Tanja Winther: Searching for Variation and Complexity
Chapter in Why the world needs anthropologists, Routledge 2020
In this chapter Winther reflects on the role that anthropologists can play in research for socially sustainable development. Using concrete examples from her own energy research, she reflects on the merits – and challenges – related to interdisciplinary work. The merits of combining different disciplines are relatively obvious within applied research, where the knowledge production is supposed to lead to practical solutions. However, anthropology and ethnography is explorative in nature and suited to understand the complexity of human living in a non-normative way. Winther provides examples from her own research and personal journey when reflecting on these tensions. To make themselves relevant to policy without becoming methodologically normative, she argues that anthropologists could take a leading role in formulating questions for interdisciplinary research.