Anthropology studies humankind from a comparative perspective that emphasizes the diversity of human behavior and the importance of culture in explaining that diversity.
While the discipline encompasses the biological nature of our species and the material aspects of human adaptation, it takes as fundamental the idea that we respond to nature and natural forces in large part through culture. Anthropology, then, is the study of human beings as cultural animals. Sociocultural anthropology draws its data from the direct study of contemporary peoples living in a wide variety of circumstances, from peasant villagers and tropical forest hunters and gatherers to urban populations in modern societies, as well as from the history and prehistory of those peoples.
The Anthropology Program at AUCA offers students a broad exposure to the discipline as well as an anthropological perspective on problems and issues relevant to other fields in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering. Geographical specializations include cultures of Central Asia, the Middle East, Japan, Far East and Siberia.
The anthropology curriculum is divided into three groups that show the breadth of the field, with particular emphases: introductory, social anthropology, development and technology in cultural context, and archaeological and historical studies. Special topics in anthropology and advanced graduate subjects are also offered.
Anthropology students learn about the concept of culture, the nature of anthropological fieldwork, and the connections between anthropology and the other social sciences. They study the various theories that attempt to explain human behavior as well as the range of methods anthropologists use to analyze data.