Anthropology that counts: ideologies of knowledge genres

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearch


Politicians request clear answers, big data is becoming a big thing, and whole industries have emerged around the ambition of “summing up what we know” in systematic reviews (James and Harden 2008). In this political climate, research funding has in Denmark been given to University Colleges and is expected to deliver “practice oriented” research, preferably evidence based and ready to “apply” - or sometimes even in the case of action research supposedly “applied in the process”.
The development opens the question of where the borders are between anthropology and consulting business, whether “practice oriented research” necessarily has to have professional practices as it’s objects of study and political demands as guiding it’s focus, or whether it could also be opposite: having political agendas as it’s objet of study and professional practice as guiding it’s focus? Is it necessarily professional practices in schools, hospitals, and other welfare institutions that has to “apply research”, or could it also be the political levels, that were subject to “applications”?
In any case, anthropology becomes extremely political, and has to find a position between different ideological knowledge genres, where different concepts are questioned or taken for granted, and where critique can be anything between “decaffeinated resistance” (Contu 2008), secret solidarity (Agamben 2005), civil disobedience and everything in between.
In a paper I want to address a possible way to maneuver within this politicized field. Drawing on psychoanalytically inspired theories (Glynos 2011; Glynos and Howarth 2007; Stavrakakis 2010; Žižek 1989; Žižek 2005; Godelier 1999; Graeber 2013; Graeber 2001), I suggest making the political struggles themselves the object of study, and to examine the implication that this has for lived lives in and around the organizations in question.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventMEGA-seminar - Sønderborg, Denmark
Duration: 24 Aug 201526 Aug 2015


Internet address


  • management, organizational development and innovation
  • fantasmer
  • videndeling


Dive into the research topics of 'Anthropology that counts: ideologies of knowledge genres'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this