Anthropologists who venture into planned multidisciplinary research in marine systems become enmeshed in a social and cultural system of disciplinary hierarchy that constrains the nature and type of expected research. The hierarchical system that favors biology, ecology, and economics before other social sciences is deeply ingrained in U.S. cultural models and enacted managerially in multidisciplinary research agendas. Within that framework, anthropology is one of the social sciences that modifies economics in the form of socioeconomics. Anthropology as socioeconomics is challenged to carve out research questions within the hierarchical framework. A meta-analysis of the design, implementation, and evaluation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) shows that questions of social and economic equity are in the forefront of fishers' concerns about MPAs, providing a topic of immediate and practical concern for socioeconomic and anthropological research.

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