Practicing Anthropology in Portugal


  • Ana Isabel Afonso


The rise of anthropology in Portugal is examined within the framework of several cycles of development. The chapter discusses how the consolidation of anthropology at university level was the main focus until the 90–s. Applied anthropology, as distinctive from academic anthropology received very little attention. Consequently, there was an absence of an institutionalization of applied anthropology in the country. Nowadays, however, two main trends converge that supports the growth of applied anthropology and is providing work for anthropologists outside academia. First, anthropology departments in Portugal have stabilized their staff quotas resulting in very few positions open for anthropologists at the university level. Second, global changes are impacting the social framework of the country and, consequently, opening up new horizons of research and practice for social scientists. Several examples of these opportunities are discussed which is creating an optimism about the various niches for new and relevant anthropological practices.