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

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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),

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Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology

Offers a refreshing alternative to introductory anthropology texts by challenging students to think in new ways and apply cultural learnings to their own lives. Chapters explore key anthropological concepts of human culture including: language, the body, food, and time, and provide an array of cultural examples in which to examine them Incorporates new material reflecting the authors' research in Malawi, New England, and Spain Takes account of the latest information on such topical concerns as nuclear waste, sports injuries, the World Trade Center memorial, the food pyramid, fashion trends, and electronic media Includes student exercises, selected reading and additional suggested readings.

Introduction to Physical Anthropology: Physical Anthropology and Archaeology Methods

This film provides an introduction to the history of anthropology as a discipline and explains how physical and cultural anthropology differ. Examine the archaeological methods anthropologist use including artifact collection, ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, and the grid system.

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Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete offers an enormous collection of full-text journals, providing users access to critical information from many sources unique to this database. In addition, it includes peer-reviewed full text for STEM research, as well as for the social sciences and humanities. Scholarly content covers a broad range of important areas of academic study, including anthropology, engineering, law, sciences and more.


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This authoritative guide offers readers a comprehensive look into the world of anthropology and its related sciences. The book covers the essential areas of the field, including its history. The major branches of the field are also discussed, including cultural and social anthropology as well as archaeology. It also explores the study of the discipline around the world through urban, medical, and applied anthropology.

anthropology book cover