Anthropology: Student Testimonials

Marshall students in a variety of disciplines speak to the relevancy of anthropological coursework to their field.


  • “By better understanding the body system, immunologists can understand how and why people react to different environments.  A better understanding of culture through the study of anthropology would help to create a better means of diagnosis and prevention, as well as coping strategies.”
  • “Practitioners in this field attempt to understand things such as disease and how they can be cured or, ideally, prevented.  An anthropological understanding can help in identifying who is more likely to become sick in a given culture and why.  This can facilitate finding a cause and cure for particular diseases.”
  • “Medicine already does, and definitely could continue to benefit from an anthropological understanding of culture.  For example, Doctors Without Borders have the challenge of treating disease outside of the United States and meet some real difficulties when faced with cultural differences.  Acquiring a better appreciation for these differences before they set out could benefit doctors and patients alike.”
  • “Medical doctors are very interested in solving problems through the treatment of disease as well as ways to prevent disease.  Anthropology is of great benefit to doctors in the area of disease prevention since many risk factors are culturally influenced, including diet and activity levels associated with work and play.”


  • “Counselors face a variety of obstacles when it comes to diverse populations.  They also have to be able to work in a variety of settings.  In order to do so, they must be culturally aware.  An anthropological perspective could definitely benefit me.”
  • “It is incredible important for me as a counselor to understand culture.  Seeking the help of a therapist is viewed very differently among different cultures.  For example, it is often the case that Hispanic men are not as willing to talk to me as a therapist because they may be portrayed as weak.  Among a different group, people may not generally make eye contact although this should not be taken that they do not wish to help.”

Criminal Justice

  • “Much like anthropology, in criminal justice we attempt to understand people involved in illegal activities and to figure out why they do the things that they do as well as what cultural or environmental influences there may be.  Being able to look at a person’s cultural background, as anthropologist would, could be extremely helpful to me.”


  • “Educators attempt to solve practical problems by discouraging stereotypes in the classroom.  Employing anthropological approaches could benefit classroom teachers through providing an understanding to how members of different cultural groups are likely to react to certain situations.”


  • “One can contribute as a writer to the world through the use of language.  An individual may study and write of other cultures in order to bring clarity about others.  Though a writer may not be able to “solve” world problems, they can strive to introduce a new outlook … something with which an anthropological understand would help.”

Health Care Administration

  • “My field could benefit from anthropology in order to better understand what diseases are more likely to affect certain populations; something that would benefit in the diagnosis of patients.  It can also be helpful to the business side in allowing providers to better relate to their community.”


  • “As a future nurse, anthropological understandings of culture can be very helpful.  America is becoming increasingly diverse and knowledge of different cultures and languages can be useful.  Nurses work to solve practical problems everyday in helping the the sick to be well.  People feel more comfortable with those who know something of their language and culture.  As a nurse, an understanding of how culture affects people’s health is important.”
  • “In the field of nursing, we try to help people who suffer from disease and illness.  We attempt to  make them comfortable and to heal them.  An anthropological understanding would help tremendously with people from cultures other than those of the health practitioners themselves.  If we could, as healers, understand their beliefs and practices, we would better provide care.”
  • “Anthropology has opened my mind so that I can think “outside” the box.  I have a better understanding of both disease and illness and to how different cultures think about how and why people become sick.”