Major Option: Anthropology of Globalization

Anthropology of Globalization is a new and exciting option in the Anthropology Major that explores several aspects of today’s interconnected world, including, economic exchanges, new media, human migration, and circulating knowledge. Unique to our program is a focus not only on contemporary multicultural and global exchanges, but also the deep history of such processes over the course of human evolution. Our emphasis is on how studies of social practice and historical knowledge can broaden understandings of contemporary global exchange. The track brings together several approaches. Sociocultural anthropology investigates how globalization looks from different areas of the world together with tracing particular global structures of power and mobility. This approach uses ethnographic data often collected through oral testimony and historical analysis. Archaeology puts today’s world in context by examining material traces of human life to explore the longer scale continuities and changes in power, movement, identity, and social interaction that are useful for understanding and tracing the development of modern global practices. The biocultural approach traces the global flow of people, genes and disease. The biological approach can uncover ancient pathways of human migration illuminate patterns of human diversity that influence traits such as disease risk. Taken together, sociocultural, archeological, and biocultural anthropology provide students a unique set of tools for studying multiculturalism, diversity, and global exhanges, and prepares students to effectively engage in an increasing interconnected world.

Students at the UW increasingly have their own stories of global interconnection. UW students come from countries around the world, and Seattle is now and has historically been an important stopping point in circuits of exchange across the Pacific Ocean and along the west coast of the Americas. The option in Anthropology of Globalization can allow students to understand their own experiences of globalization in the context of general processes of change and in terms of a broad view of the world.

The Anthropology of Globalization option will prepare students for a diverse range of career, including those in business, human rights and social justice, immigration rights, and non-governmental organization work, as well as for further study in anthropology, law, politics, economics, philosophy, and critical thought. In fact, a recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal described how anthropology is becoming increasingly valued and utilized in the business world. Courses in archaeology, sociocultural anthropology and biocultural anthropology will introduce students to the study of cross-border exchange of artifacts and objects, the circulation of knowledge, beliefs, and technologies, migration movements, transnational legislation, and genes, people and disease. By thinking through these questions against a background of historical and regional differences, students will enhance their understanding of emerging forms of circulation.

Anthropology of Globalization (AG) option requirements

In addition to completing the core courses for anthropology (BIO A 201ARCHY 205, and any 5 credit, 200-level ANTHcourse) and one statistics course (choosing from CS&SS/SOC/STAT 221STAT 220STAT 311, or Q SCI 381), AG students are asked to take the following courses to complete their 55 anthropology credits:

  1. 20 credits from the approved AG course list (below)

Approved Courses for Anthropology of Globalization (AG)