Anthropology is a discipline in the social sciences which focuses on the comparative study of human behavior and cultures. Anthropology asks, “What makes human beings so distinct? How have we changed over time? What factors (biology, culture, etc.) influence the ways we behave? How can we understand the increasing interconnections among societies and the differences between us?” To get at these questions, anthropologists study almost everything, from garbage to monkeys to HIV/AIDS to multinational corporations.
Anthropology is made up of four subfields: archaeology, physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology. Each subfield approaches the study of human behavior from a unique perspective, but all the subfields share common goals in understanding what it means to be human.
Courses in Anthropology examine human similarity and difference through case studies of cultural diversity around the globe and through time. They emphasize the applications of anthropology in understanding present-day social issues like inequality, race, gender, class, families, migration, borders, warfare, communication, ecology, health and medicine.
Anthropology shares close ties with the humanities, natural sciences, and even business fields. With its broad perspective and emphasis on critical, cross-cultural thinking, anthropology is widely applicable in many fields of study. Anthropology students go on to use their analytical strength and cultural breadth in many career paths, including public service, law enforcement, business, marketing, healthcare, and education.
MINOR IN ANTHROPOLOGY
Anthropology is an excellent companion to majors such as Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Social Work, Communications, Business, Education, Language and Literature, and Health-related fields. A minor in Anthropology consists of a minimum of 18 semester hours.
What Can You Do With A Minor In Anthropology?
An Anthropology minor develops analytical skills and a critical perspective well-suited to many fields, including: health care, education, social work, international relations, government, psychology, marketing, publishing, and forensics. The American Anthropological Association lists a few of the titles held by those in the field:
High School Teacher
Peace Corps Staffer
For more information about what you can do with a degree in Anthropology see:
THE FOUR SUBFIELDS IN ANTHROPOLOGY
The American Anthropological Association website offers the following description of each subfield’s unique approach:
Sociocultural Anthropology: “Sociocultural anthropologists examine social patterns and practices across cultures, with a special interest in how people live in particular places and how they organize, govern, and create meaning. A hallmark of sociocultural anthropology is its concern with similarities and differences, both within and among societies, and its attention to race, sexuality, class, gender, and nationality.”
Archaeology: “Retrieves artifacts from the past and places them in context to understand our history and its relevance for today.”
Physical Anthropology: “Traces our biological origins, evolutionary development, and genetic diversity.”
Linguistic Anthropology: "Seeks to explain the very nature of language and its use by humans.”
This page was last updated on: November 21, 2011