Encountering Anthropology

An Exploratory Study of Degree Choice

in Anthropology in Action
Author:
David Bennett Open University dbennett@hauxtoncambs.plus.com

Search for other papers by David Bennett in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Social anthropology in the U.K. is largely absent from the pre-university curriculum, contributing to the discipline's marginal status within higher education. My paper reports a small-scale empirical study of the transition to undergraduate anthropology as a socializing process that begins with the choice of discipline, continues as a learning experience and enables students to acquire elements of the discipline's 'culture'. The study identified 'chance' factors, serendipity and opportunism as important influences on choice of degree. These factors reflected the availability to applicants of cultural and economic capital. Students demonstrated varying degrees of socialization in identifying with anthropology's epistemological and social norms and values. My findings justify current attempts to increase the visibility of anthropology among pre-university students. They also support teaching initiatives that promote deep learning at undergraduate level. Both developments are necessary to sustain anthropology as a university discipline.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Anthropology in Action

Journal for Applied Anthropology in Policy and Practice

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 190 111 2
Full Text Views 88 2 0
PDF Downloads 172 0 0