Cultural Diversity and Globalization
Courses in anthropology provide students with the unique opportunity both to learn about the diversity of human values and achievements, and to see how their own values and achievements might look through the eyes of others. Many of the courses in the department have a 'hands-on' research component. They provide students with an opportunity to acquire skills in interviewing techniques, in conducting team research, in data analysis and in presenting one's findings to an audience. Together with the knowledge gained about the range of diversity and commonalty in human cultures, these research skills provide students with what they need to cope with the economic, political and social issues of the contemporary world.
An inescapable feature of the modern world is the growing 'globalization' of the economies and cultures of the world through increasing flows of migration, tele-communications and international trade. Anthropologists are in the forefront of studying the effects of this encounter of cultures and technologies drawn from all parts of the world. Anthropology has a long tradition of attaching equal value to all forms of human culture and society.
America itself is an amalgam of people and cultures from every continent. It is also increasingly tightly integrated into the global economy. Its future prosperity rests on the ability of its people to understand those of other nations and its own diversity. Members of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Rochester have conducted field research in Latin America, Asia, Oceania and the Middle East, in both rural and urban settings. They have gone on to apply the insights gained from these comparative studies to American culture and society in areas such as health care, gender and religion, sexuality, national culture, and the rise of xenophobic 'patriot' groups.
The Department of Anthropology offers a series of courses especially for beginning students. These courses include:
- 101. Cultural Anthropology
- 102. Introduction to Medical Anthropology
- 103. Women in Society
- 104. Contemporary Issues and Anthropology
These courses are taught in small classes, emphasizing discussion and student participation. The department's aim throughout is to enable students to work closely with others from different backgrounds and thus to confront cultural diversity as it appears both in the United States and internationally.