Dominant departments in American anthropology

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

In case you ever wondered which departments dominate my discipline — anthropology — in America, here we can get a pretty clear sense of demographic dominance, at the very least. I’ve added together the total number of PhDs awarded by each of these departments over the last two decades (1987-2007, 21 years total) and we […]

Doctoral production in anthropology and the social sciences

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Yesterday I considered the fact that, in terms of its production of undergrad degrees, anthropology is relatively small and about the same size as ethnic studies, with sociology and economics far above, and political science (cum-public-administration) far still above that. But things look a bit different if we turn to look not at undergraduate degrees […]

Disciplinary socio-demography, and anthropological prejudice against quantification

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

“Is it worth learning quantitative skills?” I remember asking a pair of action researchers some years ago. “They’re useful insofar as they give tools for understanding social processes,” they said. But I didn’t follow up on that at all until I recently started reading the “socio-demographic” work of Charles Soulié, a Bourdieuian French sociologist of […]

Anthropology within the American social sciences

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

To continue this week’s project of elaborating on anthropology’s disciplinary context and structure, let’s see where we fit in relation to the other social sciences in our production of bachelor’s degrees. As with the more general university situation, all fields have been growing, albeit with a major dip in the mid-seventies to late-eighties, which is […]

Anthropology in the American disciplinary landscape

Monday, August 17th, 2009

I often feel that my discipline, anthropology, doesn’t sufficiently discuss its own structural situation in the academic world. Where do we fit in the ecology of disciplines? In the national competition for student enrollments? How many anthropologists are there, exactly? And what is the structure of our academic labor system; what fraction are tenured, tenure-track, […]