Cooperation for the Cultural Anthropology BA Program in Hungary

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STATEMENT Regarding the Elimination of the Cultural Anthropology Undergraduate Program

2015-07-02 06:09:57

The Hungarian Cultural Anthropological Association expresses its deep concern about next year’s restriction on offering the cultural anthropology undergraduate program. We are equally concerned about the news releases regarding the possible elimination of the study of cultural anthropology, and with that, undermining the internationally recognized and institutionalized discipline of social science in Hungary.

We consider it important that appropriate preparatory work, based on learning about the nature of the discipline, education and training involved, activities of graduates, precedes science- and education-policy decisions affecting those disciplines. To this, we provide all the technical assistance.

The study of cultural anthropology, established after the 1989 transition in Hungary, has been committed serving society with its research results from the beginning.

Its graduates can be found in the research network of the Hungarian Academy of Science, policy research- and decision-support of government and local government, public education and training institutions, for- and non-profit organizations. Activities of cultural anthropologists have also contributed significantly to raising awareness of and preservation of our cultural values. Valuable collections of tangible and intangible assets of our researchers enriched our common collections.

Scientific thinking has been defined by the more than a century old study of cultural anthropology. Its approach, methodology, and body of knowledge inspired other disciplines; theories, methods and approaches are used in many places.

Cultural anthropological researches enrich science and society with otherwise un-obtainable knowledge. Education and training in cultural anthropology provide comprehensive and interpretive skills to explanation to complex social phenomena; utilization of them becomes useful in many areas. It also effectively contributes to the social-policy decision-making process, preparation of implementation of measures, and also to the recognition and finding successful solutions of social conflicts.

Elimination of the undergraduate program means a fracture across the entire discipline in Hungary.

Education and training within the Department of Cultural and Visual Anthropology at the University of Miskolc sensitizes students towards cultural values and social problems. Graduates employed in a wide variety of fields, mentioned above, can pass on this approach; this is particularly significant in the social sphere, in preparation of decision-making. Elimination of the undergraduate program at the University of Miskolc means the elimination of education and training in a disadvantaged region of Northern Hungary. It is important to point out that ideas of extremist (political and social) solutions are currently more typical in the region. The undergraduate program can not only change the attitude, but can also offer tools, arguments, and sensitivity to students. Multiplier effect of those is the key element in reaching social acceptance.

Extreme and urgent social challenges, for effective management of social-identity and political problems, as well as for maximizing future-related potentials of Hungary, we ask the decision-makers to reconsider the weight and consequences of the measure, at the same time call on them to withdraw the government decree of eliminating the undergraduate cultural anthropology program. Furthermore, we encourage the continuation of substantive discussions on the future of undergraduate cultural anthropology program and discipline in Hungary.


Hungarian Cultural Anthropological Association

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