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Anthropology Speakers' Seires

Anthropology for business vs. anthropology of business:  Reflections on consumer, organizational, and design anthropology

Speaker: Gigi Taylor | Cultural Anthropologist, Indeed, Austin, TX
Filmed: Friday, February 7, 2020

Business anthropology is a well-established subfield within the discipline of cultural anthropology. Using both anthropological theory and ethnographic methods, business anthropologists help clients understand the cultural context of consumers, organizations and products. Business anthropologists can be found working in public, private and non-profit organizations as well as in academia.  In this talk, I first introduce and provide disciplinary context for the three specializations of business anthropology-consumer, organizational and design. I then illustrate each specialization using various case studies from previous client projects across industries. Special emphasis will be placed on deconstructing the practice of culturally based UX (user experience) research. Next, I discuss the value of interpretive and symbolic anthropological theories in business anthropology.  I close with a reflection on conducting anthropology for business vs. anthropology of business to illustrate the contribution of business anthropology to a literature of practice.