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MASU presents: Adia Benton

341 Eggers Hall

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Adia BentonAssistant Professor of Anthropology, Brown University

"But, really, what's the prevalence?" Innumerable subjects in gender-based violence research

Anthropologists have become increasingly invested in understanding the intentions and effects of quantitative research practices--particularly those that entail using field surveys for data collection. Fundamentally, their aim has been to demonstrate that products of survey research, while commonly portrayed as neutral and objective, entail and produce classifications that are often highly political and politicized, socially constructed, and malleable to a range of cultural and economic realities. Drawing on my experience coordinating a gender-based violence prevalence survey in Sierra Leone in 2003-4, I suggest that recent ethnographic portrayals of surveys--with their foci on the high-level meetings where variables and indicators are debated, and an ‘on the ground’ perspective of the subjective experience of the ‘classified’--maybe missing crucial sites for mapping and interpreting enumerative practices and their effects.

Adia Benton PhD (Harvard), MPH (Emory) is a medical anthropologist with interests in political and legal anthropology and science and technology studies. She has conducted research in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya and Mozambique.

Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Maxwell African Scholars Union at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs.

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