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Accepted Paper:

Working for change from within: applied anthropology in the Basque Country  
Margaret Bullen (University of the Basque Country, Donostia-San Sebastián)

Paper long abstract:

This paper proposes to examine the experience of applied anthropology in the Basque Country, a region frought with social and political crisis, but at the same time a forward looking, fast moving society which invests in innovation and change. In the Basque context, anthropology has enjoyed a public profile through the figures of ethnographers, archeologists and only latterly social anthropologists, which has meant that anthropology has been associated with caves and skulls in the past and led to a distortion of the potential contribution of social anthropologists in the public eye. At the same time, the concern with culture at the core of the disputed Basque identity has meant that the anthropological community has not been invisible, but openly consulted by the media on sociocultural issues. Finally, the "entrepreneurial spirit" encouraged by modern Basque society and manifest in different initatives promoted by public insitituions as well as the academy, has enabled the emergence of an applied anthropolgy in the Basque public spehere. Through case studies of projects undertaken by the spin-off spplied anthropology consultancy, Farapi, this paper proposes an examination of the interchange of cultural and political discourses in the name of public interest, the margin for manouevre in working for the adminstration and the possibilities or limitations of contributing to social change.

Panel W077
Public anthropology for a world in crisis
  Session 1