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Questionnaire from the Committee on Minorities and Anthropology
American Anthropological Association
The Committee on Minorities and Anthropology is anxious to gather information on the perspectives of minority anthropologists. We feel that the Executive Board and the entire membership of the AAA must be made aware of the attitudes of minority anthropologists and must become more responsive to the needs and interests of minority people. Now is your opportunity to help us formulate these views so that the profession can take steps to change anthropology and the attitude of anthropologists toward minorities both as professional colleagues and as objects of study.
The Committee on Minorities and Anthropology grew out of a resolution introduced at the 1969 AAA Annual Meeting, urging the vigorous recruitment of minority students and encouraging efforts to facilitate their careers in the profession. A statement from the AAA Board in May 1971 recognized the constraint placed by the original resolution on the work of the Committee and urged it to broaden its perspective to include the question of the improvement of research dealing with minorities and minority-majority relations and other issues, and to present its findings in some useful fashion.
As a colleague in anthropology of minority background, you are being urged to participate in the present survey. As you will see, taken as a whole, the questionnaire is strongly qualitative, or subjective--and deliberately so--because this will be more helpful to the Committee.
We have not asked you to answer anonymously since it would be easy to identify respondents from addresses, ethnic background and information about publications and professional activities. If you object to the second part of the questionnaire, please answer the first part and tell us why you object. All answers will be kept confidential. The questionnaire will not be available to other than the members of this Committee, and no one will be identified in the report by name. Where specific examples are asked for, it is requested that you give details of the situation without using the names of the persons involved. In order to explore selected problems in greater depth, we would like to follow this questionnaire with personal interviews in some cases. Please indicate in question 28 your willingness to be interviewed.
We invite you to add commentary or further information not specifically requested in the wording of this questionnaire. It you need more space to answer any question, please write on the back of the page or add additional sheets. Please return the questionnaire and comments within two weeks to the chairman.
Part I. Personal Information
It will help us to understand the career lines and experiences of minority anthropologists if you will provide the following information. Enclose a vita for personal information if you prefer, indicating where on the vita the information requested here can be found.
2. Address (City) / (State) / (Zip Code)
3. Birth Date
4. Place of Birth
6. Present Title
7. Place of Employment
(University or Institution)
(Department or Affiliation)
8. Academic degrees: date received, awarding institution, and current status if not awarded.
9. Positions held, place, date.
10. Offices and committee assignments in professional organizations, universities, and the local community.
a. Committee assignments filled or offices held in professional organizations.
Organization Dates Assignment or Office
b. Committee assignments filled or offices held in the university context.
University Dates Assignment or Office
c. Committee assignments filled, offices or consultantships held in the community.
City Dates Activity
d. Other professional activities or consultantships.
Place Dates Activity
e. How many books and articles have you published?
f. How many have you submitted for publication?
g. How many have you been invited to prepare?
11a. Fellowships and grants received, amount, dates, and duration.
b. How many awards have you applied for? Give dates.
12a. Which languages were spoken in your home when you were a child?
b. Which languages are spoken in your home now?
13a. Do you consider yourself to be a minority anthropologist?
b. What term or phrase can best be used to refer to your ethnic background? (Black, Chicano, American Indian, Chinese, Japanese, other)
c. What term or phrase can best be used inclusively to refer to a wider ethnic or minority category with which you identify? (Non-white, white, European, non-European, African, Asian, other)
d. Have you changed your surname because of your minority status?
Part II. Personal and Professional Experiences
14. Do you feel that your experiences have differed in anthropology either positively or negatively from those of non-minority anthropologists? If so, please tell us in what ways.
15. Were your experiences as a student different from those of nonminority students? If so, please tell us in what ways.
16. It has been said that the intellectual contributions of minority anthropologists are not given the same consideration as those of non-minority anthropologists. For example, the writings of minority anthropologists are often not reviewed in professional journals, not quoted or cited, and seldom used as required readings. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? If you agree, can you think of examples? If you disagree, please comment.
17. Do you feel that you have been discriminated against in your professional career because of race, color, or creed?
Yes ______ No ______
Please cite examples or comment. In thinking about how to answer, you may wish to consider some or all of the following aspects of a career line: (qualifications required for teaching and research positions, difficulties in acquiring beginning posts, awarding of half-time positions; salaries; promotions; tenure; pressure to publish; teaching responsibilities, e.g., course load, choice of courses, evaluation of performance; other aspects of the professional role, e.g., committee assignments, executive positions; employment outside the university; pressures for third-world or community involvement.)
18. Some minority anthropologists say that in contrast to non-minority anthropologists they have been utilized in the following ways: field worker and interviewer; liaison to a minority, ethnic or cultural group; "cultural broker-interpreter" for majority member anthropologists; informant. Does your experience, both as a student and professional anthropologist now, bear out this assertion? If so, please tell us about it. If you disagree, please comment.
19. It has also been asserted that minority anthropologists have been excluded from making theoretical formulations, interpretations of research findings, and policy decisions. Does your experience both as a student and a professional anthropologist bear but this assertion? If so, please tell us about it. If not, please comment.
20. How do you feel about anthropology?
21. Do you feel that anthropological studies in the past have rendered service or disservice to minority groups in American society? Please include specific examples you may know of in your answer.
22a. How do you assess the research which has been conducted on your minority group?
b. Do you think such work can be improved? Please comment.
23. Can you suggest ways in which anthropology can be used to serve the needs of minority groups in the United States?
24. Do you advise minority students to enter anthropology? Why or why not?
25. Can you suggest ways in which anthropology can be made more relevant for minority students?
26. Can you give an estimate of the number of students of minority background at your university or institution who are interested in anthropology?
27. Knowing what you know now, if you were starting a career would you become an anthropologist? Why or why not?
28. Further study: Would you agree to participate in a follow-up interview in order to facilitate the work of the Committee?
Yes ______ No ______
29. Please comment on this questionnaire