Print this page Share

A Handbook of Practicing Anthropology

Riall Nolan (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-67460-4
432 pages
April 2013, Wiley-Blackwell
A Handbook of Practicing Anthropology (0470674601) cover image

An essential career-planning resource, A Handbook of Practicing Anthropology presents a comprehensive account of contemporary anthropological practice written primarily by anthropological practitioners

  • Engagingly written  and instructive accounts  of practice by anthropological professionals working in corporations, governmental, entrepreneurial, and educational settings
  • Provides essential guidance on applying anthropological principles on the job: what works well and what must be learned
  • Emphasizes the value of collaboration, teamwork, and continuous learning as key elements to success in non-academic careers
  • Highlights the range of successful career options for practitioners , describes  significant sectors of professional activity, and discusses key issues, concerns, and controversies in the field
  • Chapters examine key practice sectors such as freelancing, managing a consulting firm, working for government, non-profits, and corporations, and the domains of health, industry, education, international development, and the military
See More


I. Introduction

1. Introduction to Practice
Riall W. Nolan

II. The Practitioner Career Arc

2. Professional Training and Preparation
Terry Redding

3. Making the Transition from the Academy to Practice: Lessons Learned
Mary Odell Butler 

4. Job Hunting: Searching for a Job in the 21st Century
Judy Tso

5. Job Success 101: A Quick Graduate Course
Cathleen Crain and Nathaniel Tashima

6. Careers in Practice: It’s Not The Academy
Susan Squires

7. Stress and Failure in Practice Work
Riall W.  Nolan

III. Practitioner Bases

8. Doing Anthropology – Full Tilt, Full Time
Gordon Bronitsky

9. Working As an Independent Consultant in a Business of One
Judy Tso

10. How to be a Self-Supporting Anthropologist
Grant McCracken

11. The Flight of a Firebird: Becoming a Practicing Disaster Anthropologist
Susanna M. Hoffman

12. Engaging the Unknown, Outlining the Future: An Anthropologically-Based Consulting Firm
Cathleen Crain and Nathaniel Tashima

13. NON-Government Organizations
Adam Koons

14. Multilateral Governmental Organizations
William L. Partridge

15. Tools for Gauging Success in the Corporate Sector: A Case for Personal Metrics as a Practitioner
Tracy Meerwarth Pester

16. Working for the Government
Shirley J. Fiske

17. Anthropologists Working in Higher Education
Dennis Wiedman

IV. Domains of Practice

18. Methods and Approaches
Mary Odell Butler

19. Practitioners Working in Health
Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts and Martha Hare

20. International Development
Marie Clarke

21. Military and Security
Kerry B. Fosher and Frank J. Tortorello, Jr.

22. Anthropologists at Work in Advertising and Marketing
Timothy de Waal Malefyt

23. Anthropology in Design and Product Development
Crysta Metcalf

24. Environment and Resources
Robert Winthrop

25. Practitioners in Humanitarian Assistance: Saving the World, One Disaster at a Time
Adam Koons

V. Key Issues

26. Ethics and Practicing Anthropology – Pragmatic, Practical, and Principled: A Case Study
Lenora Bohren and Linda Whiteford

27. The Academy / Practitioner Relationship: A Vision for Anthropology
Linda A. Bennett and Shirley J. Fiske

28. Professional Communication
Nathaniel Tashima and Cathleen Crain

29. Working on Cross-Disciplinary Teams
Mari H. Clarke

30. With a Little Help from My Friends: Professional Networking for Practitioners
Paula Chambers

31. Drug resistance and biosocial analysis in practice: Case Studies and Lessons from Siberia and South Africa
Amy S. Porter and Paul E. Farmer

32. Getting Fit for Practice: High Performing Applied Programs
Elizabeth K. Briody and Riall W. Nolan

VI. Conclusion

33. The Future of Practice: Anthropology and the Grand Challenges
Riall W. Nolan

See More

Riall W. Nolan is Professor of Anthropology at Purdue University. He worked overseas for nearly twenty years as a practicing anthropologist, in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, mainly in international development. He writes and consults on issues of international development, international education, cross-cultural adaptation, and practicing anthropology.

See More

“An essential career-planning resource, A Handbook of Practicing Anthropology presents a comprehensive account of contemporary anthropological practice written primarily by anthropological practitioners.”  (Newbooks, 18 November 2013)

“This book should be in the hands of every student interested in a career in anthropology.  There is no other collection that better summarizes opportunities to practice anthropology beyond the academy.”
- Erve Chambers, University of Maryland, College Park

"As in development, all practice of anthropology is a contact sport. This is what I always tell my students. For those who teach, practice, or study any aspect of anthropology, including development, Riall Nolan’s rich collection is the book to go to, for learning how to apply our knowledge militantly and help improve the world we live in."
- Michael M. Cernea, Research Professor, George Washington University

See More
Back to Top