If you do not know what Anthropology is, now is probably the time to look it up. Not just because you may become slightly lost within this blog but because Anthropology in my eyes is currently hugely undervalued and set to become one of the most fundamental disciplines for the 21st Century as the world becomes more globalised, diverse and continues to culturally evolve.
Gillian Tett, the US Managing editor for the Financial Times predicted the financial crisis and incoming recession in 2006. She has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology and said:
“I happen to think anthropology is a brilliant background for looking at finance. Firstly, you’re trained to look at how societies or cultures operate holistically, so you look at how all the bits move together. And most people in the City don’t do that. They are so specialised, so busy, that they just look at their own little silos. And one of the reasons we got into the mess we are in is because they were all so busy looking at their own little bit that they totally failed to understand how it interacted with the rest of society.”
So what has this got to do with Teenthropologist and its creation? Even though the name Teenthropologist is apt as I am both in my final few months as a teenager and an Anthropology student, that does not mean that my thoughts should be rendered irrelevant. If anything, having both those categorisations should put me in the best position for offering perspectives and attitudes on matters that the market and many companies should feel as necessary. Teenagers are the biggest consumers for many products, probably the most cynical and have the most varied attitudes, which when fueled by trends and what is ‘cool’, could make or break the success of a product or company. As an example, I studied teenage girls attitudes to clothes shopping just for interest, and realised that one of the leading online retailers in the UK was missing a niche that they could easily exploit. I emailed them, and whilst I got a vague reply, miraculously it seems, a year later they had exploited this niche to great success.
Being an anthropologist and having experience of conducting enthnographies (again, if you do not know what an ethnography is I’d advise you to look it up) means that I can evaluate situations and data with a knack of understanding diverse perspectives with an objective eye, avoiding any preconceptions. This can be a powerful tool and offer a big picture.
Therefore I hope to offer you ethnographies from many different aspects of teenage life, hopefully to ignite some interest, or to show you some perspectives that perhaps you were previously not aware of. I shall also present my own opinions and advice, as after all, what is the point in describing attitudes and situations if you cannot learn from them.
(In case you were feeling weary over who I may be and why you should even read and consider anything that I write, I can assure that I am a legitimate Anthropology student at Durham University on an Academic Scholarship, having just achieved a First and the best marks for my programme – not that I am trying to boast, just simply assuring you of my intelligence)