The Department of Anthropology

What is the Study of Anthropology all About?

Anthropology studies the diversity of human life in every part of the world. Long-term ethnographic fieldwork is the hallmark of the anthropological approach to studying the human condition—which allows you to see how your world fits into a larger context.

The particulars of any local life, society, or culture are not isolated from global processes and flows. Contemporary Anthropology examines the material, social, and cultural conditions of human behaviour and life from a “locally global” perspective.

Anthropology will expose you to a variety of different cultures. At the same time, you will learn to examine your own life from an anthropological perspective. You will learn how to explore and understand radically different contexts in both your own and other cultures.

Two elements distinguish Anthropology: an intensely comparative, wide-ranging view of human society and culture, and a strong desire to know how individuals in specific cultures make sense of the world and respond to its challenges.

Anthropologists are committed to understanding common aspects of human social life, despite apparent differences. They typically spend long periods of time doing field research where they interact with people in their environment to gain cultural understanding.

What is anthropology?

Anthropologists attempt to understand the complexities of social and cultural life. They strive to see the world from different perspectives, reserving judgment, and embracing new ideas, values and attitudes. They study all different types of societies and cultures, using methodologies such as participant observation and the analysis of oral, written and electronic texts. Anthropologists often become active advocates of the people and communities they study, working jointly with them to help them accomplish their goals.

The Department of Anthropology at the U of L provides students with a unique educational experience. The smaller department allows students to have a closer relationship with faculty; gaining the utmost guidance throughout their university career.