Political Anthropologist

Study the relationship between people and their governments.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$31,000 – $89,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Political Anthropologists do?

Nothing separates humans from animals quite like politics. We’re the only species who have managed to have Presidents, elections, and caucuses. Political Anthropologists study how humans shape governments, and how governments eventually start to shape humans in return.

A Political Anthropologist is a bit like a Journalist, a Historian, and an Ambassador all rolled into one. Whether working in an office doing research for a university or out in a distant land studying a stateless country, your main focus as a Political Anthropologist is always people.

How did they decide to vote in the last election? Why are they overthrowing their government? The key to your discoveries is looking into the identity of each citizen, and that can be tough work. A long road of reading essays, administering surveys, and conducting interviews lies ahead of you.

Keeping an open mind is one of your top priorities when studying and reporting on what you’ve observed. Even though you research politics, you shouldn’t let your own get in the way of being an objective onlooker. Much like a Judge, a Political Anthropologist has to keep personal opinions away from work. Being diplomatic is what makes you an excellent Scientist and researcher whom people will want to share their stories with.

By comparing the legal systems and bureaucracies of different peoples, you can learn how politics have developed, and more importantly, where the next wave of government might be going. Not all government is good. All you can learn about abuse of power, corrupt leaders, and terrorism can help to one day put an end to them.

Should I be a Political Anthropologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Anthropologist, Physical

    How to become a Political Anthropologist

    Most Political Anthropologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaa9u&chl=||||master%27s+%2857%25%29|doctorate+%2843%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,57
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