Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
In turning Twain's kaleidoscope and looking through the light of the social sciences a new combination of colored glass comes into view. The overlap of the glasses, which are the study of leadership and the study of culture, shines through as a vibrant combination of older ideas in a new configuration. It is the vision of this new mosaic, and the belief that the academic world provides one of the best ways not only to explore, but to disseminate new ideas that I have decided to undertake the creation of a course designed for any student interested in either field. This new course takes as its main function to allow the student and professor alike to explore tonal ranges and different shading of the overlapping glasses of Leadership Studies and Cultural Anthropology.
I was originally inspired to take on this project out of my own curiosity as to a possible future made of the combination described above. My undergraduate studies, made up of study in the field of Leadership Studies and Cultural Anthropology, have showed me an interesting set of overlapping ideas that seem to me are begging to be combined in a formal and academic manner. I see the field of Leadership studies touching some of the ideas often covered in Cultural Anthropology. Ideas such as social organization, power, and the concept of leaders or chiefs in general have been central in the study of culture. Similarly, the connection exists in the other direction; Cultural Anthropology seems to be calling for more definition and study within the larger picture that can help define 'culture'. The idea that a concept of what Leadership is and the various capacities in which it can be used as a method of defining a culture has yet to be explored in depth, an could offer much to the way we think of human interactions.
This project is important to the field of Leadership Studies mainly in that it formally and directly adds to the resources that the field can use to further its knowledge. Limiting the field of Leadership Studies to be offshoots of Political Science, Sociology, Communications Theory, or Organizational Theory seems unfair to me. This is especially true when I see such obvious connections between the two fields. In disseminating the idea of thinking about leadership through cultural lenses (and focusing Cultural Studies through the concepts of Leadership Studies) I feel I can make a significantly expanding contribution to the study of leadership.
The project is titled ambiguously with a purpose. The "'n"' is a combination of 'and' or 'in.' It is hoped that through this combination both fields will be able to gain equally in insights from the other. For this reason it seemed inappropriate to state in a title that one was being used by the other. This way, the two are combined in such a way that they may play off of each other equally, without being weighted toward one field or the other.
Soll, Gabriel D., "Leadership 'n' cultural anthropoloty : a course outline" (1999). Honors Theses. 1250.