Why Study Anthropology in 2021?

3 min. read (or watch the video)

Hey Folks! Today I’m going to look at some strong reasons why you should take anthropology in 2021. If you are looking for a Bachelor of Arts degree, go for a program you can apply to as many different careers as possible. You want to keep your options wide open. Anthropology is totally underrated in that regard. A ton of high schoolers I talk to have never even heard of the field! Shame on us anthropologists! We should spend way more time in high schools. But what is anthropology? It’s the study of “anthropos” (of us – of humans). Last time I checked, most problems in the world were started by us. If you want to leave the world a better place than you found it, study people. But why anthropology?

1. Anthropology is the Swiss Army knife of arts degrees

⁃ You get tools to use on any job: from in-world video game design to immigration policy transformation

⁃ You will be trained as a reflexive-comparative thinker, producing competitive visionary work in your field of interest

⁃ You will dive into a world of culturally unique solutions, and you’ll walk away with an impressively global perspective

2. Anthropology’s middle name is “intersectionality”

⁃ We embrace global diversity, taking seriously voices from all stages of the human life cycle, and we truly care about all walks of life

⁃ We take a holistic approach, exploring relationships between culture, geography, biology, psychology, history — you name it

⁃ We specialize in nuance: those subtle differences in shades of meaning and expression. We are trained to be dangerously careful listeners.

3. Anthropology is intellectually promiscuous

⁃ You’ll get into bed with many ideas. It’s not about a singular commitment, but about deep respect for life, and true appreciation of otherness

⁃ We don’t impose our ideas on our students. Your ideas will emerge from open dialogue. We’re in the business of building bridges between people

⁃ Intellectual promiscuity is just another word for innovation. It’s a sandbox thing: you get to to play with all kinds of stuff, and no questions are barred

So, why choose anthropology in 2021? Because we still live in a world full of misunderstandings resulting in war, rampant racial injustice, disastrous climate change, and now a global pandemic. There’s never been a time when our planet has needed anthropologists like now! Come join anthropology, have your eyes opened, make a real impact!

By alexoehler

I am an environmental anthropologist at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.