We are very enamored by intelligence and knowledge, but what about ignorance? If we compare knowledge to matter than why are we only fixated on the smallest fraction of reality? Were you aware that ordinary matter comprises only about 5% of the universe while dark matter & energy make up 95%.
I am interested in how this issue informs the The Qualitative/Quantitative Debate (Trochim). Anthropology is typically relegated to the social sciences, which is further relegated to the insulting epithet “qualitative methods”.
We Must Guard against the Hegemo-Deductive Complex
A second comparison I am making is between Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex and what I am calling the Hegemo-Deductive Complex.
Military Industrial Complex: A concept used to refer to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, armed forces, and the industrial sector that supports them. (Wikipedia)
Hegemo-Deductive Complex: A concept used to refer to policy and methodological relationships between scientists, journal editors, and the public sector that supports them. (Jimipedia)
The Yin and Yang of Methodology
Qualitative and quantitative techniques have their origins in inductive and deductive epistemologies. Aside from their differences, what is most essential and often forgotten is that BOTH components are needed.
How do these issues apply to our research in anthropology?
How can ethnography be considered a truly inductive research endeavor?
Many think of PhDs as strong and EdDs as weak. I look at it differently. My PhD is in “Applied Anthro” so I have been dealing with these sorts of issues for some time. Rather than a single continuum from “strong to weak” or “good to bad”, I believe a better approximation would include the two continua of “authority” and “utility”.
The authority continuum begins from the positive end indicating the commanding influence of pure academic knowledge, vetted by the elite of the intellectual community and pruned to the point of perfection. The negative end of the authority continuum represents the least reliable, spurious opinion that is equivalent to a random response.
The utility continuum begins from the positive end indicating such an extreme version of usefulness as to approach the status of “required” or “that which one cannot live without”. The negative end of the utility continuum represents a level of inutility as to represent something without any value whatsoever.
In this way, four options become available:
I. Our Doctoral Program/its dissertations, which balance authority with utility.
II. PhD dissertations/programs that represent the pinnacle of authority but are often not very applicable to the real world.
III. Academic BA (e.g., Anthropology). Not very useful or authoritative in and of itself.
IV. Professional BA (e.g., engineering) or Terminal MA (e.g., MSW).