Anthropology and Entrepreneurship Research: Introduction to the Themed Essays


  • Edward Liebow
  • Patricia Sunderland


Author Biographies

Edward Liebow

is trained as an anthropologist and served as Executive Director of the American Anthropological Association from 2012-2023. Before being named AAA director, he enjoyed a long career with the non-profit Battelle Memorial Institute, where he led policy-focused research on a variety of energy, public health, and social issues. He is affiliated with the University of Washington and with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He was a Senior Fellow of the Fulbright Commission and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Edward Liebow can be reached at:

Patricia Sunderland

has been an anthropological consultant for commercial as well as non-profit clients for over 20 years. Her clients have ranged from Unilever and SC Johnson to YouTube and Microsoft to Feeding America and Georgetown University. Her cultural analyses have provided strategic insight for the successful makeover of brands, retail and service environments as well as contributed to the launch of new advertising, products, and brand strategies. She is co-author with Rita Denny of Doing Anthropology in Consumer Research  (2007) and co-editor of the Handbook of Anthropology in Business (2014). Patti currently splits her time between New York City and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Patti Sunderland can be reached at:


Choudhary, E. (2023). “Aligning Identity, Faith, and Entrepreneurship: Experiences of Muslim Women Entrepreneurs in India.” Journal of Business Anthropology 12(2): 138-158. 439/jba.v12i2.7064

Frost, S. L., Jung, Y., Rencher, M., and Batts, D. (2023). “Re-Centering Race in Emancipatory Entrepreneurship: Black Female Tech Founders, Money, and Meaning in a Detroit-Based Incubator Program.” Journal of Business Anthropology 12(2): 114-137. 439/jba.v12i2.7065

Hill. M. J. (2023). “Cooperative Entrepreneurship: Future Back Thinking, Translation, and Digital Organizational Change in the Credit Union Space.” Journal of Business Anthropology 12(2): 202-213. 439/jba.v12i2.7061

Ruiz, Y. (2023). “Mexican Migrant Elite Empresarios: Transnational Entrepreneurship and Elite Formation.” Journal of Business Anthropology 12(2): 159-182. 439/jba.v12i2.7067

Sischarenco. E. (2023). “’Prepared to Face the Unexpected’: Dynamic Enterprises in Italy as a Model of Resilience.” Journal of Business Anthropology 12(2): 214-233. 439/jba.v12i2.7089

Smith, D. J. (2023). “Water Entrepreneurs, Infrastructural Citizenship, and State Power in Nigeria.” Journal of Business Anthropology 12(2): 183-201. 439/jba.v12i2.7060






Themed Essays