Sociology and Anthropology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

Anthropology is the study of what makes us human. Anthropologists take a broad approach to understanding the many different aspects of the human experience, which we call holism. Anthropologists consider the past, through archaeology, to see how human groups lived hundreds or thousands of years ago and what was important to them.

They consider what makes up our biological bodies and genetics, as well as our bones, diet, and health. Anthropologists also compare humans with other animals (most often, other primates like monkeys and chimpanzees) to see what we have in common with them and what makes us unique. Anthropologists also try to understand how people interact in social relationships and use these comparisons to understand their own society. Many anthropologists work abroad as well as in their own societies looking at economics, health, education, law, and policy (to name just a few topics). When trying to understand these complex issues, they keep in mind what they know about biology, culture, types of communication, and how humans lived in the past.

For information about the research and teaching foci of the Anthropology program, see Sociocultural Anthropology and Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, and Biological Anthropology.

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