Learn about people

On site with the Ethnographic Field School

By learning the ways we live

Liaise between communities and organizations to help solve problems of health and development. Deconstruct issues of power and privilege that accompany globalization; actively dismantle the colonialist ideologies that shaped our modern world. Spend time in, and alongside, a community to understand the ways its members celebrate life, construct and communicate ideas, and organize into family and society. Feed your curiosity about the countless ways that different peoples live across the globe, today, and in the past.


In pursuing Sociocultural Anthropology, you’ll learn its core methods of inquiry: participant-observation, oral history collection, interviews, photography and videography. You’ll ground your study and analysis in theory and explore the art and science of ethnographic study. You’ll learn these aspects through the study of topics that affect various and often quite varied cultures. Our department emphasizes applied aspects of Sociocultural Anthropology, looking to employ its methods to solve real world problems such as culturally relevant medical interventions, human rights, language preservation, social inequalities, and environmental sustainability.


Linguistic Anthropology is closely allied with Sociocultural Anthropology as it focuses on the nature, meanings, and uses of language in their cultural, including gender, “race”, ethnicity, socialization, class and historical, contexts. It is also concerned with the survival of endangered indigenous languages. Linguistic anthropology can also be understood from a biocultural framework.  Human language is the result of evolution and the morphological changes that occurred with Homo sapiens when compared with other primates.

Multicultural foundation for future work

Students of Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology learn to view the world and to work with diverse populations in ways that support future work in almost any field. A holistic approach, particularly when paired with anthropology’s other subfields, provides students with a well-rounded skillset and model of inquiry and analysis.

Study sociocultural and linguistic anthropology as an Anthropology major

Summer in Tanzania

Ethnographic Field School

Practice the fundamentals of sociocultural anthropology--ethnographic interviewing and participant observation while working on projects that address issues in local communities such as food insecurity, HIV stigma, substance abuse and prenatal health care.

Group photo of Ethnographic Field School in Tanzania