Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
I was thinking of what to do for my thesis while taking classes with Vin about Anthropological Research and I realized how flawed it all was. Anthropology was born from colonialism where scholars from the United States would go to some far-off places to study the people there in hopes that they have found an interesting enough culture to get common people like you and me to want to read a book they later publish. The only way it would sell though is if this story, emphasis on story, read like a book of fiction, so far from what we know in our day to day lives. The other option being publishing a scholarly journal that only people in the profession had access to.
There is a plethora of issues with this but there are two that struck me the most, one being the way in which these Anthropologists conduct their research and choose which places and people they intend to study. It never made much sense to me that a person, usually an upper middle class white male, could even begin to grasp the intricacies and difficulties that described the life of a culture so separate from his own, when I can hardly understand the conversations of the people living in the next room to me.
Over the years, it has gotten better, and the anthropologists have included their subjects in the making of the research and some have even tried staying within their own cultures to have less bias and a more wholesome understanding. But I still question if a person who has had the privilege and means to get a doctoral degree can go back and make an accurate representation of those who live in poverty.
The other large issue is the way that this research is portrayed, oftentimes without feeling or emotion and with the idea that research must be strictly objective but that is not getting to the truth when we are studying peoples lives. Sometimes to tell the truth we must reach outside of science and objectivity to express things, emotionally, as they are felt. Some realism isn’t real unless you express them creatively.
These were the two issues that I wanted to address when doing my own project. I took the thing I know best, myself and the subject I wanted to learn about, my own mental illness and made it into a project of exploration and self-discovery. I didn’t want to write a 20-page paper that would be published in some scholarly journal that only other scholars would read -or- attempt to understand a group of people outside of myself. Instead, I decided to do a creative piece on only myself in hopes of conveying information that moves others to feel the things I feel and in turn find common ground and understanding, which, in reality, is the true basis of Anthropological research.
Sin Agev, How much of me is real when I am doped up?, Tack stuck, OCD Updates
Brown, Brianna, "Mental Illness as Portrayed through Art" (2018). Honors Theses. 2955.
Honors Thesis-Open Access