Becoming an anthropologist: around the human

The profession of anthropologist is one of those very sharp passion trades, for which long studies are necessary. Are you considering studies of anthropology? The sciences of man are fascinating. The profession of anthropologist is accessible to any student wishing to follow a serious background in anthropology.

Article plan The profession of

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  • an anthropologist: its missions
    • Observing a living human population
  • Ethnologist anthropologist: a very broad profession
    • A discreet posture, specific to anthropology
    • Academic collaboration
  • How to become anthropologist or ethnologist?
    • Qualities and Skills of an Anthropology Researcher
  • Studies in Anthropology and Ethnology
    • Anthropology: Opportunities

The profession of anthropologist: its missions

An anthropologist is also called an ethnologist. His profession is centered on the sciences of man , or of the human being. An ethnologist or anthropologist studies the human being in his environment, as he continues his field research.

In other words, an anthropologist cannot study the indigenous peoples who lived in the 15th century, since they no longer exist. Ancient peoples are studied by paleoanthropologists, archaeologists and historians. The anthropologist is responsible forobserving the human population, but also its beliefs, mentalities, customs .

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Observing a living human population

The mission of the anthropologist is to observe, study, analyze, record, register, compare and highlight certain practices of a given living population. This profession can therefore lead him to travel to the other end of the world to do field research with the population concerned.

The profession of anthropologist is done with respect for the human being. The anthropologist ethnologist adopts a neutral posture as an observer of indigenous peoples, in the direct line of Claude Levi-Strauss , father of anthropology.

The ultimate goal of the anthropologist’s research is to be able to record facts and share them to as many as possible. Indeed, certain lifestyles and customs tend to disappear today, with the direct effects of globalization. The anthropologist ethnologist is an expert who takes part in immersion at the heart of his problem , and to meet the population that interests him and whose ways of life he wants to study.

Ethnologist anthropologist: a very extensive profession

The anthropologist has a very broad profession and often opts for a specialty, especially starting with the precise geographical area of study of peoples. These specializations can be extremely sharp and precise, and concern only a very small group of people within a public or private group of human beings, a given population, and its practices.

Specifically, the immersion or “terrain” of the anthropologist and ethnologist can last a few weeks as it can take several months or even several years. The immersion period of this expert in anthropology is intended to allow people to observe, collect data, analyze and look at them if necessary with studies conducted by archaeologists, historians, etc.

A discreet posture, specific to anthropology

A group of humans has its functions and its social and behavioral logic. The anthropologist does not intervene to say whether the group’s practices are good or bad. No judgement is induced. It positions itself as a pure observer and must remain discreet so as not to disturb the group during its observations and research.

Social organization of the group, power relations, hierarchy, functioning of the human within the group… The anthropologist then relates the facts in the manner of a storyteller. Various academic and non-academic publications are expected from a researcher in anthropology and ethnology.

Published works in anthropology and ethnology are used to share knowledge and may include a variety of anthropologists and ethnologists in relation to each other .

Academic Collaboration

The anthropologist works closely with a research director in the university and in the department of anthropology to which he is attached. This period of immersion and field is usually in PhD. Shorter periods may take place before in the Bachelor and Master’s degree in Anthropology University.

How to become an anthropologist or ethnologist?

Human sciences, ethnology and anthropology are subjects that fascinate many students. To become an anthropologist ethnologist, you must first of all be passionate about research . Indeed, studies are long and involve a complete curriculum in the department or faculty of anthropology.

The qualities and skills of a researcher in anthropology

To be an anthropologist, one must have a natural curiosity for the human being. You are interested in biology, history, ethnopsychology . You are respectful and one you have a quality relationship with the people around you. These qualities are essential for an ethnologist or anthropology researcher.

You also have a sense of detail, critical mind, you like analysis and observation , you are tolerant and patient. You are passionate about your subject and want to understand the societal workings of a given group of individuals.

You have strong editorial skills and you like to describe things as you perceive them, with a sense of precision. You are rigorous and relatively autonomous in immersion. However, be aware that you will be required to work as a team as part of your research.

Studies in anthropology and ethnology

Your journey is made of long studies. The profession of anthropologist is only accessible after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree (Bac 5 ). Any university with a department of ethnology or anthropology and the appropriate masters can welcome you for your research and your studies.

The EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) provides specialized training for aspirants ethnologists and anthropologists. Often, a PhD is required after a master’s degree in order to secure a position and functions that meet your expectations.

Anthropology: Opportunities

An anthropologist can work in collaboration with museums, a university or even a company. The most sought after studies in anthropology is to find work at the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) . A beginner at the CNRS is paid about 2000 euros gross monthly.

Academic positions await anthropologists and ethnology researchers who wish to transmit their knowledge while continuing research in parallel.

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