BAJR Federation Archaeology
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Diversity - BAJR - 11th November 2013

[h=5]Listen up people... Raksha grabs this by the danglers and gives a twist. - thanks to Doug for the initial thoughts.

Hands up any white middle class archaeologists -- hmmm thought so.[/h]
However... it goes beyond and looks at what we do for community? Have we just become a tickbox society?

Are we diverse? or is archaeology designed specifically to exclude... by merit of how much a degree costs and when projects take place during the week.?

ps... the debate is also happening on BAJR facebook as well:

Diversity - GnomeKing - 11th November 2013

" how do we attract more diversity to the profession? ...

this isn’t just to do with sitting in a lecture and looking around a room of faces that look totally different to your own.

It’s to do with the fact that there’s no place in the profession for *anybody* right now – academia is struggling, commercial archaeology is in a mess, and community projects can’t wash their own faces long-term. "

Diversity - barkingdigger - 11th November 2013

...But I'm as diverse as I can get! :0

Diversity - BAJR - 11th November 2013

Looking for solutions to ourselves...

I know I am.

Diversity - vulpes - 14th November 2013

Diversity - Tool - 15th November 2013

Just bumping this up so I remember to look into this over the weekend, now home from working away and have something resembling internet... Initial thoughts, without reading Raksha's piece, is a question, and this is genuine and not an attempt to justify any particular situation or point of view - are there cultural influences that tend to bias white europeans towards the practice of archaeology? Most of the archaeology and history books I've read have been euro-centric (and out of laziness including the US in this, given their history), so it's very hard to know whether there is the same level fascination with this discipline outside of the european influence? Is there anyone out there reading this that has some knowledge?

One solution to the problem that I can see (again through laziness and lack of thought) is for those who are into archaeology to enthuse about the subject in simple terms, as in remove any perceived mystique, don't call things linears and call them a bloody ditch (if they display enough ditch-like qualities... Wink) and generally get our heads out of our backsides. Make it clear that it is something for anyone with interest, that you don't need any qualification but enthusiasm and aptitude to work in the business, that is isn't just the preserve of the privileged academic.

Diversity - Tool - 16th November 2013

Just had a quick scan thorough the article, and a couple of points:
  1. is there a lack of clarity as to what the problem is? If any?
  2. why is it that so few, mainly only those who have studied archaeology or have discovered a particularly anal love (please excuse that expression, but it's not easy to describe how 'into' the subject you have to be to enter into the business outside of the traditional school>uni>job route) know what the term archaeology encompasses? In fact, how many within the business truly accept the scope of the subject?

Diversity - kevin wooldridge - 16th November 2013

If we believe that archaeology is a subject that should interest us all, then there are all kinds of groups under-represented. I think the article draws attention to one or two of these groups, but by no means to all. There is also a danger in superficially assuming that the 'white' 'male' 'european' mass is a singular group or class. It isn't....Access to 'archaeology' is as big if not a bigger issue than representation in archaeology.....

Diversity - Tool - 16th November 2013

Not sure it is, or should be, of interest of all, but certainly agree that it should be accessible to all. But are we asking the wrong question? Is there a barrier to segments of society being involved in archaeology (and if so, why?) or is there another reason why some segments of society don't get involved? By which I mean, is archaeology just not on the radar for some? And if this is the case, what can be done about it? Does the answer lie in school? Now school is but a distant memory for me, and I don't have kids, so I've no idea what is taught. But if related subjects such as history are being under-represented to younger people, and they're not 'seeing' archaeology in the rest of their young lives, then it's unlikely to even enter the minds of many. And I doubt if many career advisers even know how to spell archaeology.

Diversity - kevin wooldridge - 16th November 2013

In my opinion Raksha's article is more concerned with access to archaeology than it is with increasing public awareness, although of course the two are not unconnected..!!