Anthropology and development projects

The development of the world is in hands of Anthropology, which means that the idea of progress and an ideas process of healthy globalization is mainly part of the knowledge of studies bringed to the table by Anthropology. Through studies it is possible to plan a more stable societies, find solution to urban development, industrial cities and the economy and politics applied to institutions.

There are characteristics that are studied by anthropologists and find the roots of the problem, for example: the mass poverty in existence in today’s world, which has always existed. But, how to fix these mistakes of societies since governments are not really taking care of extreme poverty cases, and let the circle of underdevelopment keep going? The answer is to plan and have better approaches to development interventions. It needs to be also personalized and completly professional, governments have excluded the social/cultural factors that had affected these areas of poor development.

There are different aspects of the sustainable development, which is to preserve the human species and the planet earth, also reconstruct the relationship between nature and culture, specially after such horrible events like wars that have changed the course of the world. Educate the poor in order to provide knowledge to take care of the environment.

Anthropology changed the way of seeing development, from a very general problem to a more specialize or technical problem, which helps in the specialization to approach specific chanllenges, like eliminate the cutural  aspects that stop a country from developing.

Anthropology also is very important in the development of societies because has a main importance on the people, no matter the economical or political situation.


Are the opportunities and/or limitations of ethnography that critically examines policy?

   Culture of consultancy manifests how much people are working on the same field, or to be more specific into developing projects. It is also impossible to know the outcomes of each project and therefore the results can be very vias. The point is to look into the policy and understand it pretty well, also look for comments and opinions about the people that is going to be studied so there would be no objection towards the project. For my development project I would like to study the basics beliefs on Buddhism and apply them in real life in order to educate for a more sustainable lifestyle which in my opinion would not be like imposing a religion or certain ideas, but to grow spiritually for their own and good of others, progressive change towards themselves, others and nature. The study on this topic would be a matter on seeing how people approach the idea to embrace other religion beliefs without harming their own.

   Also, ethnography methods would prevent policy from stopping an organization just because it would have enough information to know and avoid this type of situation. The anthropological research is going to find the actual needs of the development project and do work on their social needs, without harming by any meaning the essence of the organization.


Caracas slums burning trash


My country- Level vignette of development blog is about Venezuela, it is the country that I know the most and have personally lived many cultural and political changes trough my time living there. Discussing Venezuelan society, economy and environment to reach a more sustainable form of living and also being part of a globalize world. One of the main problems in the city of Caracas is overpopulation, in the endless search for a good job and living standard conditions in a very small valley. The search for a better lifestyle starts becoming to be a nightmare of extreme pollution, poverty, unemployment, traffic, and horrible medical services. Where there is no longer service of trash collection in the higher areas of Caracas also called “barrios”, people end up burning their trash and contaminating even more the air, which was already very contaminated due to all the new mini generators of electricity that businesses establishments had to build since the government does not provide a decent electrical service to the population. Also, Venezuela is this year the country with the higuest inflation in the world, and with not enough high wages and jobs the poverty is increasing rapidly. Infraestructure also does not help, Caracas cannoto hold such amounts of people and there are not enough roads or buildings.

Additional to Venezuelan radical situation, there is a flow of ideas that are making even harder for Venezuelans to realize what is on the outside world and be more competitive in a sustainable way. Chavez has created the wrong idea of what a socialist country should look like, therefore created a communist revolution that takes people down in their ideas of hating people with money. Because of the hard economical situation and change of political ideas, American businesses had been leaving the country in big masses leaving behind even a higher rate of unemployment in a country where companies and government do not care about their own people. There are words that describes the hate that Chavez feels about Americans, which repeats over and over, people understand these ideas and embrace them to the point that they truly believe that the United States wants to take over the country completly. Obviously American businesses have always been part of Venezuelan culture, but the fact that Chavez is making Venezuelan hate outside cultures will make almost impossible the possibility to amplify cultural exchange and make a positive outcome of globalization to help the people.

Beyond poor infrastructures, pollution and extreme poverty there is a necessity for people to have a change in their minds in order to see progress. Venezuela is the 5th country in the world with more oil, which means that the necessary resources to invest in a better lifestyle are there. But there is still a third world country, with 80% of poverty and 14 million guns in the streets with a population of 24 million.

Understanding globalization

The necessity for a globalize world is every time more obvious, there is no doubt about it and the influence can be seen in anybody’s life around the entire globe. Probably some of us have even stop seen it just because of the unavoidable invisible presence of it. Globalization is a very complex word to define and for me it’s a battleship between the environment, politics, development and culture. In this blog entry I am looking forward to post my opinions and concepts about globalization, and find some constructive ideas.

As I said earlier, globalization is a battleship even in the definition of the word. It is not clear for many people what actually globalization is and probably there is not a really defined term of it, which it can lead to even more confusion. It is important to understand it in the most abroad and flexible way as possible and not include just economics as many other studies have done. Some people have used the term of globalization as a free market type of business, without even speculating or thinking on the effects on culture such as loss of cultural diversity. Overdose of power and inhumane way of life if you ask me. It is something to worry about because some people do believe that this is the only way of globalization without taking into consideration other possibilities. It is hard to describe whether is right or wrong to loose native indigenous languages because of the use of new technologies, my guess is that an indigenous from the rainforest will prefer to learn English or Spanish in order to use an IPOD and next generations will no longer have the necessity to speak their native language. The positive outcome is the possibility of creating a bridge between the indigenous and the outside world, creating a more friendly social lifestyle and improve their own lifestyles. The other side and negative outcome is the lost of culture, language and diversity. Therefore globalization is a fast pace movement from the economic point of view, but culture at the same time does moves and changes as globalization does and therefore, it is important to define culture which can be as dynamic as globalization. In different parts of the world, like Venezuela where I come from I have seen the quick pace of how culture is in constant transformation, globalization and culture go hand on hand together and by this concept, probably easier to understand how globalization works and evolves. Obviously the economic globalization has grown in a much faster pace and it is stepping on other cultures, languages, or even food. Culture does evolve but not had been seen as developed. Other big problem of globalization is not the equal approach towards different countries, for example the influence of the IPOD in Europe is much bigger than in Africa, and the economic globalization is separating even more the life standards between nations and create new problems. The necessity for the European is to buy the latest IPOD but for the African is to find clean water. This is not a fair globalization, but because is not being approach in the right way it needs to take a 180 degrees change.

Buddhism as a way for development and sustainability

Religions have always been a big part of everybody’s life, even if some people do not believe on it. My approach to the topic of “development and globalization” is trough religion, and by saying this is important to mention that my statement is not to use Buddhism as the only one true religion, but to use Buddhism teachings in order to improve people’s life quality by becoming more centered and sustainable in many ways.  Buddhism is more than a religion, is a way of life that practices peace, sustainable development and emphasis human rights, which uses education and meditation to spread its beliefs.  Buddhism improves human relationships, by improving three kinds of peace which is the interior peace, the peace in community and the peace towards the world around us. These practices and teachings are essential in order to eliminate feelings of selfishness, ignorance and avarice. My research in Buddhism will be about how to approach sustainability trough the teachings of different Buddhist temples around the U.S and how can that approach be possible without interrupting the beliefs of other religions. Understand the real beliefs of Buddhism and how can they be applied in a real scene in today’s society.

“The less you care, the happier you will be”. I have heard.
When people comes from a culture of poverty, constant tragedy and unhapiness, the way of seeing reality changes at a great scale. “The more I care, the happier I will be”

My goal for this class is to keep learning about global issues, and use that knowledge to reach my main goals in life. I would not like to be a “professional” who has just successfully graduated, without being really succesful in life. I want to live knowing that I can help and be part of the process to improve the world that we live in, knowing that I still have a long way to go I am positive about the outcome.