupation with state and central government to assess cultural resources affected by government funded projects. Forensic anthropologists, help police departments to identify mysterious or unknown remains. The federal government of the United States is one of the largest employers of anthropologists outside of academia. Possible career paths include: international development, cultural resource management, the legislative branch, forensic and physical anthropology and natural resource management.


Non-profit and Community-based Careers: Non-governmental organizations, such as international health organizations and development banks employ anthropologists to help design and implement a wide variety of programs. Many anthropologists work in local, community-based settings for non-profit agencies. Sometimes, they work through community-based research organizations like the Institute for Community Research. Other times, they might work for established organizations in a community like the YMCA, local schools, or environmental organizations.


Anthropology in Nagaland

Humans are innately curious creatures. We want to know where we came from, how we have evolved as a species and where we might go next. We want to know how other people are similar to and different from the people we know. It gives us a solid picture of our human origins and blends together the various human cultures into one large journey of humanity from the beginning of our existence to the present day. In doing so, it can also help us understand more about where our cultures might be going in the future because we predict future trends based on our past growth and progress.


But Anthropology in Nagaland is very negligible, it is sad to say that hardly any of our parents or educators or for that matter even our teachers don’t realised the beautiful subject called Anthropology. It is the fact that the importance of Anthropology is rising immensely in all the sectors of development in the world but it’s hardly evolving in our state. It is also fact that Anthropology is taught only in Kohima Science College Jotsoma, giving a Bachelor degree and only a year ago it was upgraded to Master degree. It is also learned that Master degree is provided in Nagaland University for the past 4 years only. The subject Anthropology is very old subject but it is not provided or given importance by the Government of Nagaland or Nagaland University or any other academic institutions for that matter. I urge the colleges to provide Anthropology in undergraduate, graduate and even doctorate so that students can become professional in the field of Anthropology keeping in mind the needs of Anthropologists in this present world. Anthropology is a subject where they emphasis the well being of a community as well as an individual’s development, recently appeared in the local dailies where the students of Anthropology from Kohima Science College went to study Mopungchuket’s social institutions where they have covered the subjects such as village’s political structure, land holding system, impact of tourism, body mass index and blood pressure. They studied the hierarchy of the Putu Menden (village council), its powers and function, the pattern of land use in the village, the cycle of jhum cultivation, impact of tourism and future prospects of tourism in the village and determined the height, weight and blood pressure of villagers’ physical index.


This studies show that the interaction between the students and the villagers and the complete picture of a village social institution through them. There are many Nagas anthropologist but the job opportunities in academic field are very limited since the institutions which provide Anthropology is very few in the state and the job creation in public sector for anthropologists is very less or not at all in our state. In this case I request the government, the bureaucrats, business group, entrepreneurs to employ or to make use of the Naga anthropologists who are just ready to make use of their ideas of applied Anthropology what they have learnt during their studies, research and practical’s, ethnographic fieldwork, dissertations, presentations, seminars, symposium etc. It is also fact that many western anthropologists have wrote about the Nagas but hardly any books or research have been done by the students who have studied Anthropology, it is high time for us to write our own cultures, customs, religion, moral values, ethics where than the authenticity of the story become genuine and reflect the true sense of our past glorious generations. So imparting micro studies in Anthropology in school and colleges can be of tremendous source of knowledge, a database for developing and formulating macro-level strategies, planning and execution of programs and projects of our state government as well as private enterprises.


The programs to be effective and successful need to be charted out and chalked out taking into account the socio-cultural context of our state being affected by it as well as their constraining politico-economic scenario and power structure of our state. Today, Anthropological work has gained momentum and Anthropological knowledge and expertise is well documented, acknowledged and acclaimed the world over in all branches of refinement and development. Thus, Naga anthropologists can be employed for both research activities as well as implementation of intervention packages or policy formulation of our state.