School of Social and Cultural Studies

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Cultural Anthropology

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2016 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Overview

Cultural anthropology studies cultural diversity in a wide range of local and global settings. It explores the role of culture in shaping all areas of our lives, such as our families and gender norms, our economic and political structures, our rituals and modes of creative expression, and our social conflicts and systems of reconciliation. Cultural anthropology also explores how individuals and groups become the makers of history and social change, examining how our systems of meaning and beliefs are contested and transform over time.

Through research that is people-centred and foregrounds the experiences and perspectives of those we study, cultural anthropologists have a strong tradition of advocacy and social engagement. By exploring culturally diverse practices across time and in different places, anthropologists often challenge mainstream cultural norms and social practices, be they economic systems of exploitation, colonisation, or racial, gender and sexual inequalities. Anthropologists today study all types of communities, from small scale tribal groups, to stock brokers, scientists, environmental activists, or undocumented migrants.

Cultural anthropology within a Bachelor of Arts (BA) provides students with powerful tools to understand cultural diversity and address many compelling contemporary social issues, such as poverty, racism or environmentalism. The broad training of cultural anthropology provides skills for a range of careers in such fields as public health, museums, urban development, leadership, NGOs, journalism, documentary making, policy, advocacy, and consumer research. Cultural anthropologists at Victoria have expertise in a wide range of research areas, from migration, urban slums, genocide, Pacific architecture, and patient advocacy groups, to contested illnesses, citizenship, environmentalism, neoliberal restructuring, ethnicity and international development.

Undergraduate information

Cultural Anthropology major requirements

  1. ANTH 101 and 102
  2. 40 points from ANTH 200-299
  3. 40 points from ANTH 300-399

Postgraduate information

Postgraduate qualifications in Cultural Anthropology

For information specific to Cultural Anthropology, please see our Postgraduate Study page. For information about the postgraduate qualifications, please click on the Faculty links below.

How to find out more

Want to find out more about studying at Victoria? Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you, or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us, call 0800 VICTORIA (842 867) or email course-advice@vuw.ac.nz.

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty Student and Academic Services Office, for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transfer credit from other institutions.

Related subjects and careers

Career paths in Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology graduates from Victoria have gone into a wide variety of careers. Cultural Anthropology provides you with a broad range of skills important in today's world. At a general level, these include critical and creative thinking, research, writing and analysis, and the effective communication of ideas. More specifically, the study of cultural anthropology will teach you to understand cultural diversity and the role of culture in all areas of life, and to apply anthropological knowledge to current social issues.

Careers and Employment are available to assist with a wide range of queries—from the general exploration of career ideas and career implications of subject choices, to details of specific jobs, employers, or postgraduate courses.

The latest Career View publication on Cultural Anthropology is downloadable from the Careers and Employment website. Also of relevance to this subject area is Anthropologists in the News.

Related subjectsCareers

Asian Studies
Education
Geography
History
Linguistics
Māori Studies
Pacific Studies
Philosophy
Political Science
Religious Studies
Sociology

Community work
Consumer research and advertising
Cross-cultural relations consultancy
Cultural heritage management
Documentary filmmaking
English language teaching abroad
Immigration and refugee services
International development
International marketing
Local and international journalism
Museum curating
NGO and humanitarian work
Public health
Public relations
Public sector research and policy analysis
Travel and tourism work
Urban planning

List of courses

For a complete course listing, see the list of all Cultural Anthropology courses.


100 Level Courses

ANTH 101 – Foundations of Society and Culture

ANTH 102 – Social and Cultural Diversity


200 Level Courses

ANTH 201 – Kin, Class and Caste

ANTH 204 – Modern Anthropological Thought

ANTH 208 – Culture and Experience

ANTH 209 – Conflict and Reconciliation

ANTH 213 – Ritual in the Modern World

ANTH 215 – Special Topic: Culture and the Material World


300 Level Courses

ANTH 307 – Medical Anthropology

ANTH 308 – Anthropology in Oceania

ANTH 312 – Representing Others: The Challenges of Ethnography

ANTH 314 – Special Topic: New Approaches to Kinship

ANTH 315 – Selected Topic: Psychological Anthropology

ANTH 316 – Visual Anthropology

ANTH 317 – Migration, Culture and Identity


400 Level Courses

ANTH 406 – Special Topic: Culture through an Ethnographic Lens

ANTH 407 – Ideas and Approaches

ANTH 408 – Ethnographic Research

ANTH 410 – Current Directions in Anthropological Thought

ANTH 411 – Topics in Social and Cultural Anthropology: Inequality and Identity

ANTH 412 – Anthropological Perspectives on Development

ANTH 489 – Research Project

SACS 428 – Internship