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Friday, January 24, 2014

CfP CAS-SCA 2014: Tolerance of Ambiguity: New avenues for anthropological futures? Reminder: deadline February 1st

(Reminder: deadline February 1st)

CfP: Tolerance of Ambiguity: New avenues for anthropological futures?

The tolerance of ambiguity was first coined by Psychologist Else
Frenkel-Brunswik in 1948. This term, which ironically has no definitive
definition, has engaged scholars ever since, particularly in the fields of
medicine, clinical psychology and in organizational behaviour (Furnham and
Marks 2013: 717). Despite having some traction in the field of Sociology,
explorations of the tolerance of ambiguity is relatively non-existent in
the field of anthropology.

According to the definition provided by Ellsberg in 1961, ambiguity can be
thought of as "a lack of information that is necessary to understand a
situation or to identify all of the possible out-comes" (Furnham and Marks
2013: 718). A variable of this concept called uncertainty avoidance is
defined as "the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous
situations, and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid
these" situations (Hofstede 1984: 419).
For the purposes of this conference, we will define a tolerance of
ambiguity as: one's ability to handle 'the uncertain' with respect to
(newly) encountered people, places, or objects.

As this conference engages both the idea of uncertainty and future
anthropological endeavours, we will engage with the concept of tolerance
of ambiguity as a means to explore and interrogate the role of
anthropologists in their fieldwork and in their political and social
engagements. We will use tolerance of ambiguity to question the role of
applying anthropological methods and theories to organizational contexts,
such as community organizations, businesses, health care and education
settings. We will highlight the ways that anthropologists are uniquely
positioned to contribute to research and application in uncertain spaces.

We are seeking panelists to contribute to this discussion for the upcoming
CASCA 2014 meetings( If you are
interested in contributing, please submit a 150-word abstract by February
1, 2014 to:

Jennifer Long , PhD (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Melissa Fellin, PhD (Western University)

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