storytelling and social justice
Just yesterday, a conference entitled “Making Anthropology Matter” concluded in Prague (October 14th and 15th, 2015). The topic under scrutiny articulated European professional anthropologists’ ongoing concerns about how to best apply their largely-academic research efforts. Many anthropologists hope to usefully relate their findings to contemporary social concerns.
With this in mind, most conference participants spoke about the tension they feel exists between the contemporary liberal values of engagement, advocacy and social justice, with the problems of finding research funding as well as more general academic support. Funders and employers often hope to persuade researchers to circumvent a fundamental, scientific requirement that requires independent and politically unbiased inquiry.