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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.
Careers in Anthropology
Most anthropologists are employed in academic activities. In these activities they specialize in one of four areas: archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology or physical anthropology. These specializations lead the anthropologist to conduct research and teach. However, the American Anthropological Association estimates that 30 percent of anthropologists are not employed in academic settings. These anthropologists could be found assisting the government in developing strategies to induce change within a society or help corporate employees understand different cultures.
A major in anthropology can prepare the student for work in many areas. Such a major allows the student to have a broad understanding of various cultures and their practices. Therefore, the skills obtained by an anthropology major could help someone who intends to work in the following fields:
- public relations
- social work
- urban planning
- Peace Corps
Such a major can provide a depth of understanding and opportunities.