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A Responsible Anthropology, that Matters

As socio-cultural anthropologists at McMaster University we are committed to an engaged and relevant anthropology that focuses on issues of public concern, and we maintain a strong critical and theoretical focus on three thematic clusters: democracy, violence, and humanitarian intervention; media, visuality, and art; and a broad range of topics within medical anthropology, including welfare, care, well-being, religion/spirituality, and Indigenous knowledge. 

Human Scale

One of our unique and distinctive contributions as socio-cultural anthropologists is that through ethnographic and community-engaged research we often build intensive, rich and enduring relationships with the people and peoples with whom we work. This gives us access to “human scale” and indigenous forms of knowledge and insights that are relatively uncommon within academia.  It also creates unique responsibilities and opportunities to make our research and writing relevant and useful to people and organizations outside the University, many of whom are not often beneficiaries of university-based research and may not even be formally organized.

McMaster socio-cultural anthropologists have a rich tradition of collegiality and collaboration with one another and with our research participants as intellectual partners.

This includes long-standing relationships with Six Nations, and various capacity-building projects co-created to benefit both communities and learning environments.  We bring this ethic of community-engagement and commitment to our research in different parts of the world, including Southeast and East Asia, Europe, Russia and the Americas.  As part of these commitments we have developed linkages to Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, the Asian Research Working Group, the Critical Health Research Network, and the Arts-Centered Community-Engaged Social Science Collaboration, among other research initiatives at McMaster and beyond. We also have a long working relationship with the Indigenous Studies program at McMaster, the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic, Aboriginal Health Research Network Secretariat and organizations in the wider Hamilton community. 

The linkages between academic research and diverse communities and research partners extend into and inform our teaching, making anthropology a relevant and engaged endeavor for our students.

The linkages between academic research and diverse communities and research partners extend into and inform our teaching, making anthropology a relevant and engaged endeavor for our students. Indeed, because we are committed to developing future researchers through both the undergraduate and graduate programs, students play a central role in shaping the intellectual life and direction of the department. If you would like to join our open, multi-vocal conversation and community of research, please get in touch with any of our sociocultural anthropology faculty.

Faculty:

photo of Ellen Badone

Ellen Badone


Professor and Chair of Graduate Affairs, Religious Studies

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photo of Dawn Martin-Hill

Dawn Martin-Hill


Associate Professor | Paul R. MacPherson Chair in Indigenous Studies

Theses awarded in Socio-Cultural Anthropology

View recently awarded M.A. and PhD theses in Socio-Cultural Anthropology