Anthropology

Programmes Offered

  • B.A. / B.A. (Hons) in Anthropology
  • M.A. and M.Res. in Anthropology

Curriculum

B.A. in Anthropology

B.A-Anthropology

B.A. (Honours) in Anthropology

Students who passed second year with GPA ≥4 are eligible to attend B.A. (Honours) classes for three more years. After finished successfully, they are earned B.A. (Hons) degree majoring in Anthropology.

B.A(Hons)-Anthropology

M.A. in Anthropology

M.A-Anthropology

Course Descriptions

This purpose of this module is to enable students to introduce general information of Anthropology. Anthropology is the “science of humanity.” It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. Anthropology is the study of man and his way of life. Actually, anthropology consists of scientific study of man and his cultural activities. Anthropology is interested in discovering when, where and why humans appeared on the earth, how and why they have changed since then, and how and why modern human populations vary in certain physical features.
Cultural anthropology involves the study of people living in present-day societies and their cultures. Cultural anthropologists study such topics as how people make their living, how people interact with each other, what belief people hold, and what institutions organize people in a society. Cultural anthropologists often live for months or years with the people they study. This is called fieldwork.
Anthropology defines itself as a discipline of infinite curiosity about human beings. But a definition of anthropology as the study of human beings is not complete, for according to such a definition anthropology would appear to incorporate a whole catalog of disciplines: sociology, psychology, political science, economics, history, human biology, and perhaps even the humanistic disciplines of philosophy and literature.
This course introduces students to basic terms of Anthropology such as example character, society, custom, personality.
Physical anthropology is the branch of anthropology concerned with humans as a biological species. The module explains the classification of man, class, order, super family, species, the development of evolutionary theory, pre-darwinian thought, natural selection, mendelian genetics and so on.
In physical anthropology, Primate and Human Palaeontology play a vital role. In Myanmar, Pondaungia and Mogaunggensis are supposed to be the first human history in the world. So, the subject could lead to the discovery of first fossil in Myanmar through co-operation of foreign institutions and Universities.
Myanmar had its long history and there were many ancient historic sites such as Beikthano, Sriksetra, Bagan, Ava, Tagaung and Halin. Archaeological excavations have been carried out so as to shed light on the cultural, religious and social contexts of Myanmar prehistory and protohistory. Now, Beikthano and Pyu Cities are hoped to be included in World Heritage Zone.
This module covers the application of the method and theory of anthropology to provision of data, initiation of direct action, and/or the formulation of policy. The scope and aims of applied anthropology, the ethics and responsibilities of the applied anthropologists are focused.
The subject matter of physical or biological anthropology is human biological diversity in time and space. Physical anthropology into two main fields: the study of man as a product of evolutionary process, and the study of analysis of human populations will be learnt in this module.
Paleontology is the science of previous life forms as represented by fossil animals and plants. Paleontology can and does provide the opportunity for examining the actual remains of those intermediate stages which presumably must have occurred in the evolutionary transformation of one type or another.
Archaeology is the study of not only the ancient cultural but also the past phases of modern civilization. It helps to reconstruct man’s culture of the past and to trace their growth and development in time. Man’s culture can be studied from their remains which lie buried in the ground. The past is important to understand present cultures.
Applied anthropology is the practical side of anthropological research; it includes researcher’s involvement within community to solve problems of economy, social activities, education, health etc. It aims to help in community development.
This module deals with anthropological approach to social organization of societies all over the world. Social organization is the organization of a society into sub-groups, including, a particular, those based on differences in age, sex, kinship, occupation, residence, property, privilege, authority and status. Social organization is a word which is often used interchangeably with social structure. That is having the meaning of the network of social relation. Anthropologists usually speak of any ethnic group as having a social organization as one aspect of its culture.
All societies have possessed beliefs that can be grouped under the term religion. These beliefs vary from culture to culture and from year to year. Yet, whatever the variety of beliefs in things supernatural, we shall define religion as any set of attitudes, beliefs, and practices pertaining to supernatural power, whether that power be forces, gods, spirits, ghosts, or demons.
The purpose of this module is to enable students to introduce definition of culture and personality. Culture means advanced development of the body, mind and spirit by training and experience. Personality is a group of native and acquired traits pertaining to every human begin.
Genetic variation in humans, as well as in other species, is the result of one or more of the following processes: mutation and natural selection, genetic drift, and gene flow. Biological variation in human populations results from both genetic and environment variation. Human biological variation can be both external of internal.
One of the most important functions of religion is to give meaning to and explain those aspects of the physical and social environment that are important in the lives of individuals and societies. Religion is a cultural universal. But religions exist in particular societies, and cultural differences show up systematically in religious beliefs and practices.
Personality has been called the subjective aspect of culture. In the course of his social development, the individual comes in contact with many different groups. Personality is a group of native and acquired traits pertaining to every human being.
The most noticeable biological variations among populations are those that are on the surface – skin color, body build, stature, and facial features. Certain of these variations may be explainable as adaptations of differing physical or social environments or as consequences of other physical or cultural changes.
Ethnography is the art and science of describing a group or culture. The description may be of a small tribal group in an exotic land or a classroom in middle class sub urban. The task is much like the one taken on by an investigative reports, who interviews, relevant people, reviews records, weighs the credibility of one person’s opinions against another’s looks for lies to special interests and organizations.
A major step in the process of modernization has been urbanization, or the raise in proportion of the population concentrated in cities and suburbs. The large numbers of people migrating to cities usually have varying occupations and backgrounds. Thus, the major characteristics of urbanization include (1) density of population, and either (2) the size of the population in a geographic area, or (3) varieties of statuses.
Anthropology is concerned with understanding the “other”. Typically anthropologists study the behavior, beliefs and lifestyles of people in other cultures. What unites this diverse work is a common ground in some fundamental theoretical ideas concerning biological evolution and social behavior.
This course is to be able to support good ability to do research. It includes Anthropological research methods with practical field work and report writing.
Political anthropology addresses the area of human behavior and thought related to public power-who has it and who does not, degrees of power, bases of power, abuses of power, relationships between political and religious power, political organization and government, social conflict and social control, and morality and law. Another aspect of political anthropology is the focus on how political succession occurs within different societies-in other words, which inherits or is appointed or elected to political offices or roles within a society.
Ethnology is the subfield of Anthropology that examines various contemporary societies throughout the world. Ethnology is the science of peoples, their culture and life history as groups. It seeks interrelationships between peoples and their environments, between human being as organism and their cultures, between different cultures and between the differing aspects of culture. In other word, ethnology is the comparative and historical study of cultures or peoples.
“Theory” in anthropology stands for different things in different anthropological circles. By invoking broad, often unstated, definitions such as “general orientation”, “guiding principle”, and “intellectual framework”, anthropologists have been able to discuss theory with-out always having to articulate just what it means to themselves or to others. This course includes about anthropological theories and theorists in detail.
Research is the scientific process of investigation and or experimentation that involves the systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data to answer a certain question or solve a problem. This course includes analyzing data, taxonomies of data, how to write the general procedure of research report, how to present the research paper and so on.
Ethnologists are concerned with all aspects of culture in the contemporary world and attempt to present a perspective from which to understand modern society. They stress the observation and collection of actual data. In comparing the social organization of variant societies, ethnologists emphasize the interrelationship between the individual and the family, clan, tribe, and other groups (for example, social, political, religious) that may exist within a society. In making comparisons, ethnologists must differentiate between responses peculiar to the society and those that are general to humankind. This differentiation clarifies the role of learned behavior in the development of distinctive cultures. Some studies analyze relationships between social phenomena and ecological adaptations.
Sociology is a social science that studies society and the individual in perspective of society. The origins of Sociology lie in the 19th century but during the 1960-70s, it became a major social science subject, taught in universities and colleges, and schools. The scope of sociology has only become more scientific with time.
Political anthropology is the study of the structure of political systems as the basic structure of a society. Political anthropologists define political organization as the groups within a culture that are responsible for public decision making and leadership, maintaining social cohesion and order, protecting group rights, and ensuring safety from external threats.
Ethnology is the comparative and analytical study of cultures. Anthropologists aim to describe and interpret aspects of the culture of various social groups–e.g., the hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari, rice villages of the Chinese Canton Delta, or a community of physicists at Livermore Laboratory. Topics of particular interest include religious beliefs, linguistic practices, kinship arrangements, marriage patterns, farming technology, dietary practices, gender relations, and power relations.
This course can be able to give economic knowledge by anthropological point of view on band, tribe, chiefdoms, states, and globalization. It describes the mode of livelihood all over the world which includes food-gathering economy, agriculture, pastoralism, cooperation work, industrialization, globalization, and world system etc.
In many respects ethnography is the most basic form of social research. Not only does it have a very long history, it also bears a close resemblance to the routine ways in which people make sense of the world in everyday life.
This course includes the anthropological theories of materialism and ideology regarding cultural anthropology, structural anthropology, social anthropology, cognitive anthropology, cultural materialism, symbolic and interpretive anthropology, feminism anthropology.
Sociology study human social life, groups and societies. It is a dazzling and compelling enterprise, having as its subject matter our own behavior as social beings. Sociology is ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals in the street up to the investigation of world-wide social processes.
In the early days of political and legal anthropology, researchers examined political organization and social control in the four categories of bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and states. Political and legal anthropologists are now more interested in global-local political and legal connections and change.
Economics may be briefly described as the study of that broad aspect of human activity. The discipline of economics is sometimes defined as the study of economizing. Economizing in turn is defined as the allocation of scare resources among alternative ends. As resources clearly include the most fundamental of all resources, human energy and ends are often defined as anything that satisfies a human ‘want’- that is, anything human being desire or need- economics could be extended to include virtually all social science.
Ethnography is the art and science of describing a group or culture. The description may be of a small tribal group in an exotic land or a classroom in middle class sub urban. The task is much like the one taken on by an investigative report, who interviews, relevant people, reviews records, weighs the credibility of one person’s opinions against another’s looks for lies to special interests and organizations.
Tourism is essentially a commercial activity. The relations between tourism, society and culture are characteristically complex. Anthropologists have known for more than a half century many of the things likely to eventuate when different cultures come into contact and this knowledge can readily apply to contact between tourists and indigenous, or “host”, societies.
Medical Anthropology is the cross-cultural, bio-cultural study of health problems and conditions, disease, illness, disease theories, and health care systems. Medical anthropology includes biological and cultural anthropologists and has theoretical (academic) and applied dimensions.
Stone Ages of Asia, Europe and Africa are the study of the history of mankind into the ages of Stone, Bronze and iron. The initial stage is subdivided into three periods, the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic or the old, middle and new Stone Age.
Rural anthropology is the field of anthropology associated with the study of social life in rural areas. It is an active field in much of the world and in the U.S.A originated in the 1910s. Much of the field is dedicated to the economics of farm production. This course is about rural study by anthropological point of view which includes Significance and Social Anthropology of Rural Sociology, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Rural–Urban Dichotomy, Rural poverty in the Philippines, Rural life in China, Rural life in Thailand, Rural Sociology in India, and Rural anthropology in Bamar and other ethnic groups.
Although the human condition may differ across the social sciences, there are no methods belong to anthropology or sociology or psychology. From the earliest days of the discipline, right up to the present, anthropologists have been prodigious inventors, consumers, and adapters of research methods. Anthropologists developed some of the widely used methods for finding patterns in text, for studying how people use their time, and for learning how people make decisions. Those methods are up for grabs by everyone.
Ecology is the study of living organisms in relationship to their environment broadly to conclude both the physical characteristics and the form of life found in a particular religion. Cultural ecology is the systematic study of the relationships between the environmental niche and culture. Anthropologists recognize that all humans can adjust in extremely creative ways to different environments.
Tourists satisfy their personal need by consuming enjoyable experiences. Tourism activities can be invasive, especially when the perception exists that they have been imposed on the host community. Ethnic tourism is drawn to those groups that are most clearly bounded and culturally different.
Medical anthropology draws on the technique and findings of medical science, and its various subfields, including microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, parasitology, pathology, nutrition and epidemiology.
Man’s earliest essays in culture are best traced through his artifacts of flint or other kinds of stone. These were not only the most effective tools available to primitive man, controlling what he was able to achieve in shaping materials like bone or wood, but, being abundant and almost imperishable, they provide the only continuous series of cultural fossils.
The twentieth century has witnessed a remarkable shift of population from rural to urban centres. In 1920, 20 percent of the world’s population resided in cities. By 2000 that figure will reach over 50 percent. Anthropologists have followed this development with interest, although their long accepted area of interest has been small scale rural societies. The challenge for the urban anthropologist is to chart the commonalities and diversities of these urban concentration, and to understand the complexity of urban social organization and culture.
Categories of research methods and the processes of conducting a scientific research, preparing and analyzing data are presented. In understanding a research work, it is very important to have a clear understanding of the nature of observation, cause and effect, hypothesis, deduction and induction, models, mathematics, and various kinds of concepts and fallacies. Compared with other sources of knowledge, such as experience, authority, inductive and deductive reasoning, the application of scientific methods is the most efficient and reliable.
The ecological system is identified with large continental deserts, forests, and grasslands, oceans, and even the earth itself. One of the most difficult problems in applying the concept to the study of human ecology is that of scale. Just what is the appropriate scale for understanding the ecological relationships of hunters and gatherers, farmers, city dwellers, and civilized peoples.
No one is born with cultural heritages. Culture is learned, symbolic, patterned and passed down from generation to generation. And the constitutions of culture are included in this course.
This course includes current scope of Physical Anthropology. In short, Physical Anthropologists piece together bits of information obtained from a number of different sources.
Sociology is the study of human behavior as shaped by group life, including both collective forces (group constructions) and the ways in which people give meaning to their experiences (self-reflections). Human behavior and group life can be studied from a number of perspectives in the social sciences (as distinguished from the natural sciences, such as biology or physics). Sociology differs from history, economics, and political science in that it focuses less exclusively on only one aspect of social life or a limited set of events.
The goal of Anthropological theories is to survey the major theoretical perspectives that have characterized anthropology since its emergence in the second half of the 19th century. Evolutionary perspective, especially those associated with Morgan and Tylor, dominated early anthropology. The early 20th century witnessed various reactions to 19th –century. By the mid-20th century, following World War II and the collapse of colonialism, there was a revived interest in change, including new evolutionary approaches. Anthropologists had grown more interested in the relation between culture and individual, and the role of human action in transforming culture.
This course includes human paleontology and Archaeology in Myanmar. It deals with human kind’s ancient societies and cultures.
Medical anthropology is about how people in different cultures and social groups explain the causes of ill-health, the types of treatment they believe in, and to whom they turn if they do become ill. It is also the study of how these beliefs and practices relate to biological and psychological changes in the human organism, in both health and disease. It can be briefly defined as the study of medical phenomena as culture. Medical phenomena refer to anything concerning human health.
This course can be able to give economic knowledge by anthropological point of view on band, tribe, chiefdoms, states, and globalization. It describes the mode of livelihood all over the world which includes food-gathering economy, agriculture, pastoralism, cooperation work, industrialization, globalization, and world system etc.
Political anthropology is the study of the structure of political systems as the basic structure of a society. Political anthropologists define political organization as the groups within a culture that are responsible for public decision making and leadership, maintaining social cohesion and order, protecting group rights, and ensuring safety from external threats.
One of the most important functions of religion is to give meaning to and explain those aspects of the physical and social environment that are important in the lives of individuals and societies.
Applied anthropology refers to the application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems. It is the field of inquiry concerned with the relationships between anthropological knowledge and the uses of that knowledge in the world beyond anthropology. Anthropology is applied in educational, urban, rural, medical, and business settings, political conflict, social conflict, solving health problems.
Ethnography is a practice and an expression with a capacious historical past that necessarily includes philosophical, political, spiritual, and aesthetic elements. These elements have at times defined cultures, named people, and told them who they are and what they might become.
The meaning of research, research question, research design, research objectives and hypothesis, general and specific objectives, finding informants and conducting analysis are included in this module.

Contact Information

Prof. Dr. Khin Htay Htay

Head of Department - Anthropology
Department of Anthropology, Dagon University, Bohmu Ba Htoo Road, Yangon
(+95-01) 585171, (+95-09) 5092616
anthropology@dagonuniversity.edu.mm

Stay in Touch:
Scroll Up