This discipline is traditionally divided into four fields: physical anthropology, concerned primarily with humans as biological organisms, and three branches of cultural anthropology (archaeology, ethnology, linguistics), concerned with humans as cultural animals. All these fields are closely related; we cannot understand what people do unless we know what people are.
We humans are influenced both by our biological makeup and by our environment. Unlike most other animals, humans have the ability to develop culture – complex learned and socially shared ways of behaving, acting, and thinking. While we differ in many cultural practices and hold different views about the nature of things on this earth and in the universe, we are alike in many other aspects. Anthropology addresses these complexities and similarities. Simply defined anthropology is the scientific study of humanity. Anthropology is not unique in this regard, since historians, economists, philosophers, psychologists, theologians, or sociologists are also students of the human condition. What is different about anthropology is not much what is studied as how it is studied. Anthropology is distinguishable from other branches of human studies in the emphasis it places on universalism, holism, integration, and cultural relativism.
anthropology, suggests the following principle: all peoples are fully and
equally human. As such anthropologists are equally interested in the Nuer (
In an effort to accomplish the educational mission of this college and fulfill one of its promised goals, namely to allow students at Coppin to develop an appreciation of the significance of social mores related to ethical issues and appreciate the diversity of cultural values, this department developed a minor program in Anthropology. The Socio-Cultural Studies Program will allow students at Coppin State University to explore additional job opportunities in humanistic careers such as health planning, urban development, cultural resources management, and archaeological resources.
The minor consists of 18 credits:
3 ANTH 207 Cultural Anthropology
3 ANTH 208 Ethnological Profiles
3 ANTH 300 Physical Anthropology-Archaeology
3 ANTH 310 Religion, Myth, and Ritual
3 ANTH 400 Anthropological Theory
ANTH 411 Special Topics in Anthropology
ANTH 412 Anthropology-Internship
For the most part, anthropologists have applied their trade and knowledge as members of college and university faculty or as museum directors. Non-academic jobs for people with an anthropological background exist in such areas as business and government which are concerned with cross-cultural problems or which involve contact with peoples of different ethnic backgrounds. For example, corporations that do extensive business abroad or radio stations with programming for specific ethnic groups may find anthropological expertise useful. In government, the Department of the Interior recognizes the importance of anthropological training and has numerous job opportunities every year. Jobs for anthropologists are also to be found where there are problems of development, involving directed or desired change. The Agency for International Development is an example of a government branch that hires anthropologists to assist in development.
Additionally, the field of cultural resources management has attracted students skilled in anthropology. Anthropologists have been employed by the National Park Services to assist in the preservation, restoration, and salvage of archaeological resources. Archaeologists are also in some demand as consultants to engineering firms, since federal and state regulations at times require that the impact of proposed construction projects on archaeological resources be assessed in advance. But cultural resources management involves more than archaeological sites; it also involves people – ethnic and other minorities, poor people, and others – who will be affected by planned projects or various sorts. Therefore, many state and local agencies employ anthropologists to assist in planning. There is a growing recognition, across the board, of a need for truly humanistic social planning and anthropologists are, with their humanistic tradition and sensitivity to cultural differences, particularly well suited for such work.