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Cultural Anthropology and Sociology

Why Study Anthropology and Sociology?

Because of their in-depth and broad understandings of human social behaviour Anthropologists and Sociologists are in a position to advise on many issues that confront countries and companies the world over. Understanding how other societies organise their lives and give meaning to their existence also increases people's understanding of their own cultural worlds.

Although they are linked, Cultural Anthropology and Sociology are distinct disciplines.

What Is Cultural Anthropology?

Anthropology literally means 'the study of human beings', while cultures are patterns of human behaviour and knowledge that every human learns as a member of society. Cultural Anthropology focuses on how these cultural patterns shape our experiences.

Cultural anthropologists seek to answer questions such as: "Why are human groups and their ways of life so different around the world?". They explore how culture is expressed in areas such as ritual, symbolism, language, personality, religion, inequality, gender, family, art and politics. They explore why such cultural differences exist and how we might understand them better.

What Do Anthropologists Do?

Anthropologists do anything that involves understanding human social and cultural behaviour. Anthropologists may work in the field, in cities, in rural areas and in territories distant from their own country. Many will specialise in a particular area and advise government, local government, NGOs and corporations.

A PhD and a background of relevant fieldwork are required to work as a professional anthropologist.

What Is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of society and sociologists are people who try to make sense of the social world - past present and future. The range of sociological interests is wide, however the focus for sociology is the same for every area of interest: exploring, understanding and explaining changes in behaviour and social relationships at different levels.

What Do Sociologists Do?

On one level, Sociology looks at the body and how peoples ideas about their physical self affect social practices. At another level, Sociology examines how people organise themselves, creating major social institutions such as the State. It also examines the dynamics of macro processes such as population change and globalisation.

What Skills Do Anthropology And Sociology Students Develop?

  • communication
  • critical thinking and conceptual skills
  • creativity
  • multi-disciplinary approach
  • reasearch

Where Do Anthropology And Sociology Graduates Work?

Employment options are diverse and exciting across both the public and private sectors.

  • Public sector:
  • Local Government:
  • Non Government Organisations (NGOs)
  • Education Sector
  • Journalism
  • Human resources
  • Business/financial sector/law
  • Museums and art galleries (not for soc but for anth)
  • public relations

Further information can be found in the Cultural Anthropology and Sociology Career View (PDF 850KB) and the School of Social and Cultural Studies website