What Is Anthropology?
Anthropology compels you to think “outside the box.” By “the box,” we mean, of course, the familiar, the known. In order to get around in a truly global world these days, you have to be able to comprehend diverse ways of thinking, varied modes of living, different kinds of interacting. If you hope to succeed in a global environment, anthropology will push you beyond your culture-bound limits. If you want to embrace your global citizenship, anthropology will guide you to a sense of interrconnectedness. And if you yearn to grasp what it means to be a human being—anthropology will help you get there.
When we talk about wondering what it means to be human, we are serious. Anthropologists examine humanity from all angles. Bioanthropologists study the reasons why our bodies look the way they do (whether genetically or physically). Linguistic and sociocultural anthropologists explore the abundance of languages, cultures, beliefs and technologies across the earth, following their constantly changing forms. Archaeologists examine the material evidence of such phenomena to unlock secrets of the past—and thus the present. As we go along, we realize that it is the very fact that we ask questions about ourselves and the world around us, and that we argue endlessly about the answers, that makes us human.