Public Archaeology and the us Culture Wars

Patrice L. Jeppson

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Public Archaeology and the us Culture Wars

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  • Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology



United States archaeologists often appear to function as part of society's progressive faction. Their interests and efforts stem from a nexus of social and economic elements regularly cursed in conservative circles. This article describes the implications of the wars in terms of public archaeology, especially public archaeological practice that intersects with public education in the United States. It explains the reasons that these culture wars are important in terms of formal education in the United States and discusses why archaeology is relevant to social studies as it is practised in the formal education sphere. The study also examines the negative attitudes that US archaeologists have about outreach to formal education in general, and describes some recent shifts within professional archaeology societies which indicate that some of these attitudes may be changing. Finally, it argues that archaeology's lack of engagement with education's needs has served to work against those promoting a more inclusive democracy.

Keywords: public archaeology; formal education; professional archaeology; US archaeologists; culture wars

Article.  9910 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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