BA Sociocultural Anthropology
The Anthropology Department aims to give students an anthropological perspective on the world; seeing the varieties of humanity in holistic, worldwide terms as well as an appreciation for the creativity and diversity of humankind.
Toward that end, the Anthropology curriculum offers a diversity of classes on peoples and cultures of the world, past and present. The socio-cultural emphasis instructs students in current methods and theory of anthropology. The skills aquired in either emphasis will provide students with the tools necessary to apply learned principles in whatever field they might embrace.
Anthropology seeks to document the nature of the human condition, among all cultures, past and present. Anthropologists use theories to orient themselves regarding what they should look at and how to organize what they see. They use field methods to acquire and record data produced by organized life in particular places, both in the past (archaeology) and present (socio-cultural anthropology).
From this data, anthropologists produce descriptions of the human condition and of human culture and behavior. They then use these descriptions of life to investigate whether the theories and methods they originally used to orient the description were or are adequate to the task. Of course, the theories fall short and therefore can be improved. Thus we use theory to organize methods of inspection that produce description and we use description to interrogate and improve the adequacy of theory and methods.