How do we keep "bro-ing" away from open access archaeology?: Open Access, Cultural Appropriation, and Archaeology

Author(s): William White

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Openness & Sensitivity: Practical Concerns in Taking Archaeological Data Online" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

"Bro-ing" is a market research practice pioneered by Nike and reported by Naomi Klein (2000:75) where designers bring prototypes to inner-city neighborhoods to gauge reactions to new styles and products. This practice also creates buzz that can be used to sell those products to the same communities.

Open access archaeology helps make archaeological data available to larger research communities. While this is commendable, much of our work in the United States is generated from research conducted on indigenous, descendant, or non-European American communities, many of which have histories of negative interactions with anthropologists and archaeologists. This paper explores protocols for preventing cultural knowledge from disproportionately benefitting archaeologists and keeping cultural knowledge from being used in ways that do not benefit descendant and indigenous communities. It also addresses ways open access archaeology advocates can keep from contributing to "bro-ing" in archaeological research; that is, capitalizing on research trends to insert themselves into non-European American communities in order to present their own cultural knowledge back to them in a more authoritative format.

Cite this Record

How do we keep "bro-ing" away from open access archaeology?: Open Access, Cultural Appropriation, and Archaeology. William White. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451666)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25953