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Why study anthropology?

Why study anthropology?

A lot of people are actually
anthropologists at heart. We’re all curious about the ways other people live their lives something deep down inside of us knows
that the way that we see things can’t really be the only way to see the world. Anthropology is the study of human
beings so it covers just about anything you can think of. In North America
anthropology typically is divided into four sub-fields: archaeology, linguistics
physical anthropology and social cultural. We focus here on social
cultural anthropology because of the size of our department. Anthropology is always going to be relevant. Anthropology is always going to be interested in the now because the now has history and that if anything
else is kind of the main tenant of anthropology How do we understand how we got to now? How do we make sense of what things mean
now? They don’t come from a vacuum. They don’t exist in a vacuum. They come from somewhere, they have a history. I think that anthropology offers the development of
three very important things. The first I would say is compassion. Compassion is essential in becoming a productive member of society and a happy person in general. Learning to care for other people, respect the way
they live their lives. The second thing I would say is the
ability to sort through massive amounts of data when you are going out into the field
doing research in anthropology there’s a lot of information that you’re
constantly collecting that you’re aware of. You really have to pay attention to a
lot of details and then you have to come home and and sort through all that
information and and make connections and find a way to show that that information you
collected is meaningful. That’s tremendously valuable in our society today. Thirdly the development of communication
skills. Working in the field involves dealing with all kinds of different
people and learning to communicate with them in ways that allow you to collect
meaningful data so that you can apply that second skill and analyze it and find meaning and connections and what not. Anthropological skills are skills of
observation, are skills of inquiry are often used again and private
organizations and government and NGOs to try to facilitate the operation of the organization
itself. IBM and other types of large enterprises have called an
anthropologist when they’ve had trouble in the workplace when they’ve had
discontent and they’re not sure how to smooth things out. They’ll call in an
anthropologist to use powers and skills of observation and interviewing
techniques to try to understand what’s going on from the perspective of the
people under study. One of the biggest skills, largest and most valuable for
any setting that we learn as anthropologist is just interpersonal interaction. How
to talk to people. How to be comfortable asking questions. How to be
comfortable hearing answers and just listening and may be listening for
something that we didn’t expect to hear and I think that’s always transferable
in a professional environment. An anthropologist tend to try to understand the world from the ground up. So, what
do people on the ground see the world? How do they see it? What are they doing? How do they understand the world? How does that fit into their community,
into their city, into their nation into the world at large? So we try to put
a face on people of the world. If you’re thinking about anthropology my
advice would be to try it out. The methods are different from a lot of other things
that you could study. They’re very real, they’re very involved and
it’s so diverse that the field will find room for you if you want to find
room for yourself in the field. If you’re a student in high school and your not sure what you’re interested in, but you think you might be
interested in anthropology, I highly recommend coming to the
University, one of the openhouse days or just drop by, hang out. Try to
talk with some of the faculties. We have a very diverse faculty, we have people
who are studying everything from the relationships of humans and animals in
society to human rights, indigenous people, fair trade, cooperatives. So, you
can get a sense of what anthropologists do in the real world. Take a course even if anthropology is not
your major. Take a course in anthropology. That way you’ll get exposed, you’ll see
what it is that anthropology is all about and whether you think it’s something you might enjoy.

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