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Meet the people

Applied Anthropology (Msc Cultural and Social Anthropology)

Students

Kiki Collot D'Escury
Kiki Collot d'Escury

During my bachelor in Cultural Anthropology, I found out that I did not want to do research that would only be understandable for my professor and maybe some fellow students; I wanted my research to mean something to other people, people outside the discipline of Anthropology. For me, applied research was the opportunity to show the value of anthropology to the ‘outside’ world, the world we live in. 

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    How can one explain anthropologists’ reluctance to reach an audience wider than just the specialist of the discipline, when their scientific approach is based on an experience in principle open to everyone, and when their works are for the most part written in ordinary language (Philippe Descole cited in Fassin, 2013: 621).

    During my bachelor in Cultural Anthropology, I was very much inspired by the above quote and work of Fassin. I did not want to do research that would only be understandable for my professor and maybe some fellow students, I wanted my research to mean something to other people, people outside the discipline of Anthropology. Applied research can be many different things but to me, it was the opportunity to show the value of anthropology to the ‘outside’ world, the world we live and study in. 

    It seems like a very long time ago, choosing my studies. I always knew it was going to be something along the lines of Social Sciences. Understanding human interactions, emotions and behaviour from a social and cultural perspective is something I have always had a personal interest in.

    I have focused my research for Applied Ethnography on ‘transgender questions’ within the Dutch sport culture. Particularly focusing on the sports experiences of transgender youth within the Netherlands and the implementation of sport policy that promotes their participation in sports. 

    At the end of my Bachelor I started to think more seriously about my passion within and outside of my studies and I began to see possibilities in combining those passions. My interest in both sports and applied research lead me to get in touch with NOC*NSF. After a couple of weeks of sending emails back and forth I got in touch with Lieke Vloet, a senior policy advisor at NOC*NSF. She told me that over the past years growing visibility of transgender people within Dutch society, as well as within the field of sports, has led to questions about how to create a sport policy that is ‘open’ towards the participation of transgender athletes. This was the first step into my research field. Instead of starting my research with a theoretically founded question I started with an actual practical social issue: how should sport organizations deal with the increasing participation of transgender people? 

    I spent about one day a week in the office at the beginning of my fieldwork. Colleagues would ask me what I was doing and how my research was going, but to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was doing. How do you explain what it means to be doing ‘fieldwork’, when you are in an office and you have never done fieldwork before?

    Working for/with an organization, like NOC*NSF, has taught me a lot. For example, I learned how to communicate to different audiences. I had to use different ways of structuring and representing my research and research questions, depending on the person reading it. In general, my focus often switched from theoretical insights to finding solutions to practical issues. Also, writing reports for the NOC*NSF differs greatly from writing academic literature, the first having to be a lot shorter and more practical. 

Academic staff

The Programme Director of the MSc in Cultural and Social Anthropology is Dr K. Krause.

mw. dr. K. (Kristine) Krause

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen

Programmagroep: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

Drs Marieke Brand is the Study Adviser of the MSc in Cultural and Social Anthropology.

mw. drs. M.E. (Marieke) Brand

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen

OBP Groep Onderwijsbureau Sociale Wetenschappen