The anthropology major at Furman concentrates on the subfield of cultural anthropology. We have comparative as well as in depth courses that focus on the geographical areas of Africa, Central America, East Asia, and South Asia. The major also has courses in the subfield of linguistics and archaeology.
Anthropology is distinguished by its emphasis upon holism, cultural relativism, and the value of the perspectives of both insiders and outsiders. A holistic approach to cultures emphasizes the larger, functional integration of language, family, politics, economics, and religion within an entire culture. Through the practice of cultural relativism, anthropologists seek to avoid the inherent biases of ethnocentrism by understanding a culture from the viewpoint of its own members. Finally, anthropology maintains a balanced appreciation of insider’s and outsider’s understandings of a given culture.
Anthropology is the ideal liberal arts major in that it straddles the boundary between the sciences and humanities. It is both the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. As anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn put it, “Anthropology provides a scientific basis for dealing with the crucial dilemma of the world today: how can peoples of different appearance, mutually unintelligible languages, and dissimilar ways of life get along peaceably together?”
Special Note For Students Declaring Remotely: Students need to complete both the form and the survey above to start the major declaration process. On the field of study declaration form (see link above), students can indicate which professor they would like to serve as their advisor. If possible, that request will be honored. If they do not know who they would like to be their advisor, they can put the chair’s name, Dr. Lisa Knight, and she will either serve as their advisor or assign them one in the department. The student should then download the form, and attach it to an email they send to the Chair of Anthropology: email@example.com.
A major in anthropology provides good preparation for students going into medicine and health-related careers, law, business, and non-profit and community-based organizations.
I have known that I wanted to be an anthropologist since I was twelve. Getting to travel and research and then pass that knowledge on to more people has always been my dream.
The field of anthropology is full of endless opportunities to learn more about cultures from the past and present as well as how they impact everything from the natural environment to a single artifact.