Why study anthropology at Essex?
The study of social anthropology and sociology both started nearly 200 years
ago. They have common roots and the central questions they share are very much
- What holds societies together?
- Do people pull together because they have to or because they want to?
- How do societies change or adapt?
- Why do people organise themselves socially in such different ways?
- Why do some societies flourish and others break down?
- What is at the root of the social experience we call religion?
- Why do people distinguish and discriminate on the basis of different
kinds of bodies and why?
Although the questions sociologists and anthropologists ask are often the
same, the way they go about answering them are often different.
Anthropologists tend to look at small numbers of people for an extended
period of time, and have a deep knowledge of particular communities;
sociologists are adept at designing surveys, observing organisations, evaluating
data and handling basic statistics.
Sociologists have a long history of drawing on anthropological methods and
many scholars at Essex have pioneered ethnographic methods in sociology. As a
combined approach you will be able to analyse social issues from a very broad prospective and learn a wide range of research skills.