Anthropology Program has two primary objectives:
1) To raise the awareness of Kansas State University students concerning cultural diversity, the common humanity we share, and the significance of this knowledge to their lives. We believe that understanding cultural diversity is an essential survival tool for the twenty-first century. Since anthropologists are the leading source of information on different peoples around the world, our courses are designed to introduce students to the concept of cultural diversity and many related issues. The large introductory courses in particular present a concise overview of anthropology and its major scientific insights into the nature of human beings, past and present.
2) To develop an understanding in undergraduate anthropology majors of
the impact of culture on behavior, thought, biology, and the evolutionary
aspect of humans. Anthropology provides an excellent knowledge and skills
base for students seeking employment with a bachelor's degree in a wide
variety of employment settings. Cultural resource management firms, public
health, public administration, marketing, museums and zoos, the military,
and social services are some of the many areas that have drawn on the
training and experience of anthropology majors. A strong anthropological
background offers excellent preparation for those entering graduate studies
in anthropology and related fields, and in pursuing other professional
training, especially medicine and law.
The Anthropology Program within the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Kansas State University will focus on the first two (of eight) Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for the Anthropology Major (BA or BS). These are 'Anthropological Approach' and 'Cultural Diversity' and were chosen to be the focus of assessment over the next three years because the concepts covered by them are central to anthropology as a distinct field of inquiry and provide students with an understanding and respect for cultural diversity, a key aspect of anthropology and the focus of one of K-State's SLOs.
These two SLOs and their major components are described below:
1. Anthropological Approach: Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of the holistic four-field nature of anthropology and the concepts and integration of culture and biology as used by contemporary anthropologists. This specifically includes:
The development of anthropology as a distinct field of inquiry and the
relationship between anthropology and other academic disciplines. Specifically,
students should be able to describe the development of anthropology as
a profession in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, explain
why anthropology can be considered both a science and a humanity, and
describe its relationship to other fields.
The four-field nature of anthropology and the relation of its subdisciplines
to one another.
The importance of ethics in anthropology. Specifically, students should be able to discuss the fundamental obligation of anthropologists to members of the societies they study, as well as to their research sponsors and the profession.
2. Cultural Diversity: Students participating in anthropology courses will gain an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity enhanced by a holistic perspective on culture as integrated, dynamic, and embedded in broader processes of intercultural connection and globalization. This measure is particularly important in addressing part one of our mission statement in which we state our commitment to raising awareness of cultural diversity among students of all majors in the University.
Specifically, students should be able to identify ways in which different aspects of culture - economic, social, political, and religious practices and institutions - relate to one another in a cultural system (holism), draw comparisons between different cultures, past and present, recognizing that such comparisons require a holistic understanding of each of the cultures involved in the comparison, and describe the processes of globalization and the ways they shape and are shaped by different aspects of culture in human communities throughout the world.
In accomplishing the above, students should be able to identify their own cultural biases as well as those of others, and be able to explain why these biases exist, set aside these biases in their own cultural analyses, and evaluate the cultural analyses of others (in ethnographies, films, news media reports, etc.) by recognizing what cultural biases are expressed.
These student learning outcomes relate to Kansas State SLO's in the following way: