Fieldwork -- central to anthropology since the discipline's founding -- is changing. In the Internet era and a time when most of the world has been explored in depth, anthropologists no longer discover unstudied groups in the way that the early giants in their field did. The essays in a new book -- Fieldwork Is Not What It Used to Be: Learning Anthropology's Method in a Time of Transition (Cornell University Press) -- explore the implications of this shift.
For social scientists starting their careers, creating research models that work is crucial. A new book suggests that they may be unaware of problems they face in part because scholars don't share stories of what didn't work on their projects, and how to deal with particular challenges.
There was a time, improbable though it may now seem, when it was not considered inherently dubious for academics to work with or for the government. For several decades in the mid-20th century, Soviet studies -- a field born of America's post-World War II desire to understand its ally-turned-enemy -- enjoyed a wealth of government funding and scholarly attention. In a new book, Know Your Enemy: The Rise and Fall of America's Soviet Experts, David C.