Yet, among anthropologists, all is not well. There is the intra-disciplinary turmoil regarding anthropology’s four subfields—to what degree they are able not only to peacefully co-exist but intellectually nourish one another. Nor are the citations of anthropologists in literature and the popular press always positive. They appear, as Shore notes, to often “reinforce negative and derogatory stereotypes” (“Anthropology Today” 12(2),1996, p 4). A “New York Times” report on the 1994 AAA Annual Meeting, for example, asked: “Who else has been studying colic and spiritualism, sex and field work, and redneck angst?” (December 11,1994, p 7). Also, for many years now anthropologists have played only a minor, supporting role in the intellectual debates that swirl around the cultural concept. A commentary in the “Chronicle of Higher Education” queried: “Why Do Multiculturalists Ignore Anthropologists?” (March 4,1992, p A52). And there is Peacock’s observation that should cause us to pause – the “anthropological ideas that are currently significant . . [among the public] remain those that were developed prior to the [second world] war” (“American Anthropologist” 1997, p 12).
Each discipline combines a humanistic concern for the quality and diversity of human life with a commitment to the empirical analysis of culture and society. The sociology curriculum features an analysis of social inequality, social institutions, social problems, and social change. Courses draw attention to history, culture, and social structure and their effects on peoples' lives. The anthropology curriculum focuses on human cultural experiences around the world. Courses often highlight the geographical areas in which faculty work (Latin America, Asia, and Africa) and focus on a diverse range of topics such as globalization, art, medicine, politics and violence, fashion, gender, urban life, sexuality, and biotechnology.