Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

Doing Anthropology

Thoughts on Fieldwork From Three Research Sites

Cultural Anthropology is a social science that explores how people understand - and act in - the world. But what, exactly, is it that Cultural Anthropologists do? How do they approach their research? In this short film, three members of MIT's Anthropology Department, Stefan Helmreich, Erica James, and Heather Paxson, talk about their current work and the process of doing fieldwork.

Comments (6)

I really loved this video, in part because I'm a student of anthropology in Colombia, South America ( I make the clarification 'cause there are people who don't know where my country is, believe it or not), but studying this wasn't my first choice I started studying something really different, but now that I'm starting to discover more and more about this career I'm falling more and more in love, cause it has so much to offer to me as a person, and it still amaze me that you could dedicate your life, your professional and personal life, to something as great as this…. A line that I really liked it's when a girl (the one making the study on the people who comes from Haiti) says that she loves to work with people and the fact that they feel comfortable enough to share their life, their thoughts… To end my comment I'd have to say that I didn't know that you could study Anthropology at MIT, since I always have seen it as a Science School, for science I mean engineering and natural sciences, but thanks to this video MIT has come again to my radar of colleges where I'd love to study (I did 5 semesters in a dual program between Industrial engineering and Informatics engineering (IT), I think would be the English equivalents of my ex-careers)

Posted 9 years by Anonymous User

Very well done and very useful. Having worked in a cheese factory and having a cheesemaker father, I was delighted with that segment. My only issue is that I would have preferred a title of "Doing Cultural Anthropology" instead of "Doing Anthropology." As with the video and title leave out the other subfields.

Larry J. Zimmerman, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Posted 9 years by Anonymous User

I want to thank you for this useful video. I have been working for several years on a Distance Learning Cultural Anthropology course. This will be featured viewing on my (chronologically) first Discussion Board topic in the course "Doing Anthropology". I like the way the video provides a springboard for discussions of many different aspects of the fieldwork experience for cultural anthropologists. Again, thank you.

Posted 9 years by Anonymous User

Great Job on this film! I am a graduate anthropology student and received my undergraduate anthropology education at M.I.T. I've had classes with all the professors in this film, and they did a great job teaching me why anthropology (as a discipline) and being an anthropologist are important. I will recommend this film to other graduate students trying to T.A. undergraduate anthropology courses.

David S. Lowry UNC – Chapel Hill

Posted 9 years by Anonymous User

I definitely appreciate the view into anthropological fieldwork. However, one major outstanding question is “why?” Why are these people studying these particular areas? What is the goal? What will they do with the research or research insights? What is the process that the average anthropologist goes through before and after the fieldwork? I’d love a deeper look into those questions. Thanks!

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

I have been thinking about switching to anthropology or archeology, both fields are very interesting",": but anthropology seems to be the most interesting of these 2 which this video here also seems to confirm for me.

Posted over 6 years by parfume

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

MIT Video Productions

MIT Video Productions

Category: Education | Updated 7 years ago

March 05, 2008 16:49
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (What is this?)
Additional Files

109344 times

More from MIT Video Productions

Interplanetary Space Logistics: Enabling New Frontiers

Interplanetary Space Logistics: Ena...

Added over 10 years ago | 00:07:14 | 60690 views

Robotic Gripper with Phantom Sensable Technologies

Robotic Gripper with Phantom Sensab...

Added almost 10 years ago | 00:04:06 | 30038 views

NASA ISS Video Tour

NASA ISS Video Tour

Added almost 10 years ago | 00:10:20 | 19780 views

Spheres - Synchronized Position Hold Engage Re-orient Experimental Satellites

Spheres - Synchronized Position Hol...

Added almost 10 years ago | 00:03:46 | 23665 views

Magnanti's First Pitch

Magnanti's First Pitch

Added over 10 years ago | 00:02:17 | 23106 views

Nano Neuro Knitting

Nano Neuro Knitting

Added almost 10 years ago | 00:04:11 | 34305 views