MIGUEL VALE DE ALMEIDA
WHAT TO DO?
ANTHROPOLOGY BEFORE THE CONTEMPORARY REACTION
A substantial part of the conservative reaction around the world is based on a double movement that refers to Social Sciences. On the one hand, the denial of social construction perspectives and the cultural and historical relativization. On the other hand, an appropriation of these two approaches abandoned by the Social Sciences and of the mechanism that are used to explain the social as a constructed reality.
Perhaps the most striking example is the “gender ideology”. But I will also consider nationalism, the naturalization of ethnocentrism and racism, the notions of clash of civilizations and religion, sexism, homophobia, reactions to the “political correctness” (among others, especially in more sophisticated levels, new theorizations with political implications, genomics, evolutive psychology, neurosciences, etc.).
I will explore the hypothesis by which this violent reaction is organized on the basis of an apparently contradictory alliance between neoliberalism and the calls to the traditionalism, a new and specific phenomenon of our time, not an atavism of the past.
In this regard, this is a revolutionary movement, and the progressist context (on which Social Sciences have been based for long) refer to an uncomfortable place of “conservativism”.
How can anthropological discourse and ethnographic practice produce (and disseminate) knowledge against that reality -in a political gesture- but also in an attempt to make it intelligible?