Undergraduate Study in the Department of Anthropology
Anthropology is an interpretation of what it means to be human, but based on careful observation and analysis of people's real lives, all over the world. Anthropology takes nothing for granted. We look at human life in a global perspective, in all of its wonderful and amazing diversity. We question everything, and so anthropology can help you ask new questions and gain valuable insights into every other field you study.
Any student can take the two first-year units of study to get a taste of anthropology. ANTH 1001: Cultural Difference, an Introduction presents the anthropological concept of culture and argues that cultural forces determine not only how people live, but how they learn to see the world, and what is most important to them. ANTH 1002: Anthropology and the Global shows how the tools of anthropological research and analysis can help us understand contemporary problems and situations like climate change, urbanisation, development, technology, and the global economy. These units could be your first steps in taking an anthropology major, but they are also very useful and interesting no matter what you go on to study.
Studying anthropology can lead in many different career directions. Learning about culture, society and complexity provides valuable experience and knowledge that helps you think creatively, grapple with ambiguity, and see things from multiple points of view.
We figure out how people think, and the influence of the social environment. We see how and why societies change, and why they don't, and we challenge experts and powerful people with facts that they ignore.
Assignments in anthropology classes help develop skills of developing your own thinking, making your own arguments, and finding evidence for them. Did you know that the head of the World Bank, the managing editor of the Financial Times, and the founder of Partners in Health, Paul Farmer, all studied anthropology? Anthropologists are found in journalism, foreign affairs, advertising, at tech companies, and consulting for big business too.