StudentsReview ™ :: What is Anthropology Really?

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What is Anthropology Really?

In theory what is it?

In theory, anthropology is the study of culture and cultural institutions, human biology, language, and prehistory—everything that entails being human. One can specialize in anthropology by being a linguistic anthropologist, a biological anthropologist, a cultural anthropologist, or an archaeological anthropologist.

What is it used for?

Research, research, research.

What does the major actually entail - work-wise?

Human anatomy and physiology, history of medicine, primatology, primate social behavior, sociology of health and illness, linguistic analysis, statistics, pathophysiology, comparative medical systems… These are but a few of the courses I've had. The field is so broad so as to force specialization according to the kind of research you want to do.

What kind of jobs do you get with it?

At the bachelor's level, there's really not a helluva lot, other than working at a museum. At the master's level, you can teach at a community college, work as a forensic anthropologist, or work as a contract archaeologist. At the doctoral level, the possibilities are limitless. Anything from jury selection consultant to cultural resource management.

What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?

The personality types are quite diverse, but I've noticed a trend. Those who plan on graduate study seem "stable" and those who don't seem "unstable." I tend to think it's because those who don't intend to go on believed some of the common misconceptions about anthropology and jumped willy-nilly into it.

Common Misconceptions

#1: Indiana Jones. Uh… no. Unless you think digging up a four thousand year old out house or spending three hours in the burning sun counting raspberry seeds is sexy.

#2: Anthropology is fluff. Even within the discipline, some cultural anthropologists are seen as \"fluffy\" but this is hardly the case. Fieldwork is quite demanding.

#3: Anthropologists are trained to be appalled at everything and deconstruct everything sociologically. Hmmm… this is partly true, but it's also a very pedestrian view if the course of study is taken lightly.


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Anthropology Major unemployment rate

_AnthropologyAll Majors
Minimum Wage%6%4
All Others%88%86
More: Unemployment for all Majors *** not counting stay at home parents *** not counting those currently in grad school

Are things going well in Anthropology?

Going Well %80
Not Going Well %20
More: All Majors Satisfaction ??? This is a social "life satisfaction" question. Overall, would people who graduated with a degree in Anthropology say that their life is going well? It could be interpreted in terms of stress, salary, long hours, future prospects, etc. *** not counting those currently in grad school

Graduates who stayed in Anthropology

Still in Field %51
Got out %49
More: All Majors Still in field ??? A high "got out" percentage can be interpreted a couple of ways -- for instance, perhaps the major is a great stepping stone to becoming a totally different career -- like a doctor. Or perhaps the jobs one gets with the major just aren't that great. *** not counting those currently in grad school
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