request for information on graduate degrees in Anthropology

Wed, 1 Jun 1994 11:36:17 EST

Erisa just forwarded me a post asking for reasons why Erisa might consider
a degree in Anthropology. I am speaking from a highly biased position, and
cannot evaluate anyone elses chances for pursuing an academic career. That
decision has to be exclusively made by the person involved.

However, I will tell you that in my opinion . . . in the academic climate
that has emerged in the last twenty-five years (and with a vengence in the
last ten . . . more so since Bill Clinton was elected . . . that I can see
no reason to encourage anyone to pursue a career in any of the social
sciences . . . in my opinion the professions have lost their value to
society, cannot or will not accept new ideas or new personnel . . . and
do not offer opportunities for career advancement. This is afterall the
result of a meaningless postmodern wave that posits a lack of true value
for anything and a lack of meaning for anything, unless it is situationally

My personal recommendation . . . which may be sour grapes or may be a valid
assesment of the entire American academic community is that it is probably
a total waste of time and money. If you have to go into debt for a higher
degree . . . take the time and money and do something worthwhile like
invest in real estate or sell insurance and raise a family. The long range
return is infinitely better for some people.

John O'Brien