Society for Applied Anthropology

Society for Applied Anthropology
Abbreviation SfAA
Formation 1941
Kathleen Musante

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) is a US-based professional association for applied anthropology, established "to promote the integration of anthropological perspectives and methods in solving human problems throughout the world; to advocate for fair and just public policy based upon sound research; to promote public recognition of anthropology as a profession; and to support the continuing professionalization of the field." Members include academic as well as practicing and applied anthropologists. The Society publishes two journals: Human Organization and Practicing Anthropology. The SfAA was founded in 1941 and has maintained its status as an important resource for practicing and academic anthropologists alike.

Committees and Interest Groups

The SfAA consists of fourteen special committees and interest groups that allow members to have meaningful dialog with other members from their specialized area of interest.[1]


Interest Groups


The SfAA has a number of publications. The journals Human Organization and Practicing Anthropology are the best known of the SfAA's publications. The SfAA also publishes The Classics of Practicing Anthropology; a special volume exploring how scholars can become advocates against human rights violations, Human Rights: The Scholar as Activist; and a curated volume of essays honoring Malinowski Award recipients.

Human Organization

Human Organization is the main journal for the Society for Applied Anthropology. It is the leading publication for peer reviewed scholarship in the applied sciences. The journal publishes articles that examine and apply methods and theories of anthropology as solutions to problems facing the contemporary world. Publications include original research, analyses of methods, and discussions of research practices. Articles consist of no more than 8,000 previously unpublished words. The journal is distributed online or via mail to current dues paying members of the SfAA. The journal is also available to purchase online for non-members.[2]

Practicing Anthropology

Practicing Anthropology is a publication for members of the SfAA who work outside academia. The journal seeks to link practicing anthropologists with academic anthropologists, inform policy research and implementation, and provide a reflexive look into the history and future of anthropology as a discipline. The journal is driven by its contributors who are encouraged to submit special issues as well as individual research articles for publication. Practicing Anthropology is an editor-reviewed publication. There is no fee to contributing authors who are current SfAA members. The journal is distributed online or via mail to current dues paying members of the SfAA. The journal is also available to purchase online for non-members.[3]


The SfAA has an annual meeting every March, usually in the US. Archived programs for meetings are available online back to 2004. The SfAA hosts its annual meeting with a number of co-sponsoring professional organizations that have similar goals. Some of these organizations include the Council on Nursing and Anthropology, the Society for Medical Anthropology, and the Canadian Anthropology Society.[4]

Malinowski Award

Since 1973 the SfAA has been awarded the Malinowski Award annually. The award is named in honor of famed anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. Malinowski was a leading advocate for the application of anthropological methods to address the world's problems. Malinowski argued that "must advocate for native populations, involve themselves in policy matters and politics, and research contemporary social issues".[5]


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