the Anthropology Society is a community of anthropology students who are dedicated to collaboratively learning about the field and to building an inclusive, growth-driven space.
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What is Anthropology?
what is linguistic anthropology?
Linguistic Anthropology explores the link between language and sociopolitical changes over time. Language has the ability to form cultural identities, provide new interpretations of the world, and discuss issues of class, gender, and race. In the past, experts in the field studied the subject primarily as a means to assist endangered languages and dialects.
Today, Linguistic Anthropology has begun to encompass the study of all languages, many of which are not necessarily on the brink of extinction. An integral skill that is unique only to humans, understanding language and its relation with social life is important to understanding human culture as a whole. In today’s uncertain social and political climate, it is particularly vital that we explore the ways in which language is tied to injustice and racial discrimination.
what is archaeology?
Surprisingly, it’s a question that often is asked in either classes discussing the field or by friends and family. Archaeology, simply put, is the study of the human past through physical remains, of which can vary greatly from pottery sherds and food remains, in the form of seeds and animal bones, to textiles and weaponry. From fieldwork to theory, archaeology, similar to anthropology and its other sub-disciplines, is complex and uses various methods and practices to look at a variety of remains to ask and answer various questions about the past. A ceramic vessel, for instance, as mundane as it may seem in our modern world, can provide extensive information about a group of people, such as how they lived, how they used the vessel, the craftsmanship of it, and when it was made. Additionally, aside from the most visible remains, such as buildings, archaeology also looks at the material of the remains themselves, like bronze for instance. It's more than studying a bronze object itself but also how and where the bronze was produced and possibly how that impacted a group of people’s lifestyles or their society itself.
Archaeology has captured the attention and fascination of many through monumental remains such as the Colosseum in Rome or the Great Pyramids of Giza. However, it is those small, every day, and mundane artifacts, like a ceramic bowl, that give us a glimpse into the life of the average person. Throughout my courses, I have learned that archaeology is not about the next great discovery of a lost city like it is in the movies, but rather a rediscovery, learning, and understanding about past cultures and peoples through what they left behind.
what is biological (or medical)
Medical anthropology aims to provide a holistic view of various health-related issues by exploring the following questions: How are health and illness determined? Why do health systems, illness beliefs, and illness experiences vary among societies? How does culture affect treatment outcome? Medical anthropological research reveals that illness and disease are a part of a system of complex biosocial processes, and proper resolution of these needs a close examination of not just biology but also systems of beliefs, structures of social relationships and environmental conditions, and health inequality.
Because of the holistic and practical use of the field, medical anthropology is often considered to be an applied anthropology. Applied anthropologists apply theory to solve real world issues, and is used in a vast range of careers and disciplines. Medical anthropologists may work in social work, policy analysis, and alternative medicine. While the field tends to be very philosophical and subjective, medical anthropology is not just limited to soft sciences or skills; the discipline expands to STEM fields such as epidemiology and public health. Even the business and tech industries are increasingly interested in applied anthropology, and hire medical anthropologists to join their marketing or UX research teams. There are many ways to study medical anthropology and get a degree in the field. Many universities offer medical anthropology as a graduate degree. At the University of Washington, medical anthropology is
offered through the Department of Anthropology as a bachelors of arts or science, titled Medical Anthropology & Global Health.
what is (socio)cultural anthropology?
One of the four subfields of Anthropology is Cultural Anthropology. As the name suggests, this subfield is all about human culture--what defines it, how it transforms, and how we experience it similarly or differently. An important aspect of cultural anthropology is fieldwork. Understanding a culture from an emic (from within the social group) perspective versus an etic (from outside of the social group) perspective is a key aspect of sociocultural anthropologists’ work. Especially in such a diverse world, learning about and exposure to the various cultures and norms around the world is paramount in coexisting with and understanding one another. As many of us know, there are many disagreements and injustices that occur due to the inability to understand and humanize one another. This is why Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology in particular, is so important and relevant today.
Anthropology is all about understanding people--understanding our differences and similarities. To better understand people is to better understand the world’s problems and solutions. Cultural anthropology is a widely applicable field that is essential for understanding all the cultures and people that exist in the world. Context is key in Cultural Anthropology.
Sociocultural anthropologists can work in a wide range of fields from law and social justice advocacy to analysts positions to user experience research and advertising.