Anthropology at Western

 

What is Anthropology? 

Simply, it is the study of humans in all our social, cultural, linguistics and biological diversity and complexity.

The four subfields of Anthropology (Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology and Sociocultural Anthropology) are united by shared perspectives on how we study the full breadth of humanity.  

Anthropology:

  • is Holistic - anthropology recognizes that human culture and society, in the past and in the present, need to be studied as consisting of more than individual traits, traditions, and beliefs

  • is Comparative - anthropologists examine experiences, cultural expressions, and the effects of historical trends comparatively and cross-culturally, to understand and value the full diversity of humanity around the world and through time.

  • Takes a deep temporal point of view- anthropologists recognize that our species has evolved from non-human primate relatives over millions of years, that our societies have deep temporal roots and that experiences of daily life are influenced over the long-term by the varying effects of global forces and trends. 

  • is interested in the lived experience- anthropologists situate the lived human experience, knowledge, communication and the material record as culturally relative; meaningful internally to the individuals and societies who make those manifestations understandable for themselves, their ancestors , and their descendants.

 

Please watch this short presentation to learn more about the Anthropology Department
along with the learning and work of our current and past students.