Priceless! Florida Gov Scott’s Daughter Is Anthropology Major!

The Associated Press is reporting that Jordan Kandah, the daughter of Florida Governor Rick Scott who has singled out anthropology in recent attacks on higher education, majored in anthropology at The College of William & Mary.

Link to ABC News Story and Tampa Bay Online (with the requisite family photo).

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17 Responses to Priceless! Florida Gov Scott’s Daughter Is Anthropology Major!

  1. jay says:

    so he has firsthand exposure to its uselessness as a degree?

    • daniel.lende says:

      No, Jay, she transitioned very successfully to a career that interested her! And that was after doing something that has surely made her a better teacher and future businesswoman – anthropology!

      Sounds like you need to study a little social science! Say, how father-daughter relations work in patriarchal societies. Of course, if we were a mother’s brother type society, it would be Jordan’s uncle lecturing her, indirectly but in public, like this.

      • jay says:

        lol classic

        “she became very successful (er.. in a different field) and i’m sure she owes it all to her ANTHROPOLOGY DEGREE.”

        gimme a break. i have a social science background, i’m sure that’s what makes me SUCH A GOOD ONCOLOGIST.

  2. ryan a says:

    “i have a social science background, i’m sure that’s what makes me SUCH A GOOD ONCOLOGIST.”

    If you paid attention, it sure didn’t hurt. As with anything, a degree is what you bring to it, and what you make of it. Just ask Paul Farmer. Or maybe Gillian Tett. So you’re an oncologist? What’s your specialty? Do you take account of any social factors in your practice? Do you think that social factors matter in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer? Why or why not? How do you diagnose patients? In purely medical terms? Just wondering.

    There is plenty of good work in medical anthropology (and bioanth in general) that would probably be of interest to you…if you were willing to look into it. A 2009 edited volume about cancer by McMullin and Weiner comes to mind (SAR Press). Also, have you ever heard of Robert Sapolsky (he’s a neuroscientist/primatologist with a BA in biological anthropology)? He does some pretty fascinating work on stress in humans, might be worth checking out. There are plenty of others whose work explores the borders between anthropology and medicine, and Daniel would be a pretty good person to ask for some sources. Just FYI.

    By the way, what social science background do you have? Did you study anthropology? Sociology?

  3. Jen Cavalari says:

    I love the anthropologist advocacy on this page. As a medical student, I am thrilled that I have so much more to offer my future patients with my ANTHROPOLOGY DEGREE. Patients definitely benefit from the humanistic approach. Unfortunately, it seems that not all of our social science graduates in the medical field are taking advantage of the privilege of higher education.

  4. jay says:


    This is all cute but really your discipline doesn’t offer anyone anything. Of course I know about ‘how patients benefit from the humanistic approach’ and that I should ‘take into account social factors.’ (The vagueness of the euphemisms allows us to draw a curtain over their lack of content.) But I would never have learned that from a social science academic (if I had tried I would have been badly led astray), I learned it through interacting with people in my daily life. Something that everyone in the world does. If I wanted to learn about how anthropologists try to formalize (ie jargonize) their understanding of social processes, I of course have access to their books and boring blogs. I really don’t need to go into debt to jump through their silly credentialing hoop and give them the illusion that their insights go beyond the trivial.

    Trust me, your patients don’t give a shit about your anthropology degree, and if you needed to get one in order to treat them ‘humanistically,’ you must be socially retarded.

  5. ryan a says:

    “This is all cute but really your discipline doesn’t offer anyone anything.”

    That’s a pretty big claim, jay. Care to back that up? Have you spent a lot of time studying anthropology to come to this conclusion, or are you just expressing your opinion here? Have you actually studied any anthropology?

    “Trust me, your patients don’t give a shit about your anthropology degree, and if you needed to get one in order to treat them ‘humanistically,’ you must be socially retarded.”

    Well, your words certainly do speak for themselves, don’t they? Is this an example of how you have learned to “treat people humanistically”? Because I’m not impressed.

    Clearly you take issue with social science. I get that. But cut the insults–it’s not necessary and it’s actually not very interesting. Anyone can get on the internet and start flaming people and making baseless, unsubstantiated claims. If you’re going to make a claim, then back it up.

    If you’re here to comment and have a discussion about the merit of social science, then at least be willing to listen, be respectful, and make some contributions. Ya, I disagree with your claims, but I can still listen to your perspectives. I am actually really curious why you are so against social science, especially since you’re an oncologist. Seems like you could get a lot out of something like medical anthropology.

    Also, you didn’t answer my question. You said you have a “background in social science.” What social science did you study? What’s your background? Did you major in a social science at some point?

  6. B.R.F. says:

    This Jay person is clearly just saying things to infuriate others. Is there any way to report him to the site? He’s being extremely offensive.

  7. Jay’s comments suggest to me that in his world, knowledge exists in silos; that his medical knowledge, and specialized knowledge as an ONCOLOGIST, have no links, no bridges, no overlap with other realms of knowledge (existing in other silos). How could it be otherwise? Of course anthropology has no bearing on other bodies of knowledge — it’s obvious.
    Well, Jay, you appear to have overlooked the fact that the disease states you deal with have histories. I have many anthropological colleagues who study bioarchaeology and paleoepidemiology and paleopathology, not just to understand the health statuses of past human populations, but also to understand the histories of the diseases that were present in those populations. I also know medical doctors and radiologists who regularly collaborate with biological anthropologists and bioarchaeologists — I’m talking about Chiefs of Departments of Pathology or Radiology or Nuclear Medicine who jump at the chance to offer expert analysis on an ancient Egyptian mummy, or ancient Mayan skeletal remains. The results of such interdisciplinary collaborations are rich and rewarding to all involved. Hey, if you sought them out, there would be lots of opportunities to apply your knowledge as an ONCOLOGIST in a bioarchaeological context; there are no shortage of major research projects going on where large numbers of human skeletons are being analyzed, in both the New World and the Old. Identifying ancient cases of cancer would add another layer to the bioarchaeological reconstruction of health, morbidity, and mortality in past human populations, as well as tell us something about the history of cancer. Hey, you might even have fun doing it. Oh, but wait… that would mean your silo of specialized knowledge as an ONCOLOGIST would actually come into contact with anthropological bodies of knowledge; that would mean your silo would crumble.

  8. km says:

    I sure hope my oncologist doesn’t spend his days trolling anthropology blogs just to tell people how useless they are. Repeatedly. I mean, most of the doctors I know are way too busy doing their, you know, work to bother joining in online communities they have no interest in, let alone antagonizing the members of those communities. It’s definitely a character deficiency, I’d say, and something I’d want to take up with hospital administration.

  9. Stefan K. says:

    I am not sure where Jay is coming from trying to denigrate the discipline here. But the bottom line is that we have the freedom to choose what we want to learn and what type of degrees we pursue. It seems to me very un-American to want to limit the choices of study available to students. In fact, trying to dictate or legislate to our citizens what are their viable options of study could be viewed of as at best a veiled attempt at “dumbing down” the masses and at worst politically motivated social engineering.

    Anthropologists are not the ones whining about not being able to find jobs. Sure, academic positions are very competitive and hard to find, but anthropologists know this better than anybody and communicate this with students as well. Furthermore, as we all know the academy is certainly not the only choice for trained anthropologists as most find viable work in other sectors or choose to take less paying jobs as adjuncts. Anthropologists are fine with this reality though, because like teachers and many other honorable vocations, they are not in it for the money. And sadly, maybe that is the problem. Anthropologists are marginalized because they do not share Scott’s version of the “American Dream”.

    Fundamentally, though, this is about freedom. Our system is not like the old Soviet-style one where choice was limited by what was thought to advance their brand of society. Scott’s remarks do, however, resemble this ideological approach by implying that this time it is capitalism that needs to be saved through a transformation of the university system. But what Scott and people like Jay forget is that we Americans have the freedom to choose and live with our choices. If the intent of the governor is to legislate support only to educational systems that can help build his vision of a society, then he and others truly have misguided notions of what makes their society (and ours) so great to begin with.

    I hope that the governor is just uneducated about what anthropology is all about. But I have to assume that conversations with his own daughter have informed him well on the subject. Perhaps then this is all about family dynamics, as others have implied, and he is just projecting his own issues into his agenda. Either way you look at it, it is unhealthy policy.

    • Stefan K. says:

      Sorry, just a quick clarification. I should have said “Anthropologists are not whining about not being able to find jobs”, instead of “anthropologists are not ‘the ones’ whining about not being able to find jobs”. I of course do not mean to disparage anyone that is looking for work in this terrible economy. I just meant to imply that anthropologists are aware of the job situations available to them and accept the fact that they will have to work hard for job security and often take low-paying positions. Hopefully no one got the wrong idea, but I just wanted to make sure.

  10. Terry says:

    Jay’s language betrays him. He should pretend to be something else next time.

  11. Erica C says:

    Ignorance of the vast uses of anthropology is obviously the major concern here, Anthropologist are responsible for:
    OH and…
    -They are working to save these
    -You may recognize

    maybe people should be doing some research before spouting unsupported claims

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