The Issue: Anthropologists often need to communicate the value, advantages, and practice of anthropology most often to general audiences. Notably, this communication happens initially, during the hiring process with potential employers, and later on, with colleagues and clients. Students, instructors, and early-career practitioners have expressed interest in learning to communicate better with others. Group 7 is working on identifying the various ways in which practitioner anthropologists convey what it means to be an anthropologist and the value they bring to projects, employers, stakeholders, and others.

Data/Diagnosis:  Group 7 is conducting interviews and short focus groups with a variety of practitioners. Some of the questions include:

  • Have you ever had to explain how anthropology fits your current (or previous) role?
  • Did you ever need to communicate the value of anthropology to coworkers, clients, or stakeholders?
  • How have you explained the usefulness of anthropology for a project or problem?

Insights:  Group 7 is actively collecting data from practitioners. We anticipate learning about the different ways practitioners speak about the value of anthropology to potential employers. We also expect that some employers will not focus on anthropology, but rather how the individual’s knowledge, skills, and experiences can assist their organizations. We hope to use these findings to help students and practitioners construct persuasive narratives about the nature and value of their discipline to the workplace.

Final Products:  One-page resource guides for practitioners, students, and instructors with tangible tips and scenarios to help communicate anthropology’s value successfully in a variety of settings.