Anthropology as a Holistic Discipline

Anthropology is the study of humankind in cross-cultural and evolutionary perspectives. With one foot in the sciences (both social and biological) and the other in the humanities, anthropology takes a holistic approach and consists of four sub-disciplines: cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. Anthropologists emphasize fieldwork as a means to investigate cultural diversity and human biology in our species—past, present, and future.

Our major fulfills its mission by equipping the student with an integrated view of the discipline and providing biological, archaeological, linguistic, and cultural emphases with attention to laboratory and on-site field methods. The goal of the anthropology student is thus to construct a broader, more inclusive, and insightful view of humans/humanity in context.
The Department of Anthropology at Drew University emphasizes the importance of fieldwork and laboratory expertise. Through the major program in anthropology, biological anthropology and in the archaeology minor, students will be expected to develop first-hand experience with the specific research methodologies of the sub-discipline (ethnographic fieldwork, excavation  and laboratory research).  Further, Drew University offers a wide array of off-campus study opportunities—many of which contain ethnographic or social science research content—and it is very much recommended that students attempt to include one of these experiences in their programs.

The Four ‘Fields’ of Anthropology as they are taught at Drew:

Social and Cultural Anthropology

Comparative studies of human societies and cultures based on ethnographic fieldwork among contemporary populations

Archaeology

Excavation of remains of past societies and reconstruction of their material culture and society

Biological Anthropology

(formerly physical anthropology): Study of human evolution, evolutionary genetics, primate (including human) behavioral ecology, forensic anthropology (use of skeletal material to aid legal, disaster, and human rights investigations), bioarchaeology (analysis of human remains found in archaeological contexts), and other aspects of human biology and disease.

Linguistics

Comparative study of languages (phonology, phonemics, grammar, lexicon) and understanding of the relationship between language families (historical linguistics)