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Consuming anthropology

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter


Publication date2012
Host publicationInterdisciplinarity: reconfigurations of the social and natural sciences
EditorsAndrew Barry, Georgina Born
Place of publicationAbingdon
ISBN (Electronic)9780203584279
ISBN (Print)9780415578929
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameCulture, economy and the social


Contemporary theorizing regarding relations of production and consumption emphasises the contingent, appropriative processes by which commodities simultaneously inflect the lives of their purchasers and are remade within the particular practices of their use. This paper examines the implications of conceiving anthropology itself as an object of consumption within worlds of commercial research and development. My more specific focus is on anthropology’s place – both logically and practically – within sites of interdisciplinarity defined as foundational to the design of information and communications technologies (ICT); a nexus comprising computer science, engineering, and the behavioral sciences. Incorporated into this matrix over the past several decades, anthropological methods and imaginaries have been reconfigured at the same time that they have become instilled into the discourses and material practices of their users. I reflect on the messy politics of this interdisciplinary commerce, and their implications for more transformative practices of inventive collaboration.