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Genre Analysis Assignment

Anna C. Fernandez

The University of Texas at El Paso


Employment opportunities for a major in anthropology seem to be limited in the El Paso

region. The reason for this might be because it is not a very known or popular degree amongst

most students, so they are not aware of the many career paths they could take. Anthropology is

basically the study of human culture and development. Thus, if a student wanted to major in this,

they could work in an academic, corporate, nonprofit, or government job. This information was

found through the two genres that follow. The first genre is a video called Who majors in

Anthropology created by a Stanford professor named James Ferguson (2012). It talks about any

questions a student would have about the world of anthropology. The second genre is a scholarly

journal article called The Fifth Discipline written by Marietta Baba (1994). She claims there are

major increases in the employment of anthropology PhDs. Although both of the genres provide

beneficial information towards the question of employment opportunities, the video genre proves

better at forming new knowledge.

Structure and Delivery

The video and anthology genre have many similarities since they are mainly talking

about the same subject and claim but there are some differences when it comes to the structure

and delivery. Compared to the anthology, the video genres length is much shorter. It reaches just

up to seven minutes whereas the journal article has thirteen pages. This, combined with the

academic language the anthology uses, makes it harder to stay focused. In the video, James

Ferguson gets straight to the point in a much faster way. Therefore the audience can quickly

understand what the claim of the video is.


The layout is another difference the two genres have. The anthology starts off with a table

of contents which would seemly make it easier for the reader if they were looking for a certain

page. Though still, the more academic language like the part time avocationfueled by

burgeoning information and policy needs (p. 174), used makes it a little more difficult to

understand and stay interested. The introduction in the book though was the easiest to

comprehend because thats where the author states all of her main ideas and issues, like how

anthropologists can do for them [the employers] what no one else can do (p.1), so that was a

plus. The video was separated into sub-categories, like what are typical paths for a major in

anthropology or what careers are available. The simplicity of that separation is a part of what

makes this genre better for forming new knowledge. Therefore, the videos structure and delivery

was more simple and easy to understand than the anthology was.

Audience and Purpose

The audiences for the two genres differ. In the video genre, we can tell that the intended

audience is for undergraduate students who are thinking about attaining a degree in

anthropology. The author uses phrases like anyone who wants to know more about our

undergraduate anthropology major (6:00), which implies that these students are

undergraduates. Also, the purpose of the video genre is to inform. In the anthology, the author is

still speaking to anthropology majors but this audience is more targeted towards people who are

already professionals in that field. Her purpose is to persuade the public of the importance of the

work anthropologist do for society. She states that their work is one that is of specific use for

employers (p. 175). Therefore, even though both audiences are aimed at basically the same

people, the anthology is a more targeted audience compared to the general undergraduate

audience in the video genre.


Rhetorical Issues

Both authors of the genres utilize different rhetorical appeals to express their claims to

their audience.


The scholarly journal and the video genre both use logos, or logic, as a way of supporting

their claim. By specifically using data and prior knowledge, the authors provide evidence to their

claims and the audience can therefore trust the information they provide. In the anthology, the

author Marietta Baba supports her claim with information from the National Association for the

Practice of Anthropology stating that they define a practicing anthropologist as a professionally

trained individual who applies specialized knowledge, skills and experience to problem solving

in any of the human dimensions(p. 174). Baba proves with this information that there are many

career paths anthropologists are able to take because of their expansive skills. In the video genre,

James Ferguson uses his own knowledge and past experience to tell us about the many

opportunities there are for employment under anthropology. Ferguson states that his prior student

who graduated as an anthropology major ended up working at Intel (4:49), which proves there

are many career paths to take and thus many employment opportunities that can come from that.

While the anthology genre provides information from a well trusted source, the video genre does

a better job with logos because the information came from a source, James Ferguson, who

actually studied that major and went through that process.


The credibility for both authors of the genres is very reliable. They are both professionals

at their job. James Ferguson, creator of the video genre, is the chair of the Anthropology

department at Stanford University. This establishes him as a reliable source of information

because the audience finds out he has been doing this profession for a while so we get the feeling

that he really knows what he is talking about. Marietta Baba, author of the anthology genre is

reliable as well because we find out from reading her job description that she is professor and

director of the Business and Industrial Anthropology Program (p. 174). After the audience

finishes reading her journal article, we can right away tell that she is intelligent by the way she

writes and that she is very knowledgeable on the topic of anthropology. Comparing both genres,

they both do an excellent job at establishing credibility.


One genre utilizes pathos, or emotion, more than the other. In the video genre, James

Ferguson conveys a sense of trust. We as the audience have already established that he knows

enough about this profession so we are then able to believe what he says. When watching the

video, the audience gets a feeling like they are in that setting, sitting down with the author,

having an informative meeting, mentor to student, un-subconsciously nodding in agreement with

him. With the anthology, the emotion was harder to come by which then leads the audience to

feel uninterested which then leads to a mix-up of what the author is trying to say. The

contradiction between the two genres is that the pathos is better delivered in the video than in the



Although both genres proved beneficial for gaining new knowledge, the video genre

stood out more as the better source. It provided better information about employment

opportunities effectively through it use of structure and delivery, audience, and rhetorical

appeals. The anthology was not completely useless but it lacked some components like pathos

which in the end made it hard for an audience to stay focused all the way through reading it to be

able to capture the true message effectively. The video was short and to the point which was

therefore easier to gain new knowledge from.



Baba, M. (1994). The Fifth Subdiscipline: Anthropological Practice and the Future of

Anthropology. Human Organization, 53(2), 174-186. Retrieved from


Ferguson, J. (2012, January 05). Who Majors in Anthropology? Retrieved September 10, 2017,

from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHhV0BPrDqY