Anthropology is understanding cultural diversity in a globalised world

Our major in Anthropology introduces students to the cultural dynamics that surround us. It examines behaviour, relationships and meaning within and between different societies and cultures. Our units explore aspects of Indigenous self-determination, anticolonial frameworks, land rights, social politics, migration, material culture practices, ecology and the environment. We do so in a way that examines local experiences while addressing the ‘big questions’ that face human societies across the world. Our course also incorporates the study of key anthropological theories and the history of the discipline. Anthropology seeks to understand cultural differences and similarities and we welcome students to explore the world around us. 

Students are provided with a comprehensive overview of Anthropology’s research methodologies. These include real-world experiences at the undergraduate level including critical thinking, ethnographic writing, participant observation, record-keeping, oral and multi-media interviewing, and material culture and archival research. An emphasis is placed on active learning and assessment which allows students to develop the key skills needed to undertake anthropological projects

Anthropology provides students with valuable skills for living and working across Australia by exposing them to different systems of beliefs, values and practices. At a personal level, it offers a perspective on challenges in your everyday life and encourages you to question your taken-for-granted beliefs. The ultimate goal for anthropology and anthropologists is to be the cross-cultural bridge that helps make the world a better place.  

As a discipline, anthropology is uniquely positioned to interpret the widest possible range of social phenomenon – from culturally conditioned responses to disasters such as COVID-19 to online communities and new social movements, consumption and materiality, and Indigenous cultural expression and cultural rights. Anthropology studies all of these things both in Australia and on a global scale.

For more information, please contact the lead for the Discipline of Anthropology, Nimi’ipuu scholar Dr Gretchen Stolte.

Our courses

The Ethnography Lab of Western Australia

The Ethnography Lab of Western Australia is housed in the School of Social Sciences.

For over a century, ethnography has been foundational for anthropology. While it once revolved primarily around writing, today ethnography includes art, photography, film, comic books and theatrical performance. 

For anthropologists working in the heritage sector, ethnography also requires knowledge of GIS, aerial mapping (via drones), and other technical and digital competencies.

The Lab is using digital technologies to support co-designed, multi-modal, ethnographic research. Its projects are looking at: the digitisation and activation of culturally sensitive archives; digital storytelling and truth-telling, and the use of digital technologies within traditional fieldwork settings.

The Lab’s facilities are open to students taking ANTH3001: Ethnography, to Honours and PhD students, and anyone else exploring the frontiers of ethnography.

Find out more

Contact the School of Social Sciences

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School Operations, ARTS:G.41

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Weekdays 8.00am—4.00pm