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Anthropology in Practice: Building a Career Outside the Academy

Riall W. Nolan
Anthropology in Practice: Building a Career Outside the Academy
ISBN: 978-1-55587-957-0
ISBN: 978-1-55587-985-3
ISBN: 978-1-62637-211-5
2002/213 pages/LC: 2002073968

"Refreshingly hard-headed and clear of cant.... Outlines a systematic approach to getting a job as a practitioner anthropologist, emphasizing that preparation is all.... This useful book will be of interest to professionals and students alike: to academic anthropologists, practitioner anthropologists, their graduate and undergraduate students."—Margaret Taylor, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"All students of anthropology can benefit enormously from this hands-on guide to practice. Especially well-written, it provides a superb template for successfully applying anthropological knowledge."—Sandy Ervin, University of Saskatchewan


How can students and scholars effectively prepare for—and succeed at—a career as a nonacademic practicing anthropologist? This comprehensive guide, full of practical detail, presents the answers.

Nolan relates how students, recent graduates, and beginning professionals can acquire and use the skills essential for work as a practitioner. A key feature of his book is its comprehensive focus: he systematically moves from preparation, to finding one's first job, to career survival and management. The book concludes with a detailed discussion of how to turn a career in practice into a solid contribution to both the profession and the discipline. The result is an important reference for current practitioners—and a must-have handbook for beginning anthropologists.


Riall W. Nolan is associate provost and director of the Institute for Global Studies and Affairs at the University of Cincinnati. He has worked as a practitioner for a variety of international development agencies, including the Peace Corps, USAID, and the World Bank. He is author of Communicating and Adapting Across Cultures and Development Anthropology: Encounters in the Real World.


  • Anthropological Practice.
  • Preparation for the Field.
  • Career Planning.
  • Getting In: Finding Your Job.
  • Work Survival: Organizations, Management, and Ethics.
  • Making It Count: Advancing the Profession.
  • Appendix: Resources for Further Learning.