What is Anthropology?

Chinese_boy_with_big_hatAnthropology is the broad study of humankind around the world and throughout time.  It is concerned with both the biological and the cultural aspects of humans.  Included in anthropology are four main subdivisions:

Biological (or Physical) Anthropology

Mechanisms of biological evolution, genetic inheritance, human adaptability and variation, primatology, and the fossil record of human evolution.

Cultural Anthropology

Culture, ethnocentrism, cultural aspects of language and communication, subsistence and other economic patterns, kinship, sex and marriage, socialization, social control, political organization, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and culture change.


Prehistory and early history of cultures around the world; major trends in cultural evolution; and techniques for finding, excavating, dating, and analyzing material remains of past societies.

Linguistic Anthropology

The human communication process focusing on the importance of socio-cultural influences; nonverbal communication; and the structure, function, and history of languages, dialects, pidgins, and creoles.

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Faculty and Programs

Fanti_chiefPalomar College offers anthropology courses that satisfy both natural and social/behavioral science general education requirements.   In addition, students can earn an Associate of Arts Degree in Archaeology and occupational certificates in Archaeological Excavation and Archaeological Surveying.

There are currently four full-time anthropology professors:

Some Anthropology courses are cross-listed with Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Chicano Studies, and English.  These courses are usually taught by Dr. Philip DeBarros (Anthropology), Steven Crouthamel and Patricia Dixon (American Indian Studies), and Anthony Guerra (Chicano Studies). There also are 5-8 adjunct anthropology faculty teaching each semester.

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Exploring Darwin

To celebrate Charles Darwin’s Birthday each year the department hosts a series of  public lectures on current topics in Evolutionary Biology and Biological Anthropology.  Below are links to podcasts to a selection of the most recent presentations. Please note that all content are the property of the authors.


Web Links

Indian_boysDISCLAIMER:  The Internet links listed below take you outside of this web page.  Palomar College makes no representation concerning the content of these sites, nor do the links to these sites serve as endorsements.

General Anthropology Links:

Anthropology as a Career links:

Biological Anthropology links:

New_Guinean_manCultural Anthropology links:

Archaeology links:

Chinese-womenLinguistic Anthropology links:

Applied Anthropology links:

Ethnobiology / Ethnopharmacology links:

Forensic Anthropology links:

Medical Anthropology links:

Primatology links:

Indonesian_musciansRegional Anthropology / Archaeology:


Virtual Exhibits and Trips:

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Created by Dennis O’Neil, Maintained by Jim Eighmey
Behavioral Sciences Department, Palomar College, San Marcos, California

This page was last updated on October 16, 2014.
Photos on this page reproduced with permission from Corel Corporation, Ottawa, Canada