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Transitions: Notes on Sociocultural Anthropology's Present and Its Transnational Potential



ABSTRACT  In this article, I address the 2009 AAA conference theme by arguing that sociocultural anthropology is going through a unique process of transitions. Although these transitions do not indicate the “end of anthropology” as such, they certainly highlight that the era of national traditions is coming to a close. In the difficult phases of advanced globalization that we are going through, our field is in a relatively good position to further develop its transnational potential, which is crucial to coping with the emerging challenges of the present and the future. For sociocultural anthropology's continuing transformation along transnational lines, I argue that we have to seriously engage with the transnationalization of two main dimensions: the institutional and the epistemological. This requires the transnationalization of some among the relations of production of anthropological knowledge and also of this field's epistemological foundations.