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Accepted Paper:

The Challenges to go Beyond Academia: Applied Anthropology as a Creative Enterprise.  

Author:

Louise Scoz Pasteur de Faria (UFRGS - UCL)

Paper short abstract:

In this contribution, I seek to address applied anthropology initiatives as a creative enterprise against the background of profound changes in the contemporary corporate and academic landscape highlighting challenges and opportunities starting from the experience with Halo Ethnographic Bureau.

Paper long abstract:

What does it mean to understand Applied Anthropology as a form of Creative Enterprise? Far from situating such venture as tied to the spread of the neoliberal agenda (GLEDHILL 2004; FERGUSON 2006) and entrepreneurial parlance (FREEMAN 2014) I wish to make an argument in favour of the powers of Anthropological imagination.

The growing interest in applied anthropology is understood by Downey and Fisher (2006) within widespread developments in management and new corporate structures in late capitalism. "Executives believe that anthropology provides a deeper understanding of the ways consumers invest their fantasies, dreams, and hopes." The rise of applied anthropology would signal a crisis of conventional forms of knowledge but also the growing dependency on immaterial labour to produce rapid and continuous innovation.

Managerialism in higher education and the shrinking of the academic job market outline an environment of increasing competitiveness and forced the discipline to revisit its own formal power structures. Issues of elitism, underrepresentation, and misconduct are being addressed by a new generation of scholars to rethink anthropology's political and theoretical commitments.

I situate applied ventures as creative enterprises as a way to reconnect scholars with anthropology's premise of social invention, openness, and moral aspiration. (PADIAN 2019)

In this contribution, I seek to continue on this critical perspective through a focus on my own initiative. Halo Ethnographic Bureau is a platform to promote ethnographic thinking across academia and industry launched in 2018. I propose to share the challenges and opportunities encountered during planning and operation.

Panel P012
Applying anthropology across disciplinary, professional and territorial borders: practical and engaging case studies [Applied Anthropology Network]