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Anthropology

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Students work with faculty advisors to devise self-designed majors. Coursework in the major builds upon students’ experiences in the general education curriculum while providing students with pathways to deepen their knowledge or further develop their passion in a particular area of study.

Anthropology, broadly speaking, is the study of human existence.

The discipline examines the construction of culture through four sub-fields: archeology, linguistic anthropology, physical (biological) anthropology, and social and cultural anthropology. Although students at Antioch College can take anthropology courses that introduce them to each of the sub-fields, our focus is specifically on social and cultural anthropology.

Social and cultural anthropology relies heavily on the methodology of ethnography, the in-depth study of how culture is formed and contested within a specific group of people. Ethnographers look for the ways in which people make sense of the world through their individual and collective existence. Rather than look for material or biological remains, social and cultural anthropologists rely on immersing themselves in living communities. They look for cohesion, tension, power, and resistance.

Students particularly interested in forward-facing engaged scholarship can study Public Anthropology, also called Applied Anthropology, at Antioch College. Public Anthropology is the study of human culture through engaged, intersectional methodologies that are applied to social justice projects across a range of areas.

Public anthropologists are particularly focused on the ways in which communities are formed, culture is constructed, and power is dispersed and disrupted. This area of study is politically engaged, praxis-based, and directly connected to social movements. In Public Anthropology, you can expect to learn about how systems of power are crafted, and how those ideological structures are upheld by individuals and communities. This subset of anthropology is a poignant way to apply academic study to a social justice agenda.

Real-World Student Work Experiences

Students gain valuable real-world work experience through our Cooperative Education program, and document their insights on Antioch Engaged: our journal of social practice & professional engagement

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