Anthropology provides students the skills to navigate a rapidly changing world, marked by globalization and political turmoil. The anthropology major or minor helps students understand these global transformations and create bridges between different worldviews. Anthropology’s distinctive way of studying the world through intensive ethnographic fieldwork provides key insights into how people around the world experience gender, race and class hierarchies in their daily lives, but also how they challenge those hierarchies. Anthropology not only provides a diagnosis for the present, but also offers possible solutions to our pressing human problems. Students go on to use their anthropological skills in the realms of international business, education, law, diplomacy, public health, human rights, journalism, medicine and many other fields.
Majors: Students who are considering a major in Anthropology should enroll in ANTH 101, Anthropological Perspective, during the fall or spring of their first year. ANTH 101 courses are usually limited to first- and second-year students only.
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies or Social Science
Anthropological Perspective is a one-semester introduction to sociocultural anthropology, a discipline that explores what it means to be human by considering the diverse ways that people in different societies make sense of themselves and the world around them. Through ethnographic fieldwork, anthropologists explore how individuals and communities define their values, form relationships with each other, and construct social, economic, and political institutions.
Long concerned with the study of “exotic,” “traditional,” or “remote” peoples, cultural anthropologists now work on subjects as diverse as popular culture, medicine, global capitalist markets, mass media, human rights, and religious ritual in urban, suburban, and rural communities in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the U.S. The course also explores how anthropology contributes to practical concerns today, including social justice issues such as struggles for indigenous rights and debates about economic inequality. This introductory course is designed for students who are considering a major or minor in anthropology, as well as all students who wish to explore culture and cultures worldwide.