Re: Ph.D in Cultural Anthropology
10 Nov 1996 15:39:30 GMT

Anthropology s dirty little secret is that very few of the grad students
who assume that they are engaged in job training really are. What they are
doing is getting an education while subsidizing their professors research
and paychecks.

>anthropology is EXTREMELY important and applicable to
all of the numerous arenas of life, not just academics<

The IMPORTANCE of anthropology is an entirely different issue, about which
you will get no argument from this quarter. My issue is with grad students
getting jobs. I do disagree that anthropology training has widespread
direct application outside of the immediate discipline. The larger
marketplace does not give a hoot how well versed a person is in
infrastructural determinism, the new archaeology, or primate

>graduate school forms a vital period of intellectual growth which
one can later build upon, no matter what job s(he) holds<

Even were this statement unequivocally true, there remains a huge amount
of dishonesty in not being upfront with the students that most are really
being trained to be better bankers, insurance salesmen, and the like, not
professional anthropologists. My suspicion here is that in such cases the
time invested in anthropology would be far better spent in training with
direct application to those students eventual careers.

Keep in mind that according to the American Anthropological Association
the average M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology is taking around nine years.
Add a couple of years looking for a job in the discipline (while probably
teaching as a part time instructor) and those who have been unsuccessful
in finding work are very likely going to be flirting with forty years of
age by the time they get on with their lives. In case you had not noticed,
employers are not lining up to hire unemployed forty year olds. There
seems to be a glut.