Marketing research and advertising strategic planning offer viable and financially attractive career options for anthropologists because many businesses seek deep understandings of consumer lifestyles and brand use. As professionally trained anthropologists operating in the corporate world, we see a bright future for anthropologists, but we believe that there are merits in broadening the typical anthropological approach to incorporate additional theory and methods from other social and behavioral sciences, particularly psychology. The embrace of other perspectives by anthropologists in marketing and advertising is essential because executives in these businesses use principally psychological models of human agency that view consumers as operating on individualistic levels. Although marketing and advertising executives are generally aware of the interaction of culture, behavior, and attitudes, they are often indifferent to this process. This can stoke contentious debates between anthropologists and their clients. We suggest that business anthropologists must learn the language and culture of their corporate clients, as they would learn the language and culture of their informants in the field. In the process, they will better connect with clients' ways of thinking and improve their own chances of business success.
Morais, Robert, and Timothy de Waal Malefyt. "How Anthropologists Can Succeed in Business: Mediating Multiple Worlds of Inquiry." International Journal of Business Anthropology 1, no. 1 (2010): 45-56.
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