Anthropology Program Learning Goals

Upon completing the BA program in Anthropology, students have:

I. A Firm Grasp of Anthropological Theory: Our courses enable students to master the theories and concepts important in the study of anthropology, such as those regarding culture, race, gender, and religion. This is particularly the case for Anthropological Theory and Methods (070:220), which is required for our majors. For example, students completing a degree in anthropology will be able to demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the concept of culture as an organizing idea of anthropology, as well as an integral, adaptive, and infinitely variable characteristic of human society. They will also be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concept of race as a social construction and not a biological fact, yet a concept that has powerful effects on population groups around the world, the organization of societies, and the allocation of resources, rights, and privileges within various societies

II. An Ability to Rigorously Analyze Social Science Data:  Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge in the methods of anthropological data collection, including ethnography and participant observation, as well as contemporary techniques of digital data collection (ethnographic photography, ethnographic film, and virtual ethnography).

III.  An Understanding of Intercultural Relations and Diversity in Human Societies: Students will develop skills in analyzing the portrayal of cultural difference in the world, and the ways in which the politics of cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and class difference operates in other areas of the world. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of cultural relativism, the principle that people’s norms and values derive their meaning within a specific social context; and differentiate the discipline’s cultural relativist perspective from ethical relativism, or the view that all moral principles are equally valid to anthropologists.

IV. Critical Thinking: All of the core disciplines in the Arts and Sciences provide students with skills in critical thought and the mastery of the language in both reading and writing that employers in particular and society in general expect from all who have earned an undergraduate degree.  The faculty in Anthropology at Rutgers in Newark provides instruction in critical thought.  As a result of this instruction, Anthropology majors are expected to evaluate information from various sources, and then be able to develop coherent arguments and questions as they relate to the work. Anthropology courses also encourage cooperative learning, as students will often be required to work in groups to write, synthesize, and produce oral presentations. The ability to effectively communicate through writing and orally are skills that the majority of employers find highly desirable in their workforce. The Anthropology faculty at Rutgers-Newark strives to ensure that the intellectual abilities our students acquire in our classes will facilitate their success in future endeavors.