Ecological Anthropology Paper Topics

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

These paper topics are designed to get our students thinking critically about ecological anthropology and display the knowledge they have on the topic. These topics can be used as take-home essays or papers, or as part of in-class examinations.

Ecological Anthropology

In an era when most scientists agree that the effects of climate change are being felt across the globe, the idea that human populations are affected by the environment in which they live doesn't seem all that far-fetched. But this was not always the case. Our understanding of humanity's impact on the environment and the environment's impact on us has evolved over time. This exchange is complicated, and an entire field of study has developed around it.

Learning about ecological anthropology can be an excellent starting point for your students to learn more about the important implications it has for numerous disciplines and aspects of society. The essay topics in this lesson are designed to encourage your students to think critically about ecological anthropology and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject.

Topics About the Study of Ecological Anthropology

  • Explain the basic principles of the study of ecological anthropology. How do what are normally two separate subjects (ecology and anthropology) inform one another? How do they help us understand the world in which we live?
  • Discuss the terms cultural ecology and cultural core? What parts of a society do they describe and how are they impacted by a society's interaction with the environment? Use concrete examples to prove your points.
  • Explain neo-functionalism. How does neo-functionalism view the major aspects of a society, in particular, culture? What is the concept's faults and why is it generally not used by ecological anthropologists today?
  • A common criticism leveled at the field of ecological anthropology is that it is too deterministic. Do you agree with this criticism? Why or why not? Use concrete examples of features within the field and/or previous studies to prove your point.

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