12 May 2010

Anthropology

An interesting talk yesterday evening on anthropology, by Prof Renée Hirschon of St Peter's College, to Writers in Oxford. The audience included a number of distinguished anthropologists and at least one very distinguished novelist.
On the car radio on the way home, David Cameron was making his speech outside 10 Downing Street. Going by some of the content, he might have been at the same talk. He spoke of a society:

where we don’t just ask what are my entitlements, but what are my responsibilities. One where we don’t ask what am I just owed, but more what can I give. And a guide for that society – that those that can should, and those who can’t we will always help.
I want to make sure that my government always looks after the elderly, the frail the poorest in our country. We must take everyone through with us on some of the difficult decisions we have ahead.
Above all it will be a government that is built on some clear values. Values of freedom, values of fairness, and values of responsibility.
I want us to build an economy that rewards work. I want us to build a society with stronger families and stronger communities. And I want a political system that people can trust and look up to once again.
So, clearly, anthropology is a very important subject ...

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