Anthropological Voice As An Imperative And The Ethical Issues of Loyalty

Anthropological Voice As An Imperative And The Ethical Issues of Loyalty

For most anthropologists, working in business isn’t just a career choice. Giving voice to the voiceless and bringing attention to the implications of business decisions on existing human values and social relations is experienced as a moral obligation. It is a perspective that is also seen as one that is desperately needed in the business domain.

Businesses As Communities of Practice and Maintaining the Anthropological Perspective from Within

Businesses As Communities of Practice and Maintaining the Anthropological Perspective from Within

Vitally important to being heard and understood as an anthropologist working for business is an ability to recognize and adapt to the language, objectives, and models of the domain. However, even experienced anthropologists describe this undertaking as a delicate balance between overlapping worldviews that challenges their ability to maintain their own sense of professional identities and practices as anthropologists.

The Concealed Utility of Theory In Business

The Concealed Utility of Theory In Business

Anthropologists serve as interlocutors of diverse cultural paradigms, interrogating, recontextualizing, and ultimately enmeshing them in a “rigorous formulation” to close the gaps in divergent models and language practices between business and anthropology. It is unfortunate, then, that theory and analysis is rarely ever given its due credit in business domains.

Deadlines and Cycles

Deadlines and Cycles

In the context of competitive markets and profit-driven motives, tracking progress and striving for efficiency makes sense as an imperative of all businesses. Within the business community, a practitioner’s ability to work within the standardized time constraints common across all business domains is a signifier of that practitioner’s experience and expertise – or lack thereof.

The Enduring Value of Anthropology For Business

The Enduring Value of Anthropology For Business

New strategies and trends in business and design that derive from anthropological origins are presented as efforts to empathize with users and consumers by walking in their shoes. However, researchers that have been educated in a four-field anthropology program have developed habits of thought for analyzing what is generally accepted or understood and expand or reframe social and cultural knowledge through theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

The (so-called) Quantitative-Qualitative Divide

The (so-called) Quantitative-Qualitative Divide

With the advent and proliferation of digital technologies into nearly every facet of life today there is almost no research topic in the modern world that doesn’t include a virtual or technological component. While these practices raise issues of privacy and power, the notion that vast amounts of data can be automatically and immediately collected with little cost or training is an alluring proposition for many businesses.

Business Needs Anthropology More Than Ever, But May Not Know It

Business Needs Anthropology More Than Ever, But May Not Know It

Anthropologists are trained to find solutions to problems by approaching them holistically—from all sides—and through critical thinking, grounded in our theories and methods. Few disciplines prepare their practitioners so well to tackle the problems of the modern world by incorporating our broad knowledge of human evolution, history, biology, and behavior across the world’s cultures. Unfortunately, and to our discipline’s detriment, not enough people or businesses are informed of what anthropologists do and how we can help.

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AnthroCurrents June 7, 2017

If you haven’t yet, you should check out the new season of the Invisibila podcast.  The first 2 episodes feature Renato Rosaldo and his discovery of a new emotion. One anthropologist photographs the bathtub marys of Sommerville, Massachusetts. Business anthropologist Martha Bird shares her perspective on what anthropology brings to designing new technologies.  Do you…

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AnthroCurrents May 10, 2017

  Ever heard of neurodiversity?  Anthropologists are studying how workplace culture, norms and beliefs are changing to be more inclusive of autistic employees. Anthropologist T. N. Pandit shares a heartfelt reflection of regret by for his role in encouraging remote hunter-gatherer tribes of the Andaman Islands contact with the outside world. For those of you…

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AnthroCurrents March 15, 2017

Linguistic anthropologist Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein refutes the demonization of “filler words” such as “like” or “um”.  She outlines how these discourse markers matter for social interaction and that attempts to banish such words are really a bias against women and younger generations who are assumed to use them more frequenlty. Anthropology professor turned politician? While an…