Cultural Anthropology Term Paper Ideas

Seven Powerful Research Paper Topics in Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology is a sub-area of anthropology that focuses primarily on the cultural differences in humans. This sub-area of study has been around for a little over a century, with the earliest indication of it appearing in 1897. Because the discipline is fairly new, there a number of unique and exciting topics to write a research paper on. Here are seven great ideas for you to consider:

  1. Marriage and family in a specific cultural group or a comparison across two or more societies. How does history and community play into how the marriage and family structure evolve through the decades? Are certain societies better off following a set structure or would they benefit from adapting different views?
  2. Different types of economic or financial systems across society and how communities are affected. Consider how many societies are patriarchal and will only allow males to run businesses or manage familiar finances. How do these societies do in comparison to others which promote gender equality in economic and financial systems?
  3. Examine the role of females in a particular society of your choosing. This topic is considerably open but allows a lot of room for creativity. Consider things like family or community affairs. What similarities or differences exist with your chosen society and the one you are most familiar with through your own upbringing?
  4. Examining the effects of culture shock and the best methods to work through it. Culture shock greatly affects immigrants in a foreign land. Not only are they experiencing new things but are expected to blend in and adapt to a certain degree? What are the best ways to work through this without causing stress?
  5. Determining innovative field practices in cultural anthropology. As this area of study is relatively new there are a number of new methods of gathering information and researching in the field. Which have been the most effective in gathering accurate data and in what ways can they be improved or expanded upon?
  6. A discussion of the major points of a particular culture of your choosing. Provide a brief ethnography. There are a number of societies that do not have complete ethnographies. Can you add to the discipline by starting to map this out?
  7. The influence of language on culture and language acquisition. How does language and its acquisition affect the way a culture forms or develops over time? Does language have the same influence in other societies?

According to Merriam-Webster (2015), anthropology can be defined as the science of human beings and the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to phenomena. These phenomena would include but are not limited to physical character, environment, social relations and culture (Merriam-Webster, 2015). Types of anthropology include biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, linguistics anthropology and archaeology. By its nature, the field of anthropology is a multidisciplinary  construct. For example, archaeology and linguistics would be closely related to cultural elements. Anthropology teaches humans about themselves and how they have developed as a species. In addition, it provides a foundation for interpreting events and predicting future behavioral patterns in relation to stimuli. Most topics within the spectrum of liberal arts education could be examined through an anthropological lens.

Anthropology Paper Topics

The professional staff at are equipped to navigate the interdisciplinary perspectives necessary for anthropological inquiry. In addition, they are equipped to help students select anthropological studies that are symmetrical to instructor needs as well as the interests of that particular student. Whether the student is in need of short ethnographic analyses of an observed event or a complete Master’s project on an in depth anthropological study, is equally comfortable and capable seeing projects from their inception to their completion. For your anthropology paper topic needs,’s staff can be reached by email for placing an order through our secure server or for questions regarding potential topics.

40+ Interesting Anthropology Research Paper Topics

One of the most complicated elements of anthropological exploration is the need for objectivity. When examining other cultures or past historical events, the researcher is doing so through the eyes and perspective of all of those elements that have influenced their respective lives. Objectivity, as a result, can never be absolute. All researchers are potentially biased by their own experiences, their own knowledge base, their own prejudices and their own time period. Though this can never be fully removed, anthropological exploration necessitates particular care and objectivity for producing valid results. In addition, it is also necessary for anthropological researchers to understand when and where such biases may be present in an interpretation. Beyond topic selection, therefore, there is a process for anthropological paper completion in regards to objectivity that makes it different than other fields of inquiry.

Below is a list of some topics that would fall within the spectrum of anthropological paper topics. This list is by no means exhaustive, however, it was crafted with the intent to illustrate different directions of inquiry that could be embraced within one or more of the anthropological fields of study. In addition, they illustrate other possibilities for cross curricular analysis for non majors. While staff members can complete projects of various sizes on any of the following topics, the same list could be used as a starting point for students to use to select their own project.

  1. Anthropological theory and human evolution
  2. Peru’s Quechua people
  3. Women in Lakota Sioux culture
  4. Environmental anthropology and contemporary policy
  5. Medical anthropology
  6. The influence of culture, health and illness on human society
  7. HIV/AIDs: A global perspective
  8. Biological anthropology and human social patterns
  9. Biological anthropology and human warfare
  10. Human biological variability and social interactions
  11. The Western impact on North American indigenous peoples
  12. Folklore and primitive society
  13. Savage, primitive and tribal: Labels and the evolution of perspectives on indigenous people
  14. Cities and the modern man
  15. Automation and changing patterns of human behavior
  16. Biology and culture: Influences on human society
  17. Cultural anthropology and its links to political science
  18. Critical race theory
  19. Cultural assimilation
  20. Franz Fanon and the impact of colonialism
  21. Cultural imperialism and modern media
  22. Ethnic cleansing: Genocide in the human experience
  23. Interracial couples in Islamic society
  24. Racial identity and stereotypes
  25. Ancient civilizations: The Aztec and Maya
  26. Lord of the Flies: An anthropological exploration of human behavior
  27. Religious diversity in Turkey
  28. Coming of age in contemporary Jewish families
  29. Similarities and differences in Asian and American hip hop
  30. Trekies: The subculture of the Star Trek franchise
  31. Political correctness in the 21st Century
  32. Barack Obama: Implications of the first African American President
  33. A history of Warfare: John Keegan and cultural/biological aggression
  34. Hunter gatherer societies
  35. Pagan festivals and rituals
  36. Underwater anthropology and the advancement of human knowledge
  37. The evolution of the modern Western celebration of Halloween
  38. A television analysis: Modern Family & Will & Grace; changing definitions of the family unit
  39. Growing old in Western culture
  40. Deviant behavior and cultural implications
  41. Concepts of childhood in emergent economies

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Merriam-Webster. (2015). Anthropology. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from

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