Unlike previous readings, this particular article does not really focus on how anthropological theories might be put into practice in development, but rather, how development policy and practice might alter anthropology. Through personal experiences, Pollard and Street, found that working across the boundaries of both anthropology and development they were able to make connections which suggests that research and practice is very much a two-way process.
Many contributors to this article have found the resistant interactions of development practice to be productive spaces in which to deal with these questions particularly about the purpose, process and value of anthropology.
New opportunities arise as anthropology moves on from a critical view of development work and seeks instead to attend to the complex agency of those involved in it. Furthermore, this will provide current and future anthropologists with more opportunities and solid foundations to carry out their work.
This article is divided into three themes which help describe how anthropology can advance itself through engagement with development. These three themes are:
1. Reflexive interventions
2. Advancing Theory
3. Productive Translations
Eyben (2007), highlights that working with those in Aidland can be a useful tool particularly for anthropologists in order to further develop their reflexivity which allows them to gain a better sense of how they inhabit the social context they study.
Development agents can act as third parties (chains of translations) between local people and anthropologists. This enables anthropologists to triangulate their findings. Triangulation is often used to indicate that two methods are used in a study in order to check the results.
Though there are positive research methods used by anthropologists such as Magraths positive engagement, Fevre highlights the dangers of interviewing informants about trauma, pain and grief. Fevre suggests that anthropologivaltraining should “draw from our sister disciplines” such as psychology, counselling and sociology. This is to ensure researchers for the impact they may have or facing.
From past experiences, Fevre found that her status as both an anthropologist and a development worker heightened the ethial issues and the accountability associated with gathering life stories from those effected by the disaster. Anthropologists should see this as a learning curve and reflect on the affective, as well as representational, powers of anthropological methodologies.
Magrath states that development practice can highlight the “blind spots” of anthropological knowledge production. It poses’ new challenges for anthropologists and opens out spaces for analysis
Magrath uses the objects of development to inform