The WCAA Global Survey of Anthropological Practice (2014-2018): Reported Findings

Pam McGrath, Greg Acciaioli, Adele Millard, Emily Metzner, Vesna Vucinic Neskovic, Chandana Mathur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Global Survey of Anthropological Practice (GSAP), the first of its kind, was undertaken by the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) to provide insights about anthropology as a transnational profession, the ongoing relevance of the discipline in addressing global problems, issues in employment and gender equity, and the range of anthropological practice and expertise. Respondents to the survey were living in 113 different countries. This article summarizes some of the GSAP’s most general global findings. The GSAP data
suggest that within the discipline of anthropology, woman-identified practitioners predominate, except in archaeology and linguistics; yet, women were more likely to report being under-employed and/or not fairly compensated for their work. Universities were the largest employers of anthropologists, but public policy work and public engagement featured centrally in many respondents’ work. The social and cultural anthropology subdisciplines appear to be the most widely practiced the world over, but many respondents also engaged in applied anthropology. However, social media platforms, which might allow anthropologists to reach broader publics, were under-utilized by respondents, who were more likely to publish in closed, internal, and disciplinary specific forums. The GSAP illustrated the global mobility of respondents, including for higher education (and the data on this reflected the hegemony of North Atlantic centers of higher education); yet, many anthropologists around the world have expertise and undertake research in their home countries. Finally,
the GSAP found that respondents published their work predominantly in English, although not exclusively, and documented a diversity of languages in which anthropologists publish.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19701
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalVibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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