Does globalization harm or promote cultural diversity? How do rapid economic or political changes affect people’s daily lives and worldviews? How are gender, race, or class hierarchies organized in relation to other systems of perceived human difference? How do conceptions of political power relate to ideas of the sacred? Anthropology's distinctive way of studying the world through intensive ethnographic fieldwork allows us strong insight into such key questions.
Courses offer students opportunities to study people’s experiences in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the West. Topics explored include art, religion, politics and violence, economic change, globalization, genders, sexualities, race, urban life, kinship, national identities, medicine, biotechnology, youth, consumption and fashion. Anthropology students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on fieldwork in Worcester and its environs.
Interdisciplinary Studies and Study Abroad
Anthropology is a great complement to interdisciplinary studies. Faculty advisors work closely with individual students to discuss academic and career goals based on their interests and passions. Many majors and minors pursue interdisciplinary concentrations in Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. Anthropology students are also encouraged to study abroad.
Faculty in the sociology and anthropology department are actively engaged in fieldwork around the world — Zimbabwe, Singapore, Brazil, Vietnam, and the U.S. — and conduct original research in English, Spanish, ChiShona, French, Vietnamese, and Portuguese. Faculty members publish books with major academic presses and articles in prominent journals, produce gallery exhibitions, and share expertise with public school teachers.
Undergraduate students majoring in cultural anthropology can use their coursework to prepare for graduate study in anthropology or as a stepping stone toward careers in public and social service work overseas or in the U.S., law, diplomacy, museums, journalism, human rights, medicine, international business, and many other fields.