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Online Anthropology Degree Courses: A Student's Guide

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 12/14/2010

If you are interested in learning more about humanity, taking online anthropology degree courses will help you accomplish this. To learn more about the different anthropology courses available, read on.

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    Anthropology is best defined as the study of humanity. Anthropologists study past and present humans. This discipline also draws from a variety of other disciplines to fully understand and study the complexities of humanity. When taking online anthropology degree courses students will also study these disciplines, and they include the biological sciences, the social sciences, the physical sciences, and humanities. In the United States, anthropologists are also most often trained in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, physical/biological anthropology, or linguistics in addition to general anthropological courses.

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    Human Origins

    This online anthropology degree course is an introductory course to prehistory and human biological evolution. Topics that are discussed include the nature of modern science, the mechanics of evolution, primate adaption, history of evolutionary thought, and the human fossil record, human variation and adaption.

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    Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

    This course, with attention to the anthropological method and theory, studies the social processes and cultures throughout today's world. Topics that are discussed include the expressive arts, kinship, political organization, exchange systems, and religion.

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    Introduction to Archaeology

    This class introduces basic methods and theories used to study past and present material culture by anthropological archaeologists. Students will study field archaeology's history and evolution through contemporary excavation methods.

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    World Music

    online anthropology degree courses music Also, referred to as ethnomusicology, students will study music from Latin America, India, Native North America, Africa, and Indonesia. Students will also study the instruments used in the creation of the music.

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    Anthropology of Food

    This course studies the cross-cultural and historical perspective of human eating. These include aspects of food choice, systems of subsistence, horticulure, hunting and gathering, and pastoralism.

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    Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

    This course examines the evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives of sex and gender while emphasizing these of the developing world. Some topics include notions of masculinity, notions of sexuality, the ritual context of gender rolls, how sociocultural change impacts gender issues, notions of femininity, sexual division of economic and labor organizations, and men and women in prehistory.

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    Communication, Language, and Culture

    This course will examine the relationship between society, language, and thought. Some topics include multilingualism, gendered differences in the styles of communication, human language's evolutionary origins, and nonverbal behavior.

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    Other Possible Courses

    online anthropology degree courses Other courses may also be required depending on the degree level. These include Self and Society in Japan, Cultures and Peoples of East Africa, Anthropology of Theatre, Issues in Anthropology and Ethnography, African Expressive Arts, Co-Evolution of Culture and Biology, Race, Racism, and Anthropology, and Healing, Birthing, and Dying.

    Students may also need to complete an internship, anthropology seminar, or independent study program in their area of special interest.

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    Online anthropology degree courses can be applied to a degree taken to learn more about humanity or for personal enrichment. These courses can also be taken when conducting research on a specific topic.

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    • American Anthropological Association. (2010). What is Anthropology? Retrieved on March 5, 2010 from the American Anthropological Association:
    • Illinois Wesleyan University. (2010). Anthropology Curriculum. Retrieved on March 5, 2010 from Illinois Wesleyan University:
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    Image Credits

    • Music: nitishdddd –
    • African Mask: juliaf –