Anthropology Learning Goals

By the time they graduate, all anthropology majors should be able to:

1. understand how all the sub-fields — biological anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology and linguistics — have been defined, fit together, clashed, challenged each other and complemented each other through time;

2. articulate how the fundamental ideas in anthropology — of evolution, culture, structure, function and relativism — have developed through time and always come back to address the essential question of what it means to be human;

3. analyze and articulate the importance of language in the life of humans through time, as biological species and as active participants in living cultures, as evidenced in their anthropological work and co-requisite study of a foreign language;

4. appreciate cross-cultural and intercultural difference as an inherent part of what it means to be human, through coursework preferably complemented experientially by participation in at least one overseas program;

5. engage in comparative work within and across all four sub-disciplines;

6. articulate and use important theoretical, methodological and ethical issues in each of the four subfields with an eye toward distinguishing cultural relativism from moral relativism in analyzing and understanding human behavior of all kinds, and toward recognizing that in cultural anthropology and linguistics we are working with live human beings, with all the ethical responsibilities that that entails;

7. demonstrate critical reading, thinking, writing and speaking skills;

8. master American Anthropological Association citation conventions and other “nuts and bolts” issues of competency and ethics of scholarly reportage in anthropology;

9. distinguish and use critically many different kinds of sources, whether they be primary, secondary or popular sources; and

10. distinguish good scientific inquiry from bad, both in and outside of anthropology, using all of the aforementioned understandings and skills.