In March 2014, Business Insider published the article, “Here’s Why Companies Are Desperate to Hire Anthropologists.” Referring to the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Intel, author Drake Baer describes how corporations want to hire anthropologists to enhance their marketing strategies and product designs.
We devote this month’s MPAAC column to a responsibility shared by all American Anthropological Association members: awareness of the Association’s Principles of Professional Responsibility. If you haven’t looked at the statement since its 2012 passage, it’s always worth another look.
Anthropologists have begun to take seriously the other-than-human entities at play in the world and in political life. In Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice Across Andean Worlds, Marisol de la Cadena details “co-laboring” closely with Mariano and Nazario Turpo, a family of ritual practitioners and land-rights activists.
Max has struggled with anxiety all his life. He uses a combination of two devices, one to measure his vital signs such as heart rate and breath, and a second that responds to irregular readings from the first. This second device provides a mechanical buzzing stimulus, and Max uses it for about ten minutes whenever he feels overwhelmed.
Anthropology has endured a variety of self-implosions relating to past research in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Moving forward out of the shadows cast by salvage anthropology and identity politics and towards rigorous, principled investigations with AI/AN communities entails recognizing tribal sovereignty and adapting to tribal authority in the governance of data.
I am writing these “Notes from the Field” in a liminal place of searching for a new fieldwork site: grappling with philosophies regarding the greater good and news of anthropological import as well as my own tragic subjectivity. This personal struggle is also an ethical dilemma that stands at the heart of anthropological theory.