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View Diary: Race & Gender Studies: Expertise Counts (129 comments)

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  •  Try studying anthropology instead (1+ / 0-)
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    Chitown Kev
    only those of the __ race, ethnic group, or other 'identity' is capable of truly understanding the issues and problems that go along with membership in that class

    I think you may be overstating the claim.  I would explain it more as it is unlikely that unless you've lived in a certain ethnic community, you're not likely to understand that community's problems and certainly not likely to understand the subjective experience of its members, which in turn, conditions their behavior.

    I'll never be able to understand why this seems impossible for people in certain disciplines to grasp, especially political science, while it is fundamental to the discipline of anthropology -- at least those anthropologists who practice immersive field work.  It's not that an outsider "can't" understand another group's experience; it's that they rarely to the immersion field work that would enable them to.  

    I studied African history and anthropology at the graduate level, but it took a year of living in Africa, trying to learn the language (and some of its built in structures of meaning), talking to people constantly and voraciously reading African novels before I had a clue.

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