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Applied Anthropology

 

Disaster, Community, Culture, and the Practice of Anthropology: Some Reflections and Lessons from the Oklahoma City Bombing

Howard F. Stein, Ph.D.

In anthropological theory, the allegedly timeless and changeless “ethnographic present” has long been the ideal ethnological ideal, the necessary fiction. “Culture change,” by whatever means, was supposedly the annoying exception to structure, continuity, social replication, tradition. Increasingly, both the reality and the language of massive social disruption, as well as that of incremental change, are transforming anthropological theory and practice. Disaster, trauma, cataclysm, catastrophe, crisis, upheaval, and cognate terms, are coming to occupy more the core than the periphery of anthropological thought. There is now even a sub-sub-specialty in the field called “disaster anthropology!”

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 17, Spring, 1997 pp 69 – 82

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