Professors and Associate Professors – University of Copenhagen

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Jazmin Mølgaard Cullen

Jazmin Mølgaard Cullen

PhD Student

The humanities and social sciences are being pushed to justify their relevance. Yet there is an increasing demand for them to respond to a wide range of scientific questions and societal problems. This also counts for anthropologists. But what do anthropologists actually do in the various kinds of collaborations they become part of? What is the impact of anthropology? How does collaboration with other professionals affect anthropology in return?

This project moves beyond the increasingly obsolete distinction between knowledge and its application - between theoretical and applied anthropology - by changing focus from anthropology as research to anthropology as a social practice inside and outside academia.

Since the 1980s anthropology has sought its object in new professional arenas and has been pulled towards and gains much of its vitality in other academic communities, e.g. medicine, science and technology, and business. It is also within these arenas that a majority of the graduates from the Department of Anthropology in Copenhagen are finding employment. What do anthropologists working in these arenas actually do? What is the impact of anthropology? How does collaboration with other professionals affect anthropology in return? And what can we learn from anthropology as a social practice that may be useful not only for anthropology itself but also for other disciplines within the humanities that engage with these new challenges and opportunities?

This sub-study called 'Anthropologists outside academia: working anthropology' seeks answers to questions such as: Where do the perspectives of anthropology and business conjure and conflict and what is being created in the collaboration? Anthropologists are expected to have competences in regards to identifying the so-called unmet and unrealized needs of consumers and clients, but is this in reality their most important competence? Might their competences also inhere in e.g. a particular sensitivity to matters of ethics or in particular forms of conceptualizations? What other tacit dimensions of anthropological competences can be articulated through a study of collaborations between anthropologists and corporate consultants?

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