Department of Psychology and Sociology



What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of human behavior and cultures around the globe. Anthropology asks, “What makes human beings so distinct? How have we changed over time? What factors (such as biology, culture, or environment) influence the ways we behave? How can we better understand differences between us?” To get at these questions, anthropologists study almost everything, from globalization to healing practices to business transactions.
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.
Anthropology has 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.

Minor in Anthropology

Anthropology is an excellent companion to majors such as Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Social Work, Communications, Business, Education, Language and Literature, and Health-related fields.

A minor in Anthropology requires 18 credit hours. Any combination of courses may be taken to satisfy the requirements; however, it is recommended that all students minoring in anthropology take the three foundational courses of Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Archaeology, and Introduction to Physical Anthropology. Students may pursue their particular interests in anthropology by customizing their course selection.

The exact requirements for the minor in anthropology as well course descriptions may be found in the University Catalog.


Is Extra-institutional Learning Available for Anthropology Minors?

The Anthropology program offers many opportunities for students to deepen their interest and training in Anthropology through field research, internship, job, and extra-curricular experiences. These activities supplement classroom instruction, facilitate the development of organizational and leadership skills, and may lead to graduate education and employment opportunities.

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.”

Faculty affiliated with Anthropology studies at Texas A&M University – Kingsville have active research programs in:

  •              Archaeology
  •              Oral History
  •              Museums and Public Humanities
  •              Community Studies

     Anthropology students have carried out research collaborations with museums such as the John E. Conner Museum and community organizations like the Nueces County Historical Commission. In recent years, the Anthropology program has organized trips to archaeological sites such as Seminole Canyon State Park and Mt. Echo Archaeological site, to cultural heritage sites such as Old Bayview Cemetery, and to museums including the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Museum of the Coastal Bend, and the King Ranch Museum. In addition, the program has organized guest lectures by practicing anthropologists.

Current Research Projects:

  • South Texas Hispanic Farm Labor Communities Heritage Preservation Project (oral history and historic preservation)
  • Longitudinal Study of Student Attitudes Toward Mexican-American Folk Healing Practices (Curanderismo) (cultural anthropology)
  • South Texas Urban Parks Public Archaeology Program (archaeology)
  • Rancho La Union Archaeological Heritage (archaeology)
  • Sustainable Community Development: A Community Planning Partnership with the City of San Diego, Texas (applied cultural anthropology)
  • Cultural Differences in Young Adults' Perceptions of Disability in South Texas (cultural anthropology)