Anthropology at Richland

The mission of Anthropology at Richland is to educate students in the basic elements of our discipline by providing guidance and learning opportunities to them.

Anthropology is a discipline concerned with all aspects of human biological and cultural variation in time and space. At Richland, students learn fundamentals of various specialties in Anthropology and their interactions and links with one another, and their relation to other academic fields. We aim to see that students, informed by Anthropological perspectives, will be able to thrive as human beings who inhabit diverse and changing environments and who manifest both similarity and diversity across space and time.


What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans. The word comes from the Greek Anthropos (humanity or mankind) and the ending logia (a study of). Anthropologists study all aspects of humanity, from our earliest origins, biological variation, earliest cultures, the rise of civilization, the evolution of language, to the nature of families, gender roles, economy and religion around the world historically and today.

Branches of Anthropology

There are four main branches of Anthropology: Physical Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Cultural Anthropology. Physical Anthropologists investigate questions such as: Where do humans come from? Why are there so many skin colors, hair types, shapes, and sizes of humans? How are we similar to, and different from, other primates? Cultural anthropologists study people from around the world: what they eat, how they marry, arrange families, and organize households, what they wear, what they believe and so forth. Archaeologists study the human past, linking physical and cultural anthropology, by investigating the origins and evolution of society and civilization. Linking history and culture, archaeologists use the remains of past communities to reveal how we have developed into our modern world. Linguistic anthropologists look at language, symbols, and human communication. Historical linguists search for the roots of language in antiquity and trace connections between languages through history; descriptive linguists investigate how humans use language to create and transmit their own reality.

What can I do with Anthropology?

A wide number of anthropologists work in such professions as industry, government, schools, law enforcement, hospitals and social work, to name a few. Applied anthropology is now seen as the fifth field of anthropology and it incorporates members of subfields in different applications of their disciplines. Forensic Anthropology, for instance, has become widely popular in recent years as physical anthropologists are employed by medical examiners, to identify human crime scene victims. Forensic Archaeology has emerged as a separate specialty, employing strategies for gathering evidence at crime scenes.

Learn more about the study of Anthropology and careers in Sociology at the American Anthropology Association website, and scholarship opportunities at the Dallas College Foundation website.