The Ethnography of versus for Question in an Anthropology of/for Business

Daniela M. Peluso


This special-themed edition of the Journal of Business Anthropology critically examines the borders and crossovers between an anthropology of business (which I term 'non-consultant anthropology') and anthropologies for business ('consultant anthropology'). In the pages that follow authors consider the unique and valuable contributions of these varied approaches and their impacts on our understanding of business organizations and industries. In this introduction, I seek to focus on some of the issues faced by anthropologists ‘of’ and ‘for’ business who ‘study up’ when they prepare for, write about and conduct research in relation to businesses. I position and discuss the contribution of the authors in this volume amidst a broader discussion about how anthropologists approach or address organisations as field sites. As such, this introduction also provides a guide for anthropologists who study or are considering to study or work for businesses. My hope is that this volume will address and expose some of the assumptions and misunderstandings that tend to arise among anthropologists and laypeople in regards to business-related anthropology.


Anthropology of business; consultants; organisations; positionality; access; outputs

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ISSN: 2245-4217

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