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OftenBen  ·  2602 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Note I Attached to my Final Exam

We probably do agree mostly.

The course was titled 'Anthropology of Latin America' and I wasn't too enthused about taking it. The class that I wanted to take of equivalent level was full. What I understood from the course pack was that we would be studying revolution and social change from an anthropological perspective. To me, that means picking a specific country, or level of study (Personal Narrative, Small Community, Large Community, State, National), going over the general history of the region, the ethnic makeup of it's inhabitants, some of their cultural practices, and most heavily of all, their understanding of government/ their relationship to/with government. Include examples of how indigenous identity has evolved, how and when it was politicized, and how effective racial/ethnic organization has been in peaceful or violent revolution.

What we ended up doing, is talking about how white people have been fucking over indigenous people for a long time, confusing racial matters by importing a bunch of slaves from everywhere, and how shitty things are, from the top of Mexico, to the bottom of Chile. How the core problem, at the root of everything else wrong with Latin America at the moment is the neoliberal economic and social policies instituted at the demand of the UN and World Bank. How you should feel terrible about eating bananas EVER, especially if you're white and your family has been in this country longer than a few days. All of this done in the most vague, politically correct, intentionally confused language I have ever heard from someone with a PHD. His choice of authors were all equally vague and to me, offensive. I read a lot, quickly, and I have great retention of what I've read. Reading the authors he gave us, most of the time felt like reading a really REALLY preachy SJW tumblr account.

When I'm talking about futures I'm talking about finding out what these people want for themselves for the future, and not in any vague, tumblresque terms about 'end of patriarchyTM.' If a researcher wants to study social change, shouldn't they study what people WANT instead of just what they're fighting against? I agree we should keep our noses to ourselves. That doesn't seem to be happening. What seems to be happening is a bunch of people running into a village of starving peasants, taking pictures and going 'Man you guys have it so rough I want to help,' then going back home and feeling morally superior to their friends because they went and 'helped those starving bastards over there, look how bad they have it on my instagram.'