Focus in Sociocultural Anthropology


Wind turbines in field against blue sky


What is Sociocultural Anthropology?

At the core of sociocultural anthropology is the question of how we humans organize our lives together, and why we do so in such vastly different ways. Studying society means studying social relations: relations between kin and neighbours, between genders and generations, between ethnic groups and nations, between rich and poor, between people and the natural environment, between people and technologies, and between people and their gods. These relations are both material and meaningful. When we study culture, we attempt to grasp the meaningful, symbolic and communicative dimensions of social life – the ways in which we come to understand the world around us.

Careers for Anthropology Arts (HBA)

Careers for Anthropology Arts (HBA) graduates can be found in the private sector, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and government, in a wide range of areas including:

  • Advertising
  • Business
  • Consulting
  • Diplomacy
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Health Care
  • Human Rights
  • Immigration
  • International Development
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Market Research
  • Political Activism
  • Policy Analysis
  • Politics
  • Public & Global Health
  • Public Policy
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing
  • Social Policy
  • Social Services
  • Social Work

To find out what some of our Sociocultural Anthropology (HBA) graduates are doing today, visit HBA Alumni Profiles.

"Anthropology was crucial in honing my analytical skills for law school, specifically socio-cultural anthropology." - Revathi Moturi: Studying for J.D degree at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law

Undergraduate programs

UTM undergraduate students who focus in sociocultural anthropology normally enrol in one of the following programs:

  • Specialist Program in Anthropology (Arts) ERSPE1775 
  • Major Program in Anthropology (Arts) ERMAJ1775

Learn about Anthropology programs at UTM

Undergraduate courses

Most of our recommended upper-level courses for a focus in sociocultural anthropology are anthropology social science (SSc) credits.

Spotlight on ANT363H5: Magic and Science

What’s the difference between magic and science? Is there one? By probing one of sociocultural anthropology’s oldest set of concerns – magic, science and religion – this course asks what we can know about the world, and how we can know it. Through documentary films and close readings of key anthropological texts, students consider what – if anything – distinguishes magic and science, belief and knowledge, subjectivity and objectivity, irrationality and rationality.

Topics covered in ANT363H5 may include:

  • African magic, witchcraft and sorcery
  • Climate change science
  • Evangelicalism
  • Protein crystallography
  • Neo-paganism
  • Conspiracy and evolutionary theory
  • Extra-terrestrials

Teaching and Research Specialties

Sociocultural Anthropology faculty at UTM specialize in a broad range of subjects and geographic areas. We have expertise in social and anthropological theory, political and legal anthropology, anthropology of religion, medical and environmental humanities, disability studies, queer theory, media studies, science and technologies studies and ethnographic research methods. We research and teach on topics such as:

  • war, toxicity and the body
  • populism, violence and sovereignty
  • science and government
  • citizenship, literacy and social movements
  • media, the state and politics
  • religion, magic, witchcraft and science
  • borders and transnational flows
  • legal evidence and evidentiary regimes
  • environment and infrastructure

Our sociocultural faculty do fieldwork and have regional expertise in the Middle East, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and North America.

Virtual Showcase Information Sessions

A brief overview of Sociocultural / Legal / Political Anthropology at UTM presented by Dr. Steven Dorland (2:01)