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A List Of Strong Cultural Anthropology Research Paper Topics


If you are taking a cultural anthropology course, the odds are good that you will need to write a research paper. This means that you also need to create a topic. Students often have difficulty creating a topic for any research paper, not just for something specific like cultural anthropology. As researchers learn more about different cultures and how they developed, there seem to be fewer strong topics available for students to research.

Your cultural anthropology course will look at biological evolution and how language, socialization, and culture developed in parts of the world. Your research paper topic should look at how different groups of people developed into who they are based on where they live and what their biological makeup happens to be. You can look at ancient cultures, like the Aborigines in Australia or newer cultures, like the people living in the United States today.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Marriage, family, and home life:
  • Students can research how these institutions have developed in different cultures over the years in a culture of choice. Some cultures have strict beliefs about marriage and family, while others are less so. You can look at what makes the cultures believe what they do.

  • Economies:
  • Cultures needed to develop ways to trade, so your research paper could look at how economies affect social order. You could trace the development of an economy in an ancient culture.

  • Festivals and rituals:
  • Cultures tend to define themselves by their rituals. You can pick a culture and look at the rituals and what they represent. Or, you could look at one ritual, like a birthday party or a wedding, and look at how different cultures celebrate these milestones.

  • Deviant behavior:
  • Criminals and rebels have been parts of society of eons. Why do cultures have rebels and deviants? What happens to them? What cultures celebrate deviant behavior and why?

  • The Life Cycle:
  • The human life cycle is similar in all cultures, but not all cultures treat different stages of the life cycle in the same way. What does childhood look like in certain cultures? How are the elderly treated? When should people become parents? Comparing and contrasting life cycles in different cultures could create a strong paper that would be interesting to write. You could look at cultural viewpoints relating to health care at different stages of the life cycle, especially whether or not the elderly are treated with the same care as the younger members of a culture.