Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title:||Applying Knowledge: Anthropological Praxis and Public Policy|
|Authors:||Feit, Harvey A.|
Scott, Colin H.
|Keywords:||Richard F. Salisbury;Development Theories;Applied Anthropology;Colonialism and Anthropology;Common Interests;Decentralizing Development;Indigenous Rights;James Bay Cree;Papua New Guinea;Canada|
|Publisher:||McGill University Libraries.|
|Citation:||Feit, Harvey A. and Colin H. Scott. 2004. "Applying Knowledge: Anthropological Praxis and Public Policy." In Ethnography and Development: The Work of Richard F. Salisbury. Marilyn Silverman, ed. Montreal: McGill University Libraries (Fontanus Monograph Series XV). Pp. 233-255.|
|Series/Report no.:||Fontanus Monograph Series;XV|
|Abstract:||This chapter is an introduction and commentary for a section of a book of selected publications by the anthropologist Richard F. Salisbury (1926 – 1989). The section focuses on Salisbury’s contributions to applied anthropology and development studies. This chapter contextualizes his writings on the James Bay region of northern Quebec, Papua New Guinea and Oceania. He and his colleagues’ multi-decade long explorations and examples of applying anthropology to development are one of the most notable and sustained projects undertaken in the history of applied anthropology. It was also one of the most extensively theorized, as Salisbury’s papers document. He undertook this work and reflection during a period when the critique of social sciences as fundamentally colonial inflected processes led to widespread searching and experimentation with new roles and practices in academia, especially in anthropology. His was a unique response to those challenges, both in theory and in practice, that had broad implications for the discipline. He used economic decision-making and transactional theories to critique post-decolonization development practices, models and justifications. His responses emphasized decentralized development, development through social services, and means of enhancing local empowerment. He considered that attending to common interests was a better strategy for a social scientist than engaging in ways that contributed to confrontations among those enmeshed in and by development schemes. He explored this by working for and with the approval of each party to the conflicts in the arenas in which he engaged, a sometimes arduous and demanding precursor to undertaking work for any party. In the James Bay region he only undertook research and advising when he had secured the support of the James Bay Crees, the development corporations, and the relevant governments. He aimed to enhance the communication of knowledge among all groups, and improve the choices open to each party, in part by convincing others to alter their plans or horizons. This is a process he saw as not taking sides but nevertheless as changing the relative standing of the parties in ways that especially aided the less powerful. And his strategies of joint research, knowledge dissemination, policy advising, presenting lessons from development globally, as well as his public and media interventions, had major effects. In the case of James Bay hydro-electric project he made important contributions to Crees’ negotiations strategies and goals, the development corporations’ project planning, local commitments and on the ground working arrangements, and the Governments’ commitments to new relations with Indigenous Peoples. His most extensive account of this project is his 1986 book, “A Homeland for the Cree: Regional Development in James Bay, 1971-81,” Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.|
|Description:||A few passages in this chapter have appeared previously in papers by the authors in a memorial to Richard F. Salisbury in the journal Culture, 10: 1 (1990). Feit’s contribution to that issue are available at: http://hdl.handle.net/11375/23931. The chapter appears on this Repository with the permission of McGill University Libraries, 2019/03/29.|
|Appears in Collections:||Anthropology Publications|
Files in This Item:
|FEIT-SCOTT_Applying_Knowledge-Salisbury_2004.pdf||798.69 kB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
Items in MacSphere are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.