Reviewed by: General Anthropology Division
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Teaching
Secondary Theme: Ethics
Design anthropology differs from many subject areas of anthropology, because the community of practicing professionals is larger than the academic community, and much professional development occurs outside of universities. This roundtable brings together professional practitioners and academics to discuss synergies and divergences in pedagogy and practice. The participants are all involved in either university teaching of design anthropology, or delivering professional development related to applying ethnography in industry. The issues addressed include, but are not limited to, the following: Are universities positioned to prepare practicing professionals, or are professional associations better suited for that role? Are universities and professional associations cooperating effectively? Does (should?) academic instruction parallel or diverge from the concepts and methods learned in professional practice? Is there, and should there be, a divergence between academics and professionals in terms of critical accounts of business practices? Is theory inherently academic? Should a primary academic goal be preparing students for gainful employment, or should academics stick to training anthropologists without regard for employment prospects? How do academics and professionals meet the challenge of working in a field that is inherently transdisciplinary, while keeping abreast of professional practices that are dynamic and constantly evolving?