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.
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New strategies and trends in business and design that derive from anthropological origins are represented 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.
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.
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.
I apologize for not having happier stories to lift the spirits at this time of year. But I hope you’ll take a critical look at some of these issues, and, if they interest you, find a way to contribute to these conversations. I included a few more than usual since you’re all most likely at “home” reading this over a
Hi, practicing community! It’s been a whirlwind of a Fall and I hope you can forgive me for my sparse updates. I hope all of you who made it to AAA this year had a great time and reconnected with your anthro community. If you have any pressing news or stories that came out of AAA that you’d like to
Hi all! It’s been another crazy week over here but wanted to share a few things I spotted in the news… One anthropologist is studying ageist hiring practices. An article written by a social anthropologist about “cloudbusting”. Provides a interesting reflection on something we don’t think much about. Where is all our data stored and is it a secret? The
Happy Halloween, fellow practitioners! If you want to read about this history and interpretation of our hallows day celebrations, I recommend this and this. The ABC Australia Boyer Lectures most current series feature renowned anthropologist Genevieve Bell. He series explores the role of technology in Australia’s future and is called: Fast, Smart and Connected: What is it to be Human,
By Ruth Sando I have recently (2017) retired after a long career in private industry, working both as an employee and an outside consultant. After earning my Ph.D., I spent over 20 years in the financial services industry (in banking and insurance), and then for five years was a senior international housing finance manager before starting my own firm, Sando
by Laurie Krieger I have consulted internationally in health, gender, policy, research, and even once in irrigation (that was weird). Here are some tips for getting started: Use your networks; in international work, people are hired through whom they know. Carefully research how much consultants get paid by the organization or donor for whom you will work (e.g., U.S. government
By Elizabeth K. Briody I started Cultural Keys, LLC (culturalkeys.us) in 2009. At that time, I had a PhD and 24 years of work experience as an anthropologist at General Motors Research & Development. The mechanics of setting up the consulting practice were relatively simple; it included such steps as registering my LLC with the state of Michigan, creating a
Hey all, sorry for the sudden radio silence and lack of posts. I know there isn’t a reason good enough to have abandoned you all so recklessly, so without further adieu… As I’m sure most of you know, Anthropologist Jason de Leon was recently awarded the MacArthur Genius award. Check out this video about his work and read about other