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What Can You Do With A Degree In Anthropology?                              [back]

Work with International Aid Organizations…

The Anthropology of Development provides students with a multi-layered and critical understanding of the complex social and cultural transformations being encouraged by international aid agencies. Our unique commitment is to understanding these processes through the experiences of those targeted for development; our fieldwork based methodology allows for a grounded source of advocacy for those marginalized by globalization.


Prof. Shubhra Gururani

Associate Professor, Anthropology

has begun work on a new project, which maps the unfolding processes and politics of (sub)urbanization in India. It focuses on Gurgaon, the Millennial City of India, which lies just outside of New Delhi. Bustling with shopping malls, shiny office towers, luxury apartment enclaves, IT complexes, and countless construction sites, Gurgaon stands as an urban spectacle. Interested in understanding how cities of the global south are being shaped in this particular neoliberal moment, my attempt is to map a history of urban planning or non-planning and examine the unfolding politics of infrastructure 'provisions.'


Nelson Ferguson

Doctoral Student, York Anthropology




Nelson Ferguson is a Doctoral student in the Dept. of Anthropology, York University. He is a Program Manager for Canada World Youth, a Canadian International Development Agency funded non-profit organization that has been promoting youth empowerment and developing educational programs for young people from around the world since 1971.

Nelson is responsible for developing and delivering international internship programs for Canadian universities, connecting students with community development organizations focusing on diverse issues such as food security, education, and human rights.

As he reports, anthropology has been pivotable in preparing him for his current career path: “In the non-profit industry, you need to be flexible, adaptable, and resourceful. My background in anthropology has proven invaluable, enabling me with a broad skill set such as a firm grounding in issues of international development, the analytical skills needed for program and project evaluation, and the cross-cultural communication skills to forge international partnerships. And best of all, now I am able to help youth and young adults gain the skills needed to critically engage with the world we live in!”

Students interested in exploring international internship opportunities can contact Nelson directly at


Joanne Lebert

(MA York 1999, PhD in progress)


is the Director of the Great Lakes Programme at Partnership Africa Canada where she and her team work to support the efforts of the 11 Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to establish a traceability and certification mechanism for the region's four 'conflict minerals': tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. Her works involves extensive negotiation and engagement with a variety of stakeholders at the local, national, and international level, including the OECD, the US Department of State, Global Witness, Enough and industry end-users such as Motorola, Hp, Intel and RIM. She consults and works closely with local civil society organizations throughout the
region to track mineral flows within and across countries, to promote revenue transparency in their respective countries andto act as whistleblowers. She is currently conducting research on women, girls and the mining economy in Eastern DRC and, in keeping with UN Security Council Resolutions related to Women, Peace and Security, endeavours to better integrate the needs and lived experiences of women and girls in traceability and certification efforts, and to support their full participation and leadership in the area of resource governance andpeacebuilding.


Serena Thomas

(MA York, 2008)

Since March 2010, Serena has been coordinating a psychosocial clinic with Johanniter International in Leogane, Haiti. The clinic offers individual, group and home visit counseling sessions to clients who suffer from severe trauma and grief symptoms. This clinic aims to create a ‘transitional space’ which which brings together many cultural, spiritual and psychological interpretations and treatment strategies to their therapeutic work. Prior to Haiti, Serena’s work included crisis counseling, community based programming, and research on therapeutic community spaces in Toronto, Paris and South Africa.


A  minor or double major in Anthropology and International Development Studies can prepare you for a career working in governmental and non-governmental aid agencies. If this career path appeals to you, we suggest the following courses as part of either a honours double major (36 credits), or a minor (30 credits).

Core (12 credits):

AN 1110 6.0 Introduction to Social Anthropology

AN 2100 6.0 Power, Politics & Development

Further Electives (by IDS Area):


AN 2120 6.0 Visualizing Ourselves, Visualizing Others: Media, Representation and Culture

AN 3020 6.0 Race, Racism and Popular Culture

AN 3030 3.0 Discourses of Colonialism

AN 3370 6.0 Power and Violence: The Making of "Modernity"

AN 3420 6.0 Indigenous Minorities and Human Rights

AN 4180 6.0 Anthropology, Islam and Muslim Societies

AN 4250 6.0 Religious Movements in Global Perspective


AN 3190 6.0 Nutritional Anthropology: Food and Eating in Cross Cultural Perspective

AN 3200 3.0 The Anthropology of International Health

AN 4240 3.0 Nature, Politics, Difference

AN 4450 3.0 Anthropology of the City


AN 3010 6.0 Gender, Place and the Cultural Politics of Development

AN 3120 6.0 Anthropology of Tourism

AN 3230 6.0 Women, Culture and Society

Political Economy:

AN 3220 6.0 Greed, Globalization & the Gift: The Culture(s) of Capitalism

AN 4420 3.0 The Anthropology of Gender & War

Politics, Governance & Policy

AN 3400 6.0 Altering States: Civil Society & Citizenship in a Globalizing World

AN 4340 6.0 Advocacy and Social Movements





Why do humans have such different ways of living and thinking?

What makes you different from and similar to other individuals and groups both in Canada and around the world?

Why are we not becoming all the same in our global world due to new technologies, new media and more powerful multinational corporations?

Why do social inequality, poverty, racism, and violence continue to occur around the world, including here in Canada?