In recent decades the field of anthropology has been characterized as sharply divided between proscience and antiscience factions. The aim of this study is to empirically evaluate that characterization. We survey anthropologists in graduate programs in the United States regarding their views of science and advocacy, moral and epistemic relativism, and the merits of evolutionary biological explanations. We examine anthropologists’ views in concert with their varying appraisals of major controversies in the discipline (Chagnon/Tierney, Mead/Freeman, and Menchú/Stoll). We find that disciplinary specialization and especially gender and political orientation are significant predictors of anthropologists’ views. We interpret our findings through the lens of an intuitionist social psychology that helps explain the dynamics of such controversies as well as ongoing ideological divisions in the field.
Horowitz, M., Yaworsky, W., & Kickham, K. (2019). Anthropology’s Science Wars: Insights from a New Survey. Current Anthropology, 60(5), 674–698. https://doi.org/10.1086/705409
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