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Tom Harrisson – The Barefoot Anthropologist
Tom Harrison was known as the founder of Social Observation. This polymath was the creator of Mass Observation, a movement that aimed to record daily activities by the British, by observing, asking and recording their activities at work or on the streets, and even at sports or religious events, without their knowledge.
The idea behind Mass Observation, despite criticisms that it was an invasion of privacy, was useful in helping shape policies of the British government. The project ran for three decades, between the 30’s to the 60’s, where it also made significance during the height of the war. In 1981, years after Harrison’s death, the project was revived for a short period.
Harrison, before he became an esteemed figure in his area of expertise, was also a guerilla-fighter. He has made several documentaries of his “observations” of human behavior. But his greatest contribution to the world of Anthropology, is probably his discovery of a human skull in Borneo, which is believed to be about 40,000 years old at that time. Although this discovery was not made public until about the mid-2000s and there were doubts to the claims by the Barefoot Anthropologist, it would seem that Harrison was vindicated by it.
This documentary is a presentation on the life and achievements of Tom Harrison.
Published on December 1, 2008 · Filed under: Biography