Omertaa, journal for Applied Anthropology, was launched in January, 2007. It is an international peer reviewed journal, with an academic board, publishing on issues which belong to the broader field of Applied Anthropology and related issues. The offices are located in Ghent (Belgium), which is also the residence of the supporting organisation: Expeditions, Research in Applied Anthropology.
The concept 'Omertà' is commonly known in the meaning given to it through popular movies and literature in the late 30's as a code of silence practised by the Mafia; a refusal to give evidence to the police about criminal activities. The 'Omertà' as it is seen in the perspective of this journal traces the concept back to its underlying cultural form. It is a widely known and applied social system of peasant cultures of which we can find the basics in every culture: the conspiracy of silence. The etymology of the word is often traced back to its presumed Spanish roots where it refers to 'manliness' (hombredad). We however prefer the Latin roots: a dialectal alteration of umiltà (humility, modesty, from Latin humilitās).
Expeditions wants to promote the integration of anthropological perspectives and methods in social and cultural issues; to plead for public policy based upon sound research; to promote public recognition of anthropology as a profession; and to support the continuing professionalization of the field. Expeditions pursues its mission and purpose by:
- Communicating theories, research methods, results, and case examples through its publications.
- Recommending curriculum for the education of applied anthropologists and other applied social and cultural scientists at all levels.
- Promoting and conducting professional development programs.
- Expressing its members' interests-- and anthropological approaches in general--to the public, government agencies, and other professional associations.
Through these activities, our organization aims to be a premier professional organization for anthropologists and other applied social and cultural scientists and with colleagues throughout the world.
The goals of the Omertaa journal are:
- To be a forum for anthropologists working in- and outside universities.
- To encourage a bridge between practice inside and outside the university.
- To explore the use of anthropology in policy research and implementation.
- To serve as a forum for inquiry into the present state and future of anthropology in general.
It is critical that anthropological approaches to the solution of human problems are applied in conjunction with the point of view and expertise of colleagues from other disciplines. Expeditions members encompass the social sciences and other disciplines to address practical issues in the world.
Publications are important vehicles for building the foundation of knowledge, reporting on solutions to human problems and addressing significant policy issues. Authors communicate to a nonmember the utility of our perspectives and to students who are possibly forming a commitment to applied social science. Publications provide a historical record of the field's development and accomplishments. We must continually search for alternative ways to communicate with our peers and the wider communities.