Anthropology Debate: Intervention on Harmful Cultural Practices
On February 15th, the Public Debate team hosted a debate regarding whether anthropologists should intervene regarding harmful cultural practices.
For many years now, the intervention of anthropologists in the cultures in which they study has been debated. Many believe that anthropologists in the field have the responsibility to affect change concerning actions they believe to be harmful, but others believe such a view is ethnocentric, with non-Western cultures being negatively affected. Since this topic has such a wide scope, our debate focused primarily on the cultural practice of female genital mutilation. Our debate’s resolution was be the following: anthropologists have the responsibility to intervene regarding existing “harmful cultural practices.”