Anthropology and Other Disciplines People who study their own society call themselves Sociologists People who study other societies call themselves Anthropologists People who study markets and exchange in their own society call themselves Economists People who study markets and exchange in other societies call themselves Anthropologists People who study individual thought and behavior in their own society call themselves Psychologists People who study individual thought and behavior in other societies call themselves Anthropologists You get the idea . . . The same is true for history, art, geography, language, genetics, physiology, politics, and every other aspect of “ the human condition .”
Anthropology has a “holistic” and integrative perspective . . . Meaning that different aspects of human experience are seen as interrelated and non-reducible. You cannot study politics in isolation from family structures or economics in isolation from cultural values.
Anthropologists have a “multi-field” approach – incorporating cultural and social anthropology, linguistic anthropology, archaeology, and physical anthropology (“stones & bones”). (This course will focus mainly on cultural and social anthropology).
Anthropologists have a strong “ethnographic” tradition , focusing on “thick descriptions” of societies and cultures. (The book by Richard Lee, The Dobe Ju/’hoansi is a good example of ethnography)
Social and Cultural Anthropologists are especially interested in the qualitative study of meaning . What do people think, feel and believe? Why do they think, feel and believe those things? How do their thoughts, feelings and beliefs influence their behavior?
Eric C. Thompson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. Before joining NUS, he completed a PhD in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Washington and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies , University of California Los Angeles. He teaches anthropology, gender studies, urban studies and research methods. His research interests include transnational networking, urbanism, culture theory, and ASEAN regionalism . His work has appeared in the journals American Ethnologist, Urban Studies, Political Geography, Asian Studies Review, Contemporary Sociology, and Contemporary Southeast Asian Studies among others. He is author of Unsettling Absences: Urbanism in Rural Malaysia (NUS Press, 2007) .
PhD – Sociocultural Anthropology, University of Washington (2000)
Postdoctoral Fellow – Southeast Asian Studies, UCLA (2000-2001)
Assistant Professor – Sociology, NUS (2002-2008)
Associate Professor – Sociology, NUS (from about a month ago)
NUS Anthropologists John Miksic Southeast Asian Studies Tong Chee Kiong Sociology Roxana Waterson Sociology Vineeta Sinha Sociology Pattana Kitiarsa Southeast Asian Studies Thang Leng Leng Japanese Studies Maribeth Erb Sociology Irving Chan Johnson Southeast Asian Studies Eric Thompson Sociology Mokshika Gaur South Asian Studies Liz MacLachlan Japanese Studies Goh Beng Lan Southeast Asian Studies Mika Toyota Sociology
Anthropology: Your Personal and Intellectual Journey
Origins: Where does anthropology come from?
Why do people do what they do?
The concept of Culture
Anthropological approaches to:
Gender, Sexuality, Kinship
Ethnicities, Nations and other Communities
Anthropology today and tomorrow:
From culture to discourse?
Who are the anthropologists of today and tomorrow?