Anthropology Research Topics for Your "A+" Papers

Have you ever wondered why there are so many different cultures and religions around the world? Do you love to explore how people live their lives in different parts of the globe? Do you have a deep love of traveling, tasting different traditional cuisines or wines? If your answer is mostly yes, then there is an excellent chance you will be enthralled or excited to learn anthropology.

Anthropology is a social science discipline that is concerned with the study of humans, their social interactions, culture and values, and how they have lived in organized groups in the past and evolved over time. It also includes the study of multi-faceted factors that affect the points mentioned above. In short, one can consider anthropology to be the study of people, societies, and their human nature. Merely by considering this definition, it should be clear that the field of anthropology is a broad field and highly interwoven with other related disciplines such as sociology, history, criminology, and biology. There are main branches or subfields of anthropology that you should know to write on interesting anthropology research topics. They include the following (in no order of importance):

  1. Physical Anthropology — this is the branch that studies the biological and behavioral aspects of human beings, related primates like chimpanzees, gorillas, and extinct early human ancestors. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that is also known as biological anthropology. Some subfields under this branch include primatology, paleoanthropology, and evolutionary biology.
  2. Linguistic Anthropology — this is a significantly interdisciplinary branch that focuses on studying how languages influence humans and social life. It also explores the development and relationships of languages across connected human societies.
  3. Cultural Anthropology — this is the branch that is concerned with the study of how culture varies among human communities. It is sometimes known as ethnology. For many students, this could easily be an exciting area of study as it uses research methodologies that require actual immersion in the studied culture by living with the concerned people during the research period. A key subfield under this branch is psychological anthropology, which focuses on personality traits that remain in a culture and how such traits are to be assessed.
  4. Social Anthropology — this branch studies people in the context of their historical circumstances, social connections, and institutions, complexities, and conflicts of social life. It is on such grounds that ways of life or culture is understood to vary. In other words, the aforementioned grounds are the ‘independent' variables while the differences in culture as observed through customs, beliefs and so on represent the ‘dependent' variables. That is the fundamental difference between social and cultural anthropology. In some place, like the United States of America, social anthropology is often combined with cultural anthropology to form socio-cultural anthropology.
  5. Archaeological Anthropology — this crucial aspect of anthropology is concerned with studying humans particularly how they lived and organized themselves in the past through the exploration and discovery of relics or materials form the past that can help reveal new knowledge or serve as evidence to support existing knowledge. The classification of this branch varies. In North America, it is usually considered to be a branch of anthropology, whereas, in other places like Europe, it is considered to be a standalone discipline or a branch of other significant disciplines like history.

Now, the fact that you are reading this article means you likely are taking a course on anthropology or some related course. Also, you most likely will have to do some assignment that involves writing a research paper or an essay on a relevant topic.

If you are having some difficulty picking or coming up with a topic for your assignment, don't put too much pressure on yourself. It is not unusual for students to struggle to some extent with research topics for anthropology assignments. That is often the case in situations where students are required to come up with a good topic by themselves. It does not get easy if you are studying anthropology for the first time or as a minor course in your major academic program. We have heard from hundreds of students concerning the pains they go through on this issue. We have not only carefully worked on presenting in this article anthropology topics for research papers, but we also have selected some brilliant professionals in the humanities who are knowledgeable and skilled at academic writing to assist students like you in creating your research papers or essays. We have painstakingly set up essential processes and features that allow us to sustain and continually improve our services to students. You can learn about them further below in the last section of this article.

Good Anthropology Research Topics by Category

Now that we have garnered considerable insights into anthropology and writing research papers or assignments on the subject, here we will present sample topics according to different areas of anthropology. Do note that by looking through this list, you may not necessarily spot the exact topic of your choice. However, the central reason for listing them is to give you some ideas or pointer to what topics can be chosen under the different areas. Hopefully, you will find one or two that will turn on the light bulb in your mind, being the closest to the topic of your preference.

Medical Anthropology Research Topics

  1. Exploring ethnozoology and its applications in medicine.
  2. Critical medical anthropology (CMA): a critical assessment of the main postulations.
  3. Ebola virus in 2014: assessing the impact and effectiveness of control interventions in Africa.
  4. Exploring ethnobotany and its applications in medicine.
  5. 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster: assessing the life outcomes to date of carcinogenic victims.
  6. Hiv aids: understanding the reasons for widespread societal stigma and way forward.
  7. Commercial sex workers in Europe: an exploration of their roles in the spread of HIV aids epidemic.
  8. Alternative medical systems in China: investigating the strengths and weaknesses compared to orthodox western medicine.
  9. Aids epidemic in Africa: an evaluation of the most affected country and populations.
  10. Mental illness in North America — real threat or mere social noise: a critical assessment of the issue and evidence of socioeconomic impact.

Biological Anthropology Research Topics

  1. Alcoholism in eastern Europe: an exploration of its cultural history and socio-economic impact in modern societies.
  2. 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: assessing radioactive diseases impact on affected populations.
  3. Same-sex marriage in north america: investigating the biological aspects and responses.
  4. Minamata disease in Japan: looking into the causes, affected populations and left-over transgenerational impact to this present time.
  5. Yokkaichi asthma disease in Japan: looking into the causes, affected populations and left-over transgenerational impact to this present time.
  6. Itai-Itai disease in Japan: an exploration of its causes, affected populations and left-over transgenerational impact to this present time.
  7. Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings: a review of the cost in human lives, radioactively affected victims, and continued transgenerational health impact to this present time.
  8. Scourge of cocaine use in united states of America: investigating the causes, trade flows, and health impact on American cocaine users.
  9. Marijuana use in the united states of America: a comparative assessment of the positive outcomes and negative consequences of legalizing marijuana consumption.
  10. Cystic fibrosis: a comparative assessment by race and why it is most prevalent among white populations in the united states of America.

Cultural Anthropology Research Topics

  1. Homosexuality in Africa: exploring the social-cultural landscape that informs societal attitudes to homosexuals.
  2. Homelessness: assessing the causes, prevalence, and solutions in the united states of America.
  3. Anti-semitism: an exploration of its origin and manifestations in the modern world.
  4. Human trafficking: investigating the sub-Saharan Africa route to Europe over the last 15 years.
  5. Racism in America: a critical investigation of its continued presence in modern times and most affected groups.
  6. Same-sex unions in Africa: investigating the socio-cultural backgrounds that influence societal attitudes to the issue.
  7. Burial rites and practices in Muslim versus Christian populations: exploring the differences and reasons.
  8. Sexism and feminism: comparing and linking both social phenomena in the modern world.
  9. Superstition among African cultures: investigating the social and religious influences that propagate it.
  10. Early and forced child marriage in Pakistan and central Asian cultures: exploring the underlying social and religious influences.

Physical Anthropology Research Topics

  1. Eugenics — exploring its merits and demerits and how it is applied in the modern 21st-century world.
  2. Creationist versus evolutionist views of human origin: a comparative exploration.
  3. Preservation of the dead in ancient Egypt: exploring the mummification process and underlying beliefs.
  4. Homo habilis: exploring modern evidence that supports their existence in the past.
  5. Death by drowning — forced or accidental: exploring the physical issues and anatomical evidence that complicate or clarify the cause of drowning.
  6. Perpetual smokers: how smoking affects the physical appearance of men over years of smoking indulgence.
  7. Exploring how regular physical labour affects the physical appearance of humans.
  8. Human senescence: why do people tend to get hunched back (concavely curved spine) as they become advanced in age?
  9. Tall or short by location — assessing human heights by continents: are there any key scientific pieces of evidence that establish causes and patterns?
  10. Different place, different skin color: evaluating evidence of environmental influences on human skin color across continents.

Forensic Anthropology Research Topics

  1. Carbon-14 dating — accurate or not: a critical assessment of the fossil dating technique.
  2. Creationist versus evolutionist views of human origin: are there pieces of evidence to support the evolutionist view? Can both views be reconciled?
  3. Crime scene DNA evidence testing and matching: a critical assessment of accuracy and implications in criminology.
  4. Neanderthals: investigating their migratory paths and environmental influences on their appearance and survival.
  5. Latest advances in modern archaeological dating.
  6. Mummification of the dead in ancient Egypt: assessing the effectiveness and preservation time spans of the techniques used.
  7. 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster — 30 years later: evaluating evidence of radioactivity today in the deserted area and impact on fauna and flora.
  8. Homo habilis: exploring modern pieces of evidence that support their existence in the past.
  9. Decomposition after death — investigating the major agents of quick biological decomposition in humans.
  10. Recent advances in modern crime scene forensics.

All right, so there you have it! But it should be obvious that the above lists are by no means conclusive. There is a plenitude of other topics that can be added. As a good token of advice, we encourage you to consider the following factors when selecting research topics for your anthropology course assignments:

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