Module 2: Proposal

    December 1, 2022

Module 2: Proposal

How do professional anthropologists “follow their own path” when starting original research? They begin by creating a proposal outlining the type of research they want to pursue when they do field work.

The Semester Research Project Study Proposal is your first step in the Semester Research Project assignment. Check the Schedule of Work for the due date.


  • Choose ONE topic and TWO cultural groups, and two anthropological concepts from the Anthropological Concepts Study Guide.
      • The Study Guide has information on concepts, including definitions, and specific chapters where concepts are discussed.
  • You are welcome to choose non-Western /Indigenous groups, topics, and anthropological concepts other than those on the list provided, but you must email your instructor for approval.
  • Conduct preliminary research on the topic, cultural groups, concepts, and outside scholarly resources. See your librarian for research help, and consult the textbook for the concepts.
  • Write a 150-word Proposal on the topic, two cultural groups, two anthropologocal concepts, and one outside source you are proposing for your Semester Research Project. 

The Proposal assignment should include:  

1. Introduction and description ofthe topic and two cultural groups. 

2. Introduction and definitions of the two anthropological concepts. Be sure to use the definitions from the course textbook. For suggestions, see the Anthropological Concepts Study Guide

3. One scholary outside source you will use in your research, listed in the Bibliography/Works Cited. (The final essay will require six outside sources.) 

4. Bibliography or References List at the end of the essay.

  • Remember to use in-text citations for your sources in the body of your Proposal.
  • Remember to use grammar and spell-check!


Save your work as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file only. Other formats might not transmit and cannot be guaranteed on time or graded. Submit this assignment in the “Proposal: Semester Research Project” Assignment Folder in our website.

Topics and Guidelines 

List of Topics

Choose ONE Topic:

  • The human right to water: Water rights and water sovereignty/governance for Indigenous Peoples
  • Food insecurity and food sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples
  • Issues of representation: In museums, social media, films, etc.
  • Cultural appropriation: Think broadly here: music, art, spiritual heritage, etc.; consider also appropriation or appreciation
  • Ethnomedicine: Practices or applications; consider also justice and/or appropriation
  • Ethnobotany: Practices or applications; consider also justice and/or appropriation
  • Ethnomusicology: Practices or applications; consider also  justice and/or appropriation
  • Local impacts of global climate change
  • Genocide, ethnocide, ecocide (choose cultures you did not choose for Writing Assignment 3)

Guidelines for Selecting Two Cultural Groups

Choose TWO Cultural Groups: Please think broadly here!

  • Choose TWO groups to compare and contrast:  one historically-marginalized cultural group within the U.S.; and one from outside the U.S.; and include a specific location for each one.
  • What do we mean by “historically marginalized groups”?
    • According to the Pima Community College Curriculum Department and General Education Committee, “’historically marginalized groups’ encompasses categories such as gender (e.g. women, men, transgender), sexuality (e.g. lesbians, gays, bisexuals), racial, ethnic, religious, age-related, and/or linguistic groups (e.g. Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans/First Peoples, Asian Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans), and/or other emerging cultural subgroups.”
  • Remember:
    • Choose one ’historically marginalized group’ within the U.S. 

The explanation above includes examples for the U.S. If you would like to choose another group, please speak with the instructor to make sure your choice fits the requirements of the course. 

    • Choose one ’historically marginalized group’ from outside the U.S.

You are encouraged to think broadly here, and focus on a Non-Western cultural group you would like to learn more about! Please speak with the instructor if you have questions or concerns, or to make sure your choice fits the requirements of the course. 

Anthropological Concepts

“Anthropological concepts” are ideas we use in anthropology that help us understand what we see — like ritual, tribe, gender, etc.

Use the definition and theory of the concept from the textbook (and other sources provided in the course materials) to understand and analyze the topic you choose.

See the Anthropological Concepts Study Guide for definitions – all collected for you in one place.

Most critical sector

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