Malcolm J. Blincow
Department of
Home Education Research Courses


Malcolm J. Blincow
Associate Professor

2050 Vari Hall
4700 Keele Street
North York, ON M3J 1P3

Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext. 40139
Fax: (416) 736-5768


Why anthropology? We come to it for different reasons and by different paths, but its quest is to understand the paradox of the "universal" and the "particular": what we all share as humans, and yet what also makes us distinctive as we live out our lives in different times and places. Anthropology does that in a very special way: it claims we can only understand others (and ourselves) fully when we engage - not necessarily agree, but engage - in the everyday lives of those we seek to understand. For me, the start of it all happened because of where, when, and how I grew up - in that mix of stability, uncertainty, and complacency, then confusion, and eventually stimulation, that affected me because of my very particular upbringing in a privileged middle-class and ethnically-diverse location in India and Canada during the volatile period of the breakup of older kinds of European empires and their political "decolonization" in the 1950s and '60s. When I entered university, it was anthropology which, for the first time, provided me with a perspective as well as ideas that allowed me to make sense of what I'd experienced and was living through. In particular, it meant that I was drawn to my lifelong interest in trying to understand how humans create conditions of inequality and structures of violence...and how humans also attempt to transform them.

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