Ongoing discussions about feminist anthropology as an active and relevant sub-discipline largely rely on historical comparisons that pit the political fervour of the past against what is deemed to be the less defined and increasingly disengaged feminist anthropology of today. In this
paper, I argue that the prevailing tone of pessimism surrounding feminist anthropology should be met with a critical response that: (1) situates the current characterization of the sub-discipline within broader debates between second- and third-wave feminism; and (2) considers the ways in
which the supposed incongruity between theories of deconstruction and political engagement undermines the sub-discipline's strengths. Throughout this discussion, I consider what an ethnographic study of motherhood in the context of HIV/AIDS can offer as we take stock of feminist anthropology's
current potential and future possibility.
Anthropology in Action is a peer-reviewed journal publishing key articles, commentaries, research reports, and book reviews that deal with the use of anthropology in all areas of policy and practice. Recent themes have included identity and movement, anthropology in Denmark, the effects of ethics, and anthropology and activism. Subjects covered by the journal include organizations, HIV/AIDS research, new reproductive technologies, the rights of indigenous peoples, community care and social policy, health, medicine and suffering, education and government policy, museums, place and space, management, ethnicity and violence, and overseas development.