Evidentiary truths? The evidence of anthropology through the anthropology of medical evidence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anthropologists have become increasingly concerned about the discipline's lack of 'public engagement' with contemporary issues of late, but a key underlying problem - anthropology's unwillingness to address the nature and evidentiary status of anthropological knowledge itself - has remained largely unacknowledged. Here I approach this problem initially through an analysis of the rise of 'evidence' as a central concept in public policy and practice. Using the exemplar of 'evidence-based' medicine, I analyse anthropological responses to these evidentiary requirements, arguing that this turn to evidence can be seen in many other arenas of research and public policy and presents a fundamental challenge for the credibility and legitimacy of anthropology as a discipline. In the second part of the article comparison with anthropological work on legal issues provides a reflexive opening through which to begin to consider the nature of anthropological 'evidence' itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16 - 20
Number of pages5
JournalAnthropology Today
Volume25(1)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

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