Sociocultural anthropology explores the diversity of human societies and cultures, particularly peoples of the recent past and the present. Social anthropology includes topics dealing with social, political and economic anthropology, such as how families or villages are organized, while cultural anthropology focusses on the understandings, beliefs and practices of different groups of people.
Culture affects how we give meaning to things in our lives, and shapes our ways of life. Studies of gender, art or religion within and between societies are some of the kinds of things that cultural anthropologists may study. Sociocultural anthropology also includes the study of how different societies live in their environments, or ecological anthropology. Although we can analytically separate social organization from beliefs and practices, in reality most anthropological studies of modern peoples use both perspectives. In Britain, this area of study is usually called social anthropology, and in the United States cultural anthropology. We offer a diverse array of courses in sociocultural anthropology at Athabasca University, which are listed below.
Updated January 27 2014 by Student & Academic Services