Career Subjectivities in U.S. Anthropology: Gender, Practice, and Resistance


This article explores shifts in anthropological career opportunities and subjectivities in the United States since World War II. Survey and interview data reveal a lively discourse surrounding the changing job market in which practicing anthropology outside of the academy is often identified as a secondary occupational choice. We argue that the nonacademic practitioner's subjectivity is defined in contrast to (and by) academically based anthropologists and the long-standing, but often implicit, hierarchy of universities and programs. Typically, the nonacademic "other" is further marginalized by his or her gender and racial-ethnic minority status. However, we find evidence of a "sea change" within the discipline, led by nonuniversity-based practitioners and a subset of departments (often with a commitment to applied anthropology), that produces and links practitioners with students and faculty in their programs. © 2012 by the American Anthropological Association.

Publication Title

American Anthropologist