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On the future of anthropology: Fundraising, the job market and the corporate turn

Abstract

Building on the author's participant observation in academic leadership roles over the last two decades, this article reviews four areas of engagement for anthropology within the larger context of US higher education: a) fundraising; b) training and placing of students; c) the so-called 'corporate turn' and its alleged effects on current evaluation measures; and d) the popularity of anthropology among college students in the context of a highly self-critical discourse among professional anthropologists and a challenging academic job market. On the basis of the data presented, I argue that (1) fundraising activities are nothing new in anthropology and might play a role in continuing to support a holistic view of anthropology, (2) programs in anthropology should embrace rather than be skeptical of the potential for the employment of anthropologists in other fields or non-academic professions, (3) being students of society, anthropologists should be more engaged in the running of the university including its financial aspects and should teach their students to be more entrepreneurial, and (4) the applied and public aspects of anthropological research should be foregrounded and rewarded. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

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