Goals of the study program
The aim of the Social and Cultural Anthropology bachelor’s program is to create qualified specialists in academic and non-academic practice who understand the principles of the social and cultural differentiation of contemporary (and past) complex societies and who are capable of interpreting human behavior from the perspective of social and cultural patterns under various social conditions or groups, all while considering local, national and global contexts. Over the past few decades, the need for professional knowledge of cultural diversity issues has grown significantly, mainly in connection with the issues of migration, the social integration of disadvantaged groups, the onset of new social, religious, and identity movements, but also in terms of cultural heritage preservation or implementing development and humanitarian aid in the Czech Republic and abroad. The purpose of education in Social and Cultural Anthropology is to provide students with theoretical, practical and methodological training for the professional sphere in the role of specialists in given areas, specifically in various educational and research institutions, in the sphere of state and local governments, in non-governmental organizations, museums, archives, media and also the commercial sector.
Specific content of study
The Social and Cultural Anthropology bachelor’s program at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen is constructed similarly to foreign (mainly American and British) universities as an integral study of the social, cultural, linguistic, and even biological and material scope of human existence. In terms of the classic understanding of social and cultural anthropology, stress is placed on the concept of culture; specifically the study of economic, political, kinship, religious, symbolic, and environmental aspects of life in various societies and groups. In addition to the standard fundaments of the field, students are acquainted with current trends in anthropological thinking and mainly with the issue of studying traditional and modern societies. This requires theoretical and methodological understanding of topics such as cultural change, gender, ethnicity, nationalism, migration, marginalization and social exclusion, urbanization, multiculturalism, development, human rights, media, audiovisual technology and online social networks. During the instruction of all previously listed topics, consideration is given to the possibility of utilizing gained knowledge not only in the realm of research, but in the context of professional, non-academic practice.