Barry wrote a groundbreaking text in the anthropology of media production: Producing Public Television, Producing Public Culture. Twelve years after its publication, Dornfeld’s book remains the deepest description of television production and the tense conflicts that happen when do-gooder social science meets a ruthless profit motive. If you’ve ever been frustrated with how nonfiction TV networks (Discovery, Nat Geo, Travel, Animal Planet) take our scientific issues and make them into titillating edutainment then this young classic should find itself tattered and dog-eared on your desk. Today he is a corporate anthropologist at the Center for Applied Research.
Grant is the foremost anthropologist theorizing the role of culture in corporate practices. He shows how many corporations struggle along with anthropologists to define culture. Some CEOs get it. Others don’t. In his book Chief Culture Officer, Grant argues that the future of corporate profit–and social relevance–is dependent upon executives being anthropological in their executing. The corporate capitalization of the culture concept is far from politically neutral and Grant seems like one ready to defend his position against any would-be anti-corporate anthro-activist. Grant is presently a member of MIT’s Convergence Culture Consortium.
The theme of this batch of Savage Interviews is corporate anthropology and in the frictionless outsourcing style of multinational corporations we give this job to you. No this is not exploitative labor. I don’t get paid and neither will you. We are creating knowledge and value together, for the discipline, for free, for fun, for the open-source corporation WordPress. So graciously give up your private dreams, ideas, and questions about corporate anthropology just like you do on Facebook. What should I ask these guys? Post your questions as comments below or send them to me as emails. Later listen to the posed and the answered queries.