The goal of the Anthropology Department at St. Charles Community College is to help each student develop a global perspective of people, places and things. This perspective seeks to enable each student to understand the variations between people of various cultures in terms of their norms, values and social organization. As well, the development of this perspective better prepares the student to become a citizen of the world. Finally, the department seeks to enhance one's skills for future employment.
The word anthropology is derived from the Greek anthropos ("human") and loggia ("science"), meaning the scientific study of human kind. Anthropology traces human footprints from their beginnings, millions of years ago, to the present. Anthropology seeks to understand the entire panorama of human behavior and experience. The primary goal of the discipline of anthropology is to advance our knowledge of who we are and how we humans came to be this way. By knowing this, we can then, as thinking people, work to construct our tomorrow.
There are four subdisciplines in anthropology. These include archaeology, cultural anthropology, physical anthropology and linguistic anthropology. Archeologists study societies of the past. The cultural anthropologist studies human cultures where physical anthropologists study human evolution. Finally, linguistic anthropologists concentrate on the structure and practice of languages from culture to culture. The goal of anthropology is to help us understand how cultural forces cause certain social behavior and, in reaching this understanding, we are then better able to appreciate different cultures throughout the world and the various subcultures within our own society.