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What is Social Anthropology?

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What is Social Anthropology?
What is Social
Anthropology?
Comparative study of society and
culture
Participant observation
Small scale groups
“From the native’s point of view”
Gives centrality to non-Western
societies
Contextualises Western ways of
thinking
Five overlapping areas of study:
How people…
… obtain a livelihood under different conditions (economics)
… allocate power and resist its exercise (politics)
… organise the reproduction of biological life (kinship)
… organise relations between men and women (gender)
… set up and challenge systems of belief (religion)
What an anthropology degree has to offer:
•key discipline for 21st century society
•translation and communication: mediation in multi-ethnic
and multi-cultural world
•Learn to see the world from other people’s perspectives
•Embed these perspectives in their social, political and
economic contexts
•Make links between theory and people’s lives
i
Employers value
anthropology graduates
because of their…
Sensitivity to cross-cultural issues
Ability to communicate in crosscultural contexts
Ability to analyse interpersonal
relations
Ability to understand social and
cultural micro-dynamics
Knowledge of the developing
world
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