Supplementary Material

The Social Network of US Academic Anthropology and Its Inequalities

By Nicholas C. Kawa, Jose A. Clavijo Michelangeli, Jessica L. Clark, Daniel Ginsberg, and Christopher McCarty

ABSTRACT Anthropologists often call attention to the problems posed by social inequality, but academic anthropology also reproduces many of the very inequalities that its practitioners work to critique. Past research on US academic hiring networks has shown evidence of systematic inequality and hierarchy, attributed in significant part to the influence of academic prestige, which is not necessarily a reflection of merit or academic productivity. Using anthropology departments’ websites, we gathered information on all tenured and tenure-track faculty in PhD-granting anthropology programs in the United States, totaling 1,918 individuals in all. For each faculty member, we noted their current institution and PhD-granting institution, which we treated as a “tie” between those academic programs. With those data, we applied both statistical and social network analysis (SNA) methods to explain variation in faculty placement as well as the network’s overall structure. In this article, we report on our findings and discuss how they can be used to help rethink academic reproduction in American anthropology. [academia, anthropology, social inequality, hiring networks, social network analysis]

An interactive network graph of the data highlighted in the article. 

Excel files of the faculty network data and PhD program attribute data.

Other recent work that has touched on issues related to hiring in academic anthropology include the Cultural Anthropology series on “Academic Precarity in American Anthropology” and an article on “Market Share and Recent Hiring Trends in Anthropology Faculty Positions.”

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