Social/Cultural Anthropology

Social/Cultural, or Sociocultural, Anthropology is the study of the cultures, societies, and social institutions that exist in the contemporary world. Social/cultural anthropologists explore the diversity of the world's cultures and social systems, both western and nonwestern. These studies include work with indigenous people and marginalized groups, but always in a framework that incorporates the global social, political, and economic interconnections. Social/cultural anthropologists use a variety of methods, famously including ethnographic field studies, where researchers live, talk with, and observe a group for an extended period, an approach that creates a long-term, local, and deep understandings of social-cultural systems. The theoretical frameworks used by Social/Cultural Anthropologists are perhaps as diverse as the people that they study, and include ecological, demographic, economic, and political, and symbolic approaches.

At the University of Montana - Missoula students have the opportunity to learn social/cultural Anthropology as part of their general education in Anthropology, or to specialize by pursuing the BA degree in Anthropology with an option in Cultural and Ethnic Diversity.


A student must complete all general requirements for the major, including:

  • 12 credits in core courses (ANTY 122Y, 310, 330X, and 423)
  • 6 credits in one of the following disciplines: anthropology, history or sociology, and
  • 6 upper division credits in one of the following allied disciplines: African American Studies, Central & Southwest Asian Studies, East Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, South & Southeast Asian Studies, or Women's & Gender Studies.