Chapter 23

Ronald Frankenberg: From Industrial Anthropology to AIDS
Thomas Weaver

Learning from AIDS: The Future of Anthropology
Ronald Frankenberg

Ronald Frankenberg (1929–) pioneered in industrial anthropology and medical anthropology in Great Britain and later studied prisons and schools, domestic violence and police intervention, the mentally handicapped and definitions of patienthood, and Marxist theory and feminist criticism. After receiving a doctorate in anthropology at Manchester University in 1954, Frankenberg taught and held administrative positions at several universities in the United Kingdom, Africa, India, and the United States. He was directly involved in applied projects with mine workers, urban planners, and health organizations. In his 1993 Malinowski Award address, Frankenberg used his and others’ work on AIDS to illustrate the differences between the cultures of biomedicine, epidemiology, and anthropology. He argued that the anthropologist's contribution is most valuable when it is based on the distinctive anthropological perspective and presented in a way that allows the people affected to choose their own agendas and act for themselves.