Study Social Anthropology to deepen your understanding the roots of global challenges and human suffering – and to make a difference to today’s complex world. Our programme provides excellent preparation for a wide range of careers such as non-governmental organisations aimed at humanitarian issues and state initiatives providing aid in response to conflict or planetary emergency.
Reasons to study Social Anthropology at Kent
What you’ll learn
You’ll explore how to study humanitarian or environmental crises from an anthropological point of view using a variety of ethnographic research methods, such as interviewing, participant observation, and localised surveys.
Assess key challenges emerging from humanitarian initiatives that respond to the global climate emergency; environmental movements in national contexts; migration, diaspora and refugee crises; racism, xenophobia and national politics; war and conflict; new forms of economic oppression; and the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for vulnerable communities.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies with special reference to humanitarianism, social movements, environmental disputes, climate protest, and the politics of nationalism and ethnicity
- several ethnographic regions of the world, in particular Europe, the Middle-East, South America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia
- anthropological theory as applied to contemporary concerns;
- the application of anthropology to understanding issues of development, social and economic change, and violence and conflict throughout the world
- the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life
You develop intellectual skills in:
- criticism and analysis
- data retrieval, reviewing and summarising information
- presentation of research results
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- understanding of people’s relation to environmental and humanitarian crises
- understanding major national and international events, namely in terms of aid provision, humanitarian intervention, and ethical concerns
- interpreting narratives and performances by locating them within appropriate cultural and historical contexts
- high-level competence in using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
- the ability to devise questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
- an openness to make rational sense of perplexing cultural and social phenomena.
- ethnographic research and analysis
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to make a structured argument, analyse and reference scholarly data
- the ability to mine data bases, carry out interviews, and mobilise participant observation
- the use of information technology including computers and library research for qualitative research
- handling audio-visual equipment
- research writing and presentation skills
- the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility
- independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
- enhanced understanding of how humanitarian intervention is shaped by political, social and cultural contexts;
- in-depth understanding of environmental politics and protest, including the climate emergency;
- advanced-level knowledge of the central theoretical and methodological issues in social anthropology today;
- advanced-level knowledge of different approaches to social science research in a multidisciplinary perspective, with special reference in qualitative, intensive research;
- intensive training for students preparing MPhil/PhD theses, or for employment involving the use of social science research; research design and strategy, including translating questions into practicable research designs and retrieving information in multidisciplinary and cross-national contexts.