Anthropology is the study of humans and their immediate ancestors. Anthropologists are interested in patterns of culture and behavior in order to understand human diversity in the present and past. While anthropology is considered a social science, anthropologists employ interdisciplinary work with scholars outside anthropology to understand the human condition. American anthropology consists of four subfields:
- Cultural Anthropology: the study of social patterns in any given culture in time. This helps us understand the differences between cultures and why people behave the way they do.
- Linguistic Anthropology: the study of language as a way for humans to communicate meaning. This can include the study of unspoken communication, in addition to written and spoken languages.
- Archaeology: the study of cultural studies through recovery, analysis, and interpretation of a culture's material remains. This can include people from ancient prehistory to recent cultures.
- Biological Anthropology: the study of humans as biological organisms, within an evolutionary framework, and the relationship between culture and biology. This includes the study of hominins and nonhuman primates.
All four subfields are required to understand the complex human condition. VSU's anthropology program has a four field emphasis and courses are available in all subfields.