Anthropology (BA)

Anthropology (BA)

Anthropology (BA)

The major in Anthropology provides students with a strong foundation in Cultural Anthropology and the perspectives and expertise it offers: knowledge of regions, peoples, cultures, international/global issues; skills to research, analyze, communicate, work and use information in global, cross-cultural settings; and the values of respect and concern for other cultures and peoples. The major also provides students experience in applying that knowledge to social problems that affect their own communities.

Learning Outcomes. Students will:

  • Have a broad-based familiarity with the theories, positions, methodologies and topic areas that occupy the discipline of Anthropology.
  • Develop a sense of the major historical trends in Anthropology from its origins to the present, including the discipline’s distinctive concern with humankind in all its aspects, the culture concept, cultural relativism, and ethnocentrism among other foundational ideas, the historical role of anthropology in relation to the colonized world, and the application of anthropological knowledge to the solution of human problems in global, cross-cultural settings.
  • Understand and appreciate diversity in all its dynamic complexity, exploring the subject both at the level of the individual and of whole societies.
  • Present a considered written interpretation of a passage from a primary source anthropological text, laying out the main conclusion(s) and the argument(s) that the text advances, evaluating their significance in relation to other arguments and positions within anthropology, and presenting a critical analysis of the text.
  • Carry out a research project (fieldwork-based or library-based) that includes formulating and justifying a research question, collecting and analyzing data, and articulating conclusions.

Work in fields that require a nuanced perception of cultural difference; the ability to analyze, contextualize and interpret culture/cultural behaviors and beliefs; and the ability to integrate multiple threads of inquiry into a comprehensive whole.


Anthropology Major


General Education




Total Credits Required for B.A. Degree



Prerequisites. Depending on their mathematics placement, students may need to take MAT 105, and MAT 108 (or MAT 141) as a prerequisite for the required statistics course, STA 250.

Coordinator. Professor Johanna (Hanna) Lessinger, Department of Anthropology (212-237-8293,

Advising Information. Anthropology Advising Resources Page
Four Year Academic Plan

PART ONE. REQUIRED COURSES                                                                                  Subtotal: 21 credits 

ANT 101 Introduction to Anthropology 
ANT 208 Urban Anthropology 
ANT 212 Applied Anthropology 
ANT 220 Language and Culture 
ANT 305 Theory in Anthropology 
ANT 332 Class, Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Anthropological Perspective 
ANT 405 Senior Seminar in Anthropology

PART TWO. RESEARCH METHODS                                                                                Subtotal: 6 credits 

STA 250 Principles and Methods of Statistics 
ANT 325 Ethnographic Research Methods in Anthropology

PART THREE. MAJOR ELECTIVES                                                                                  Subtotal: 9 credits 

Select one of the following two concentrations, A) Global Cultural Forms and Social Inequalities; 
or B) Anthropology of Law, Power, and Politics. 

Concentration A: Global Cultural Forms and Social Inequalities (“Social Inequality”)

This concentration provides students the opportunity to explore deeply various dimensions of social inequality now manifest on a global scale and across shifting cultural landscapes. Globalization-a process that began centuries ago-has reached new, unprecedented heights in the 21st century bringing with it new ideas, new symbols, new institutions, new social problems, new forms of inequality, as well as new forms of response and resistance. Courses in this concentration provide insight and information on key patterns and processes of social stratification, difference and disparity and global responses to disparity. They examine the structural and institutional forces implicated in inequality, global, national and local policies and practices, gendered aspects of inequality and resistance, and shifting cultural beliefs, rituals, and practices.

Select three courses
ANT 210/PSY 210/SOC 210 Sex and Culture 
ANT 224/PHI 224/PSY 224/SOC 224 Death, Dying and Society: A Life Crises Management Issue
ANT 230 Culture and Crime 
ANT 310/PSY 310/SOC 310 Culture and Personality 
ANT 317 Anthropology and Development
ANT 319 Anthropology of Global Health
ANT 324 Anthropology of Work
ANT 347 Structural Violence and Social Suffering 
ANT 380 Special Topics in Anthropology 

Concentration B: Anthropology of Law, Power and Politics (“Law”)

This concentration is in keeping with John Jay College’s traditional area of focus on legal systems and the law. These areas are situated in broader contexts of power and politics, viewed from an anthropological, cross-cultural perspective.

This concentration is for students with a particular interest in legal systems and how these are constructed, structured, experienced, and rooted historically and culturally. Courses in this concentration provide insight and information on cross-cultural legal systems, the intersections of law, power and culture, the role of language in the construction and experience of legal systems, and structural and institutional forces implicated in social inequality.

Select three courses 
ANT 228/ENG 228 Introduction to Language 
ANT 230 Culture and Crime 
ANT 315 Systems of Law 
ANT 328/ENG 328 Forensic Linguistics: Language as Evidence in the Courts
ANT 330 American Cultural Pluralism and the Law 
ANT 347 Structural Violence and Social Suffering 
ANT 380 Special Topics in Anthropology 

                                                                                                                                                        Total Credit Hours: 36

                                                                                                                                                              Last Updated: 11/21/17