Chapter 28

Robert A and Beverly H. Hackenberg: Research and Policy in Anthropology
Thomas Weaver

You CAN do Something! Forming Policy from Applied Projects, Then and Now
Robert A. and Beverly H. Hackenberg

Robert and Beverly Hackenberg are well known not only for their work on issues of health and ecology in Southeast Asia and Central America but also for the training and support they have provided for graduate students. Beverly Hackenberg (1928–), with master’s degrees in sociology and demography and a certificate in epidemiology, began work in anthropology after World War II as co-director of the U.S. Information Service in the Philippines. Later she became field director at the University of Arizona’s Bureau of Ethnic Research (now the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology). Robert Hackenberg (1928–2007), after receiving a doctorate in applied anthropology from Cornell University, accepted a position at the Bureau of Ethnic Research in 1954. The Hackenbergs have worked together on all projects since then, primarily from the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In their 1998 Malinowski Award address, the Hackenbergs maintained that the applied projects represented in the literature of anthropology are sufficient to form a theory of practicing anthropology and to formulate policies that can be used at all levels of society—local community, national, or international. They argued, moreover, that the applied project approach is ill-suited to many contemporary problems and that applied anthropology must refocus its concepts and methods on research that will guide the policy agendas of both national and international agencies.