Social Anthropology – Field of study catalogue MU
“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human difference.” Ruth Benedict
The study field of Social Anthropology is a scientific discipline exploring the change of cultural systems and social processes, through which human societies relate to and attribute meanings to this world. The aim of this bachelor program is to offer students an overview of the basic theoretical concepts and methodological specifics of the discipline. The point of departure assumes that anthropology is a new subject to all students who embark upon the study program.
Current trends of social anthropology are reflected in all parts of the major, especially though the selection of up-to-date current literature, which enriches all accompanying scientific debate. Required subjects thus take the form of critical analysis of all key areas of human life, such as kinship, religion, and political and economic relations. The second portion of required classes subjects includes anthropological theory and method. It is the anchor of this discipline in the current flood of social science waters.
This major prepares its students for professional work in qualitative research of local cultural systems and social processes, mainly in local manifestations of the adaptation to wider social and cultural changes. More than one half of all students continue to study the second field of their interest or they become part of the working world. That is why we consider the ability to create a research proposal rather than the completion of the research itself to be the key ability of all alumni in this Bachelor's program. As such, they are able to critically assess current social issues, they are able to identify a research question worth solving, and they finally can prepare a comprehensive and feasible research proposal, which is achievable, useful and affordable. For this reason, we concentrate on aligning qualitative research methodology with social theory and its possible practical applicability.
After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:
- apply the theoretical knowledge of social anthropology to practice;
- interpret current social and cultural processes;
- correctly use the terminology of social anthropology;
- understand the basic theoretical background of social anthropology;
- prepare and implement a research project in the field of social anthropology according to methodological rules;
- apply theoretical knowledge to phenomena and events of daily life.
Besides the possibility to continue with individual studies at the Master's or doctoral level and become an academic, our alumni most frequently obtain professional posts at various national and international NGOs (Člověk v tísni, IQ Roma servis, Adra, Podané ruce, Amnesty International, UNICEF), in the state sector (as officials in education, social affairs, and ministries dealing with national minorities), in teaching, in the private sector, in research and marketing, and/or in politics.
The standard duration of the degree program is six semesters. Social Anthropology can only be studied along with a second major field of interest. For admittance to the Final State Examination, students must obtain a total of 180 ECTS credits for required, elective, and optional courses in both fields of study, meaning 90 ETCS credits for each study field. Required courses constitute the basis of the discipline and make up 72 credits (including credits for courses focused on writing a Bachelor's thesis, sports, and language preparation). Out of the elective courses, which make up 18 credits in total, students choose according to their interests and intended professional specialization. All students have are required to complete at least one course taught in English from the ones on offer at the department for the given level of studies.
During the course of their studies students should follow the "Study catalogue" for their year of matriculation. They can access the "Study catalogues" through the faculty website.
The Final State Examination in Social Anthropology consists of an oral defense of the Bachelor's thesis, with a length of 72,000-90,000 characters (should the student choose Social Anthropology as his/her field of specialization) and a written exam, consisting of three separate parts:
A) Theory of Social Anthropology
B) Applied Social Anthropology
C) Research Methods
"Theory of Social Anthropology" tests students' knowledge from the required courses of "Current Social and Cultural Theories" and "Introduction to Social Anthropology." The candidate chooses to answer two out of four questions in a form of a short critical essay. The duration of this exam is 60 minutes.
"Applied Social Anthropology" tests knowledge from the required courses of "Critical Interpretation of Religion," "Political and Economic Anthropology," and "Social Anthropology of Family, Kinship and Social Ties." The candidate chooses to answer three out of six questions in a form of a short critical essay. The duration of this exam is 90 minutes.
Finally, "Research Methods" are tested in a form of a research proposal. The candidate is given four regular texts, dealing with various social current issues (newspaper/magazine clippings, blog posts, etc). Out of the four s/he chooses one, which s/he uses as a basis for a research proposal. During this exam, synthesis of knowledge from all required courses, including the "Introduction to Ethnography" and "Field Research" is tested. The final product of this exam should be a comprehensive research proposal, which lasts for 150 minutes.
If the candidate chooses his or her second study field as the diploma specialization, no defense of Bachelor thesis in Social Anthropology is necessary. Each part of the state exam is examined separately; each part must be passed with a minimum of 60 points out of 100 total.
The department may review or update the required literature prior to the beginning of the semester in which the candidate intends to complete the state exam. This information is available online through the university information system.
After completion of the Bachelor's program, it is possible to continue further studies in any Master's degree program (after satisfying the admission requirements). At the Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Sociology, students may apply for admission to a follow-up Master's degree in Sociology with a focus in Social Anthropology.
Since 2011, they have also regularly organized an Anthropological Student Conference every spring semester, where the lecturers as well as students of Social Anthropology from Czech Republic and Slovakia can meet and share and discuss their research findings.