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This edition: Applied Anthropology

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Episode Details

The lesson opens by defining applied anthropology as a field of study in which anthropological knowledge and methods are used to analyze and solve practical problems. In its three segments, the lesson gives clear and varied examples of where applied anthropology is used in the workforce and demonstrates how applied anthropology fits within all four subfields of anthropology—physical (or biological) anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. The video shows how a cultural anthropologist, Professor Mikel Hogan, practices applied anthropology within a hospital setting to help resolve some of the on-the-job problems that nurses face at this time of crisis within the U.S. health-care system. As the video progresses, viewers also see how linguistic anthropologist Breesha Maddrell works on the Isle of Man to help the culture there preserve and maintain the Celtic language of Manx Gaelic. Finally, the third segment shows how physical anthropologists Amy Mundorff and Diane Cockle work in the area of forensic anthropology and how they assist law enforcement agencies with identifying human remains and analyzing evidence from crime scenes. Mundorff explains the educational qualifications required for a career in forensics, explaining that a strong background in biology or chemistry, plus a strong background in anthropology, particularly archaeology, is ideal. Cockle discusses the high standard of proof required of forensic anthropologists in criminal cases. She explains the contributions that applied anthropologists have made assisting the United Nations in its efforts to investigate and stem the incidence of genocide brought about by war.