How does a course in anthropology help one to better understand the world? How will this be useful in the future?

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anthropology (from the Greek "Anthros", "human," and "ology", "the study of") is the broad study of people throughout all times and all cultures.  It differs from Archaeology, which studies the artifacts that have been left behind by a culture; however, critical in in the study of Anthropology is the emphasis of human behavior which may be expressed by those cultural creations.  In fact, Archaeology may be considered a specific study of Anthropology, along with Physical, Cultural, and Linguistic Anthropology.

Because of its broad scope, Anthropology seeks to understand all aspects of human existence.  By specifically focusing on a given culture at a given time, an in-depth understanding of that culture within its time can be ascertained.  By comparing various cultures over various times, a richer comprehension of what it means to be human can be understood. 

Given that Anthropology attempts to comprehend human culture past and present, comparing what we know currently about ourselves will help individuals to make informed choices about what human culture should be in the future. 

For example, knowing how tribal warfare was conducted and resolved in times past can give us a reference on how to best handle warfare in out own time, in the hope that it will be prevented in the future.