Re: lack of employment

Brad M Biglow (bmb@PINE.CSE.NAU.EDU)
Sun, 5 Jun 1994 12:57:23 -0700

On Jun 5, 11:55am, amy maher wrote:
}after following the discussion regarding a lack of an academic job market and
}the need to find jobs in other sectors, i have become somewhat dismayed by the
}continuing emphasis placed on FINDING jobs rather than CREATING them. It seems
}to me that anthropologists need to take a more active role in establishing a
}job market for ourselves. Why are there no consulting firms, community action
}organizations, non-university supported research teams, or any other type of
}independent "business" created by anthropologists and utilizing the disciplines
}most important skills of observation, ethnography, and an interest in human
}interaction? Vague examples, i realize that, but even with my lack of
}understanding of accumulating capital, etc., needed to begin an independent
}venture ( a situation perhaps economic anthropologists could assist with?), it
}strikes me that there are less passive and better ways toimprove our job
}outlook. Like to hear any thoughts..... Also, i agree with the idea that we
}somehow need to create better press for the discipline. Anyone else sick of the
}public opinion that anthropology = Jurassic Park (!), Indiana Jones, or is only
}worthwhile if the subject is featured in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC? Perhaps more
}active participation in the job market could dispell such notions?
} amy
}-- End of excerpt from amy maher


Your comments above show support for EXACTLY the kind of thing that
Applied Anthopologists are trying to do--->create and fill new jobs in the
non-academic sector. As a Graduate Student and part of NAU's Applied Track,
we must actively seek out institutions and organizations willing to accept
us for internships. For many, if not MOST, this often means "creating" a
job for ourselves with our preceptors. In a way, we must solicit ourselves
by promoting what skills we can introduce that would be beneficial for an
organization. Very few interns are ever paid for their services, but the
experience and contacts gained can provide a lifetime of potential research
colleagues and show the world that anthropologists are not only interested
in exotic cultures or involve themselves in bone digging/ pot hunting (two
essential no-no's among archaeologists).

What can be done to nullify the stereotypes? I think only time and
persistence can do so. Many graduates market themselves "without" using the
title of "Anthropologist" to avoid such stereotypes, calling themselves instead
"Cultural Consultants" or "Human Resource Specialists", or any number of
other titles. But I think you get the point. Anthropology is what we make it.

Brad M. Biglow
Graduate Student
Dept. of Anthropology
Northern Arizona University