The Social Network of US Academic Anthropology

all-nodes-directred_colored-by-core-periphery

This morning I presented a paper at the AAA meeting in Minneapolis as part of a panel I co-organized with Joe Feldman, titled “Challenging Anthropology in the 21st Century.” My paper focused specifically on the social network of US academic anthropology and how hiring networks can contribute to – or at the very least reflect – embedded hierarchies within the discipline. You can download a copy of the paper here. The abstract is below:

“Anthropologists often strive to point out social inequality while using their research to promote meaningful social change. However, academic anthropology can sometimes reproduce the very problems of social inequality that its scholars tend to rail against. Past research on U.S. academic hiring networks has shown evidence of systematic inequality and hierarchy, attributed at least in part to the influence of academic prestige, which is not necessarily a reflection of merit or academic productivity. Using anthropology departments’ websites, we gathered information on all tenured and tenure-track faculty in PhD-granting anthropology programs in the U.S., totaling 1,918 individuals in all. For each faculty member, we noted their current institution and PhD-granting institution, which we treated as a “tie” between those academic programs. With these data, we applied methods from social network analysis (SNA) to examine U.S. academic anthropology’s social network, and we identified multiple factors that help to explain its structure. In this paper, we report on our preliminary findings and we discuss how they can be used to help rethink social reproduction in academic anthropology.”

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “The Social Network of US Academic Anthropology

  1. Pingback: A Second Project from Hedgehog to Fox and Back | Platypus

  2. This is, indeed, a very interesting paper. Have you gone on to do further analyses or publications on this? I’d love to see higher res. versions of your network maps, too, if possible.
    thanks for bringing this important perspective to our field!

    • HI Jeanne, thanks so much for your interest in the paper. I’m currently getting back to work on it this semester. I’ll be doing quite a bit more with the statistical and network analysis before I submit it for publication. This was the first shot at it. I can send you some of our network maps via email. cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s