SXSW 2021

Anthropology as a Crucial Frame for Change


Anthropology is a discipline adept at aiding business and technology in reframing, understanding and interpreting the worldwide crisis we are collectively facing-not just as consumers, but as individuals and communities in an ever more fragile environment. Anthropology, with core competencies as a holistic, contextual, reflexive, and meaning-based discipline, is well suited to offer structural changes for business and society. This panel brings together leading business anthropologists working in advertising, technology, marketing, UX and consumer research to discuss how anthropology can illuminate the impact of business decisions on larger systems and how a holistic cultural point of view can lead to the (re)design of programs for the advancement of more sustainable and equitable futures.

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  1. Anthropology’s CULTURAL ANALYSIS is the in-depth questioning of implicit business & societal assumptions and the reframing of vexing, wicked problems.
  2. Anthropology gives us a broader frame beyond traditional user-consumer-product interaction to illuminate MEANING and EXPERIENCES.
  3. Anthropology’s notion of REFLEXIVITY provides a way to see how our actions impact larger systems and institutions.



Gigi Taylor, Qualitative UX Researcher/Applied Anthropologist, Indeed

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