I chose the American Anthropological Association because it is the world’s largest organization for anthropologists and I feel as though it holds a comprehensive view of anthropology that not would not be easily found elsewhere. Boasting over 10,000 members, twenty-two journals, and forty sections that pertain to all four of the main fields of anthropology (cultural, biological/physical, archaeology, and linguistic), this organization is an excellent tool for all members of the anthropological community.
I personally am interested in this organization because my degree is in interdisciplinary studies. I feel as though the AAA is an exceptional illustration of the interdisciplinary approach due to the fact that it covers all aspects of anthropology with its forty different sections, providing breadth to the field, and each section goes into great detail, providing depth. Since all of the sections convene annually, it is an all-inclusive, multi-faceted view of anthropology as a whole. The mission statement is an excellent representation of this, as it states that it seeks to, “advance anthropology as the science that studies humankind in all its aspects, through archeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research.” Seeing all aspects of a subject and putting them together is extremely important when it comes to answering questions because in order to adequately research a topic and truly find the origins of the problem, one must see all possible causes and all possible effects at could be at play.
Not only does this organization publish twenty-two different anthropological journals that provide information to scientists from all around the globe in an endless supply of research topics, but it also takes action in implementing the information it provides. Some examples of this are in the news archive on the website such as: “AAA Calls for Systematic Change in U.S. Public Safety”, “AAA Public Education Initiative on Migration Featured at Smithsonian Folklife Festival”, “AAA Implements Action on Israel-Palestine”, “AAA Listed on prevailing ide of amicus brief as Supreme Court Upholds Consideration of Race in Admissions”, and countless more. It is imperative that information gathered through research is applied to help the greater good of the country and the world, and this organization is obviously doing a wonderful job at upholding that ideal.
To add to their contributions toward society, this organization also provides countless different awards, certificates, grants, and much more to help students and future professionals fulfill their full potential and become a member of the anthropological community. Doing this not only helps the individual, but it also draws attention to anthropology as a whole and helps others support the cause.
The AAA has a detailed course of action that they call their “Long-Range Plan” which includes four “visions” and twelve “specific objectives”. The four visions include supporting “the growth, advancement, and application of anthropological science”, “the values associated with the acquisition of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation”, “internal organization structure”, and “financial resources to carry them out”. Through these objectives, the American Anthropological Association has, and will continue to thrive as the leading organization for anthropologists in the world.