Anthropologists at Work: Challenging Business “Common Sense”


  • Elisabeth Powell


Author Biography

Elisabeth Powell

graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with Highest Honors from Princeton University, where she earned First Prize for her Senior Thesis Anthropologists in Business: Teaching Anthropology in the Classroom of Everyday Life. She is a published author and speaker and has applied her anthropological lens to drive human-centered, global innovation and brand strategy for her clients such as Hilton, Uber, Diageo, Apple, Kraft, Estee Lauder, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Google. She is currently attending The Harvard Business School in pursuit of her Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) and interning as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, where she plans to focus on people and organizational performance and the future of work.


Erickson, K. 1999. “Postal Modernism and Anthropological Relevance at Hallmark Cards, Inc.” Anthropology News 40(2): 6.

Geertz, C. 1975. “Common Sense as a Cultural System.” The Antioch Review 33(1): 5-26.

Powell, E. 2021. “Fieldwork in a Foreign Culture: Business.” Journal of Business Anthropology 10(2): 368-385.

Sunderland, P. and Denny, R. 2007. Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Turner, V. 1967. “Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage.” In The Forest of Symbols (pp. 93-111). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Van Gennep, A. 1960[1908]. Rites of Passage. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.






Millennial & Post-millennial Perspectives