Female Genital Cutting: Drawing Lines in the Ambiguous Divide Between Anthropology and Activism


Download PDF – Decatur 2011

Anthropology as a discipline has become increasingly focused on public engagement and activism (see Goodale 2006). Nancy Scheper-Hughes famously called for a new form of ―militant anthropology‖ that is politically committed, morally engaged and opposed to cultural relativism as moral relativism (1995:410,415). Less dramatically, Setha M. Low and Sally Engle Merry have argued for public engagement as an important component of an anthropological practice that respects the rights and dignity of all humans (2010:S204). As noted by Low and Merry, however, progressive human rights discourses hold some similarity to the ―civilizing processes‖ of colonialism and the desire of anthropologists to avoid colonialist critiques can lead to self-censorship (2010:S213)…..

Student Anthropologist (2011) 2 (2), 9 – 11


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