Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Sociology & Anthropology

Learning Outcomes

Anthropology Program Learning Objectives:

What Students Will Have Mastered by the End of the Fourth Year

1. General Mastery of the Discipline and Specific Topics

  • Develop an understanding of how the subfields of anthropology interrelate.
  • Become familiar with the origins of humans and their biological evolution.
  • Understand that categories of difference are not biologically based, but socially constructed (eg esp race and gender). Have a sense of varied ways in the world that gender, race and other categories differ.
  • Have an understanding of the relationship between difference and inequality.
  • Understand systems of privilege and oppression locally and globally.
  • Understand the ways in which different parts of the world are inter-related and some of the theories and models that explain that inter-relatedness (world systems theory, varying theories of globalization, etc.).
  • Develop an understanding of the various ways in which anthropologists understand culture.
  • Gain a basic understanding of how and why cultural practices vary worldwide.
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand the ways in which culture constructs the ideas and behaviors that make up everyday life.
  • Develop an appreciation for cultural diversity.
  • Be able to apply a culturally relativistic way of thinking about cultural differences and know how to recognize and move beyond ethnocentrism.
  • Be able to critically apply anthropological concepts and methods to better understand students’ own cultures.
  • Have a solid understanding of one geographical area.
  • Understand the relevance of anthropology to current world issues and problems.
  • Reflect on the meaning and purpose of anthropological thinking and practice in the world.
  • Have a good sense of the main points of difference and similarity between sociology and anthropology.

2. Theory

  • Develop a critical understanding of the historical and political contexts in which anthropology arose and is practiced today, and of the politics of canon formation in the discipline.
  • Understand the relevance and application of anthropological theory to anthropological research and practice.
  • Become familiar with a variety of theories and schools of thought as well as with the individuals with whom these are associated (for example, symbolic/interpretive, feminist/reflexive, culture and power, liberatory/activist anthropology, practice theory, etc.).
  • Develop an appreciation for how theory might inform their own research and practices in the future.
  • Develop an understanding for how anthropologists can (and have used) their discipline in activism and the pursuit of social justice.

3. Research, Writing, and Presentation Skills

  • Develop and apply critical thinking and observation skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze problems from multiple perspectives.
  • Demonstrate the ability to find, critically read, analyze, and critique academic anthropology journal articles.
  • Develop the ability to do a literature review on anthropological topics.
  • When appropriate, demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English.
  • Develop an understanding of the multiple methods employed by anthropologists.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply anthropological methods to individual fieldwork projects.
  • Be able to weave theory and data in the production of a sophisticated theoretical analysis of data gathered in the capstone.
  • Demonstrate the ability to write ethnographic research papers based on original research.
  • Develop an appreciation for the ethical dilemmas involved in different forms of anthropological research and be able to craft a human subjects review proposal.
  • Be able to formally present a paper based on original research in a polished, professional way.
  • Have most students engage in an extended (ideally at least a semester) intercultural learning experience.
  • Have many or most students present a paper at a regional or national conference.
  • Successfully talk about theory, method and ethnographic data in a senior oral final.