Why are you doing what you’re doing? Definition of cultural anthropology
A definition of cultural anthropology, as applied to the cultural phenomenon of Muslim women’s clothing, has gained a lot of traction recently.
The term is not a new one.
A 2007 book called Women of the Future, which was written by the anthropologist Barbara Ehrenreich, had a chapter on the topic.
Ah, but it has been recently popularized by a popular YouTube video entitled “Who is the Cultural Anthropologist?”, which has more than 3.8 million views on the video’s YouTube page.
The video has drawn attention to the fact that women who wear headscarves, which the video claims is a “cult of the hijab”, are considered cultural anthropologists by the group that defines them.
“We call it cultural anthropology because the term refers to the field of studying cultural phenomena and the people who are interested in them,” Ehren-reich explained.
“A cultural anthropologist is an anthropologist who studies the people and their place in history and society.”
Ehren-Reich, a professor of anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, said that the term’s popularity has come from the fact “that the field has not been well-established in academia yet”.
“I think that is really what is driving this phenomenon,” she told Quartz.
“What has been done is to take the existing field and add a little more to it.
It has really taken off and now there are more women than ever.”
While the term itself is not new, it has become increasingly popular recently as women have begun to openly identify with the term, particularly among students who are increasingly questioning the “traditional” view of women’s bodies.
“I think it is a very interesting concept and the word itself is an interesting word, but what people do not realize is that this word was actually invented by women in the late 19th century, when they were actually talking about the women’s movement,” Ehreich said.
“It is very interesting because women, in general, have been so resistant to the idea of what was considered normal, what was seen as normal, and the way that women were seen.
That is why the word has stuck.”
According to the Wikipedia entry for the term “cultural anthropologist”, the term is derived from a 16th-century Italian word, which means “the study of women, and especially of women who are wearing a veil, in the fields of anthropology, geography, literature, art, and medicine”.
While some scholars have argued that the use of the term was actually an insult to the women who wore headscarfs, many others have argued the term simply refers to women who were not traditionally seen as part of a “cultural movement”.
Ehreich believes the term has been taken by many men to be a way to define the women of their generation.
“[The term] has been used to exclude people who have not gone through a particular period in their lives and are more traditionally seen and less culturally significant, and to be able to label them as cultural anthropological,” she said.
She added that the trend has led to a number of people “being really, really dismissive” of the women they have labelled as cultural and having “misconstrued the meaning of the word”.
Despite the trend, women continue to be the ones to be labeled as cultural, Ehreiches views notwithstanding.
In a piece on the same topic, the feminist website Feministing described the term as a “dangerous term”, saying it can be used to silence women and undermine their voices.
“We’ve come to expect cultural anthropologies to be very aggressive in their critiques of women,” the article reads.
“But they also come to be viewed as the epitome of cultural ignorance and misogyny.
And as a result, they often are dismissed and dismissed with disdain.”
It is particularly frustrating that we can’t agree on what cultural anthropolists are, what their job is, and what their purpose is.
That has to change.”
Read more on the issue here: Women of the future – How to recognise and respect the cultural anthropologues