There are too many people with PhDs in anthropology and not enough people studying it, so the universities can hire faculty at lower wages. To make matters worse, the universities sold a bright future of stable employment and a cool job in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in debt. This generation of grad students simply wound up on the dumping end of a Ponzi scheme.
Blogger at Blackmailers Don’t Shoot asks why “brilliant” academics can’t understand the laws of supply and demand when he reads this from a struggling anthropology PhD:
In May 2012, I received my PhD, but I still do not know what to do with it. I struggle with the closed off nature of academic work, which I think should be accessible to everyone, but most of all I struggle with the limited opportunities in academia for Americans like me, people for whom education was once a path out of poverty, and not a way into it.
The law of supply and demand would seem to be at the root of the adjunct problem.
67 per cent of American university faculty are part-time employees on short-term contracts [AP]
Here’s the harsh reality.
Welcome to the job market. You need them more than they need you….
The market spoke. You’re not as valuable as you would have been 50 years ago, and unless thousands of anthropology professors suddenly drop dead tomorrow, that will not likely change. It’s not personal. It’s not a conspiracy. There are simply too many people who want a job with lots of time off from which they cannot be fired.
Of course, this is also true of many other social science and humanities disciplines. I suspect most students are waking up to this reality.