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This library research guide provides an introduction to library resources related to Anthropology courses.

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anthropology skulls skeleton fossils

What do Anthropologists Study?

Anthropology compares human societies across the globe and across time. We compare present and past forms of government or legal and religious belief systems, for example. We compare social structures, like family dynamics, and study transnational corporations. We spend time reading against the grains of colonial documents. We explore social movements and the root of social inequalities linked to race and gender. Wherever there are (or were) humans or other primates, there are opportunities for anthropological study. In the United States, we break the discipline into four subfields: archaeology, socio-cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and linguistics.


What is Anthropology?


margaret mead 


"Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder at that which one would not have been able to guess" 

   Anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978)






alfred l kroeber



“Anthropology is the most humanistic of sciences and the most scientific of the humanities” 

    Anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber (1876-1960)






ruth benedict



“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences”  

     Anthropologist Ruth Benedict (1887-1948)




Retrieved May 6, 2019, “Home.”, The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (RAI),