Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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: February 18, 2014