1st Edition

Using Anthropology in the World A Guide to Becoming an Anthropologist Practitioner

By Riall W. Nolan Copyright 2017
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    Anthropologist practitioners work outside the confines of the university, putting their knowledge and skills to work on significant problems in a wide variety of different contexts. The demand for anthropologist practitioners is strong and growing; practice is in many ways the leading edge of anthropology today, and one of the most exciting aspects of the discipline. How can anthropology students prepare themselves to become practitioners? 

    Specifically designed to help students, including those in more traditional training programs, prepare for a career in putting anthropology to work in the world, the book:

    - provides an introduction to the discipline of anthropology and an exploration of its role and contribution in today’s world;
    - outlines the shape of anthropological practice – what it is, how it developed historically, and what it looks like today;
    - describes how students of anthropology can prepare for a career in practice, with emphasis on the relationship between theory, method, and application;
    - includes short contributions from practitioners, writing on specific aspects of training, practice, and career planning;
    - sets out a framework for career planning, with specific and detailed discussions of finding and securing employment;
    - reviews some of the more salient challenges arising in the course of a practitioner career; and
    - concludes with a discussion of what the future of anthropological practice is likely to be.
    Using Anthropology in the World is essential reading for students interested in preparing themselves for the challenges and rewards of practice and application.

    1. The discipline of anthropology  2. The world today and anthropology’s place in it  3. What is anthropological practice?  4. The history of practice in anthropology  5. Practice today  6. Why be a practitioner?  7. Getting prepared for practice  8. Managing graduate school  9. Core competencies – methods and theory  10. Core competencies – networking & practice experience  11. Career planning for practitioners  12. Investigating employment opportunities  13. Identifying predominant capabilities  14. Securing employment  15. Succeeding in the workplace  16. Navigating your career  17. The future of anthropological practice


    Riall W. Nolan is Professor of Anthropology at Purdue University, USA. He has previously worked globally as an applied anthropologist in the field of international development, and subsequently as a senior administrator in large US research universities, using anthropology to promote the internationalization of campuses. His other books include Anthropology in Practice (2003) and The Handbook of Practicing Anthropology (2013).

    "While Using Anthropology in the World will be of special value to teachers and students in the field, it should be of equal interest to employers and workplace team leaders who are looking for resourceful problem solvers to contribute to their organizations’ success. The world about which Nolan writes is a world of knowledge work, and he shows with concrete clarity how anthropology advances human understanding and applies that understanding to tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems." - Edward Liebow, Executive Director, American Anthropological Association

    "This book will be an invaluable guide to anthropology students who seek a career in practice, especially those in non-applied programs. It fills in the deep gap between the career preparation most students receive, and the jobs they will most likely pursue. I have been using books by Nolan for many years, and my students always love them.  His writing is highly accessible, and he has a knack for addressing exactly the issues that students are most concerned about." - Christina Wasson, University of North Texas, USA

    “In Using Anthropology in the World, Nolan encourages anthropologists to roll up their sleeves and apply their skills to real-world problems. Drawing on decades of experience in international development agencies, universities, and the consulting world, Nolan helps students chart the course of their future careers, providing invaluable advice about training, networking, job-hunting and navigating the workplace. It is clear that the future of our field belongs to those who can take the best attributes of anthropology – its theoretical insights and methodological innovations – and put them to work to help solve humanity’s most pressing problems. This is the kind of resource I wish I’d had when I began my career.” - Bryan Tilt, Oregon State University, USA

    Using Anthropology in the World plugs a gap that increasingly demands filling – there are many opportunities to apply anthropology in the world and an urgent need to do so. This timely book seeks to prepare students – future anthropologist practitioners – to employ their anthropological training beyond the university.  It is an exciting growth area for the discipline, featuring varied and worthwhile challenges that promises to shape the anthropology of the future.” - Paul Sillitoe, Durham University, UK

    “There are great career opportunities for anthropologist outside the academy. However students are not typically award of these employment options or how to prepare from them. This book adds to the series of practical guides that Nolan has written for students to help them understand their choices and how to land that first job.” - Susan Squires, University of North Texas, USA

    "Using Anthropology in the World is a solid contribution to the discipline, especially for early-career anthropologists and people considering graduate studies. However, at least fifteen of the book’s seventeen chapters could be useful for mid-career anthropologists. Nolan’s varied written presentation styles, his decades of experience in multiple aspects of anthropology, and his ability to organize a book make this one a must-have for any serious anthropologist’s digital or physical bookshelf." - Stephanie Mojica, Anthropology News