*** NOTE: PLEASE SEE MY CONCISE SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS TO THE WORDING CHANGES (Posted Dec. 3) ***
Check out the controversy. My favorite post is Alice Dreger's column, "No science, please. We're anthropoloigsts." in Psychology Today. By the way, Dreger will shortly nail the AAA for its behavior toward Napoleon Chagnon in the Tierney Darkness in El Dorado affair in a detailed scholarly article.
For basic reporting, see articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education.
Savage Minds has a post on it called: "Why anthropology is 'true' even if it's not 'science.' Pretty lame, but there is a lively discussion on the post.
But the best discussion is on Neuroanthropology, "Anthropology, Science and Public Understanding." Daniel Lende points to something I missed in my initial reading. The new list of topics covered by anthropology replaces the subdisciplines with a list that includes the subdisciplines PLUS a bunch of things that fall largely within cultural anthropology. As Lende says on Neuoanthropology:
The AAAs emphasis on cultural anthropology continues, and is actually reinforced in this new document. Before there were just four sub-fields – “archeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research.” Now we have a list of ten – “archeological, biological, social, cultural, economic, political, historical, medical, visual, and linguistic anthropological research.” The new additions fall largely within the domain of cultural anthropology – social, cultural, economic, political, historical, medical, and visual. Equal weighting for biology would likely demand some mention of primatology and evolutionary anthropology. I am sure an archaeologist would also have relevant additions.So I guess we now know what the AAA board thinks anthropology really consists of: it is mostly cultural anthropology, with, oh yes, a bit of biological and archaeological material thrown in to satisfy the four-fields myth. Not very encouraging for archaeology.