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Social Anthropology

Steve Dawe

Anthropology is something that I put into practice on a daily basis.

It is not just something which I studied at degree level then left on a top shelf next to my travel albums and outgrown rugby boots.

As Head of the Project Department in a bi-lingual, bi-curricular and bi-cultural school in Cadiz, Spain, I am constantly involved in cross-cultural activity and the more I learn about another culture, the more I understand my own.

In my daily work, I support educational projects, which can be based around anything from theatre, dance, exchanges, language, to video, photography and inter-house competitions.

I run a work experience placement for graduates in our nursery school, contracting graduates from all over the world. I also work with colleagues to coordinate a Comenius Lifelong Learning programme with partners in five different European countries, therefore providing our students with the chance to open their minds to cultural experiences beyond their part of the world.

As far as I know, I produce a unique Eisteddfod festival; the only Spanish/Welsh cultural festival in Spain.

Each year I direct a nativity play with a cast of 400 children in their second language. I also work on the editing team of a bi-lingual magazine about the school.

I have lived in Spain for seven years and an important aspect of my work is to act as a cultural interpreter, not only promoting British culture in Spain but also helping people who come to work with us, to understand the Spanish culture.

This is clearly a practical application and a transfer of the skills learned through my study of Anthropology at degree level.

What I learnt in Manchester is always with me. It is a way of seeing the world, of finding out why things happen and why people are who they are. Anthropology helps you to plant your roots where ever you go, to make friends and understand people.