What is !BOAS?
!BOAS (Bridging Our Anthropology Students) is Drew University's anthropology club. Please email Jessica Glickman (email@example.com) to be placed on the email list for the 2008 - 2009 academic year. Also, feel free to join the facebook group!
Our statement of purpose:
!BOAS (Bridging Our Anthropology Students), like it anthropological base, is focused on the understanding of global perceptions. Anthropology as a discipline moves beyond the simple concept of the "study of humans," as implied by its linguistic break-down, and in fact provides a means for better understanding human interactions and perceiving the world with an open mind.
Anthropology goes beyond the ignorant stereotypes of the ‘white man’ traveling out into the exotic unknown and returning with observations and sketches of the ‘other.’ Anthropological studies can be made of any community of any race in any place where human beings gather. Anthropology focuses on the qualitative aspects of human nature and does not seek to prove or disprove human interaction through the observation of statistics which dehumanize their subjects and make them numbers, but rather allow human interactions to speak for itself with as little judgment as possible. Many people do not know what Anthropology encompasses, nor do they realize that the subject is so far reaching and can intersect with many other disciplines. !BOAS will attempt to broaden the narrow understanding of Anthropology and break down existing stereotypes. Ultimately, !BOAS aims to offer a better understanding of the importance of Anthropology as a discipline and provide access to the anthropological perspective that is often overlooked by other disciplines.
Anthropology is based on a concept of cultural relativism that recognizes that differences between cultures should not be judged on the bases of Westernized learned values, but instead all behaviors from the level of language and object-word definitions to as complex as the issues of gender and race conceptions, are all arbitrary. There are no universal concepts of right and wrong, rather a large gray which human beings have shaped through culture and perception. This viewpoint has been central to anthropological studies for decades, but is only slowly making its way into mainstream understanding and academic thought which is still dominated by Westernized dichotomies of right and wrong, left and right, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, dichotomies which by their nature divide and separate rather than unite and pacify. Organizations such as !BOAS will promote the importance of global perspectives and cross cultural understandings through educational programs, lectures, and events and ultimately serve the Drew community by promoting global understanding, the need for unbiased and open minds, and the search for cultural similarities rather than their differences.
As students of Anthropology of the Drew University Community, we believe that an essential component of a liberal arts education is the encouraged exploration of other cultures guided by the anthropological perspective. This organization is dedicated to fostering a better understanding of anthropological theories, promoting the appreciation of global perspectives, breaking down stereotypes, and ultimately raising cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity. This organization will also strive to serve Drew University by hosting educational and cultural programs that are open to the entire community.
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