If Kids Were Anthropologists
July 24, 2011 § 1 Comment
Is there a good reason why we aren’t teaching kids to do anthropology? For most of us, the first time we had the opportunity to engage with the discipline may have been in our first year of college. This means that budding anthropologists are maybe starting to think about using tools like ethnography around 18, an age when everyone assumes that you are still relatively curious, and you potentially would have a lifetime of intellectual growth ahead of you. But why not start earlier?
That is exactly what a group of teens is doing at SeeSaw Studio during a summer intensive. They are exploring the different ways that people around them in the city of Durham, NC define and construct community in a variety of ways. And they’re doing it with photoethnography. Despite the fact that it takes time, training, and a lot of resources to do the type of work that we frequently read in journals, we know that it isn’t the only mode of knowledge production. In fact, some people would argue that youth are generally more bold and creative than adults (see here).
Check out People TTL to see how kids can do anthropology if given a few tools and attention.