00:17:26, by admin   . Categories: applied anthropology, University / Academia, websites, ethics

Military anthropologist starts blogging about his experiences

One of the anthropologists who is working for the military has started blogging about his experiences with the U.S. Army. His name is Marcus Griffin, professor at Christopher Newport University, Virginia (USA). He now works at Ft. Hood, Texas, for the time being participating in a simulation of activities that prepares Army personnel "to work effectively in Iraq" as he calls it.

In the beginning, Griffin wasn't sure if he was allowed to blog, but now he knows that he is "free to blog" about his experiences "trying to apply anthropology to a very thorny problem facing the world and the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular". But as a quick look at his blog reveals, it seems that his job is doing some advertising for the US Army. as m Most anthropologists oppose this kind ofa collaboration with the military.

>> visit Marcus Griffin's blog


The dangerous militarisation of anthropology

"Tribal Iraq Society" - Anthropologists engaged for US war in Iraq

Military - social science roundtable: Anthropologists help mold counterinsurgency policy

San Jose: American Anthropologists Stand Up Against Torture and the Occupation of Iraq and AAA Press Release: Anthropologists weigh in on Iraq, torture at annual meeting

"War on terror": CIA sponsers anthropologists to gather sensitive information / see also debate on this on Savage Minds


Comment from: [Member]

Dear Lorenz,

I also had a quick look at the weblog and find it very interesting. I don’t share your opinion that its purpose is advertising the US Army, at least not after a first quick look. You explain the conclusion ("it seems that his job is doing some advertising for the US Army") by stating that most anthropologist oppose cooperation with military forces. Firstly I don’t grasp the logic of this conclusion (Just because anthropologists oppose it he is guilty if collaboration?) And secondly, your blog intends to use a journalistic approach toward anthropology, as far as I see it. Can you explain me how far this approach is compatible with biased opinions like this in news posts?

No offense, just wondering.

Best, anthro

2007-07-18 @ 16:16
Comment from: [Member]

Dear anthronaut,

yes you’re right. My blog is more journalistic than personal, but this approach doesn’t prevent me from commenting on some issues - maybe we could call it bloggy journalism?

Concerning the logic of the conclusion - yes, something must have gone wrong there, it’s corrected! Thanks!

2007-07-18 @ 23:35
Comment from: [Member]

Hey Lorenz,

thanks a lot for the answer! I know there’s a very thin line between the personal and the journalistic. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and I don’t want to miss your personal opinions in your posts. But what do you think of a clear marker inside a post indicating what is personal opinion and what journalistic (As one might be used to it in newspapers) - Some kind of “the editors comment” or something.

2007-07-19 @ 12:22
Comment from: [Member]

Well, I’ll think about it. I think the most important thing is to seperate facts and opinion.

I wrote “as a quick look at his blog reveals it seems that his job is doing some advertising for the US Army” which means that the author has taken a quick look and writes about his personal impression.

But it would have been problematic if I had written “The purpose of the blog is advertising for the US Army".

2007-07-19 @ 22:48
Comment from: [Member]

Yes, you’ve got a point there. Let’s put it that way: As a quick look at your post revealed, it seemed that the author had interlaced his personal opinion with journalistic writing, but after further discussion it turned out that it isn’t as bad as it seemed. ;-)

2007-07-20 @ 07:27
Comment from: Sybil [Visitor]

A first quick look produces this:
1 The author offers a big deal of reflexion. He makes clear, waht his views are, his opinion is and how his perspective is.
2 It is absolutely clear, that this is a blog, a kind of journalism, and therefore biased by the author´s position.
3 To me it is clear, that the author attempts to write abour his experience and what he does presently. It takes a lot of courage to reflect tensions between the fields of military and anthropology, I think.
4 What is more worrying is that the author had to think about, if he was allowed to write.

2007-07-21 @ 12:41

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