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Anthropology is the study of people and cultures.
Physical anthropology has a focus on humans as physical beings and tries to reconstruct the evolutionary paths that were followed by our ancestors.
Social and cultural anthropology studies living people in contemporary societies and changing cultures, and is the principal form of anthropology taught and researched at Deakin. Both forms, physical and social, address the fundamental question of what it means to be human in the sense of - Where did we come from? What are we now? What might we become?
The knowledge that we use (called ethnography) is produced by social and cultural anthropologists who do fieldwork in all sorts of places – ranging from the great industrial cities of the world to the most remote villages of the rainforests and the nomadic communities of the deserts. We try to study all the people of the world, in all their variety and in the cultural and environmental contexts in which they live.
Our method of fieldwork is often described as participant observation and usually involves spending a considerable amount of time living and working with the people whom we study. A particular focus of anthropology at Deakin is imparting an understanding of the importance of fieldwork to our students, both undergraduate and higher degree by research, and we hope that they will gain an enthusiasm for the methods and the knowledge that are central to the discipline of social anthropology.
Staff are active in research fields such as:
The Anthropology major is available at the Geelong (Waurn Ponds) campus and in off-campus mode.
Students who perform well in their undergraduate degree are encouraged to enrol in the Bachelor of Arts (Honours). This course is a prerequisite for enrolment for Higher Degree by Research courses.
Staff members are: