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Anthropology - A Holistic Subject That Opens A Number Of Career Opportunities

Anthropology - A Holistic Subject That Opens A Number Of Career Opportunities

Edited By Pragati Singh | Updated on Jun 12, 2023 09:10 AM IST

As a systematic study of humanity, anthropology aims to comprehend the origins of our species as well as the great diversity of our social arrangements worldwide and through history. Study and research conducted of mankind’s diversified engagement all over globe through anthropology, which focuses on both community and diversity.

Anthropology - A Holistic Subject That Opens A Number Of Career Opportunities
Anthropology - A Holistic Subject That Opens A Number Of Career Opportunities

Below you will find main streams of anthropology and further they are also segregated in various fields depending on the subject matter dealt with during research or any anthropological work. Let’s learn more about them.

Social Anthropology

In social anthropology, people study the social and cultural forms in which they live around the world and the researchers who study various ethnic groups are called ethnologists. Societies vary greatly in the way they organise themselves, the cultural practices they participate in as well as their religious, political, and economic systems. Social anthropologists seek to contribute to a complete understanding of what it means to be human, what makes human societies, and what makes the human race diverse.

Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropology or physical anthropology studies the correlative approach between human evolution and adaptation. Focus is given to study human uniqueness, biological variations, our genetic makeup as compared to other animals. This subject studies human adaptation and growth from the perspective of psychological and biological relations.

Linguistic Anthropology

In this subfield of anthropology, researchers study languages of different cultures across the globe. To understand what made the community unite since history by studying their cultural history and how they practise it today. The ability to speak a language acts as the mental tools people use to think and behave.

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Archeological Anthropology

This subfield of anthropology is related to the study of the past of humanity using ancestral remains is called archaeology. Any item that was made, altered, or used by people can be included in these remains. These artefacts are discovered and examined by archaeologists in order to interpret historical peoples' experiences and behaviours where they mostly focus upon the prehistoric era.

Holistic Aspects of Anthropology

If you are a student of science stream but still looking for courses where you don’t have to solve chemistry equations or physics problems; or if you belong to the humanities and still want to do something different in career then you can always choose anthropology as an option. Considering the human touch in almost every field, it is inevitable that subjects like anthropology will continue to exist. Moreover, being a holistic subject which is a fusion of humanities as well as science makes it a good career option for students belonging to these backgrounds.

Also, anthropology in the digital world is a field that combines the study of human society with technology through its domain like Digital Anthropology. By analysing the populations that are specifically associated with these technologies, such as hackers i.e we can study the technology itself. Traditional fieldwork has been used to study the effects of growing pervasive digital technologies, such as social media, on everyday populations. Lastly, focus goes on significant issues related to the consequences of anthropology on mankind. Its relevance is specially proven today in a world where AI is at its peak. As the world is shifting towards new technologies and lifestyles, so is this industry.

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Research Work

The primary responsibility of an anthropologist is to conduct research. From pre-research to its conclusions and after effects, a research associate has different levels of work assigned to them. After all, anthropology is an interdisciplinary field, so any compromise in research is unacceptable.

Consultancy Assignments

Research scientists working on similar projects must meet and consult with biological anthropologists. The linguistic anthropologists are required to consult with translators, language experts and professors in order to gain detailed information regarding the history or evolution of a particular language for a particular section of the society.

Individuals who opt for a career in this field are also required to interact and collaborate with their peers specialising in physical anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology.

Study Work

People who choose to pursue careers as anthropologists must continuously learn and be knowledgeable on all aspects of the project. They are in-charge of researching the project, its application to human development, its drawbacks, its effectiveness, and any project-related repercussions.

Academic Positions

Numerous anthropologists hold academic positions as professors in institutions where they assist students in developing a thorough knowledge and comprehension of anthropology as a discipline and expanding its use in career development. Additionally, they instruct and prepare the students who want to become anthropologists. The professors of anthropology instruct students in a variety of topics, including linguistic, physical, cultural, and archaeological anthropology.

There are government organisations like the Planning Commission and Anthropological Survey of India that recruits anthropologists at both centre as well as state level. Moreover there are the international organisations where anthropologist have good scope as professional such as:

> The World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA), which is a network of domestic and foreign organisations with the mission of advancing anthropological communication and collaboration on a global scale.

> International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Science (IUAES) which is a global association of researchers and organisations dedicated to anthropology and ethnology, although it also has members who are interested in archaeology and linguistics.

> In India there is the Indian Anthropological Association (IAA) which is a statutory body for Indian anthropologists. Without neglecting the significant anthropological discoveries, it focuses on comprehending the diversity and variability that Indian society, culture, and population present.

One might also consider working with international organisations like WHO, UNICEF and UNESCO. Moreover, anthropologists also work in fields such as museums, curators, publishing houses, NGOs, archives, art galleries, libraries, etc.

Anthropologists study genetics extensively to comprehend how human culture, language, social behaviour, the arts and dietary habits have evolved over time. Jobs in biological anthropology focus on the interaction of ecological and evolutionary theory with the historical and contemporary study of both human and non-human primates. Archaeologists and cultural anthropologists recover artefacts from the past and contextualise them in order to understand our history and its significance for the present. Problems such as overpopulation, warfare, and poverty are dealt with by cultural anthropologists.

Now, the important question is how much an anthropologist can earn. On an average depending on the jobs available in India, anthropologists can earn from 8.5 lakhs - 14.5 lakhs per annum.

Hope this article brought you some clarity and inspired you to come to a decision

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