Practicing anthropology in the private sector has been ongoing since the 1970s, when the number of anthropologists graduating with Ph.D.s exceeded the number of available academic positions in the United States, and when these anthropologists found employment in business and industry (Baba 1994). In the decades since, the potential for anthropologists' employment in the private sector is seemingly ever-increasing, as for-profit organizations continue to grow globally, encounter unfamiliar markets, focus more on customer needs, and require innovation (see, e.g., Cefkin's 2009 discussion on the growth of ethnography as a desired corporate competency). Although there are several MA and Ph.D. programs that focus specifically on business and design anthropology, the steps toward building a career and doing meaningful work as a business anthropologist remain relatively unclear for many anthropologists trained in traditional anthropology programs or in applied training programs that focus more on public sector employment.
Introduction to Practicing Anthropology in the Private Sector: Reflections on Work Experiences and Opportunities for the Future of Business Anthropology
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Amy Goldmacher, Amy Santee; Introduction to Practicing Anthropology in the Private Sector: Reflections on Work Experiences and Opportunities for the Future of Business Anthropology. Practicing Anthropology 1 April 2014; 36 (2): 2–4. doi: https://doi.org/10.17730/praa.36.2.4576248523247508
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