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Anthropology versus Area Studies- PhD


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For anyone studying Area Studies or Anthropology (or knows anything about them), your advice is much appreciated. I'm confused as to which department would most suit my topics of interest, as they would usually fit both (nationalism, ethnicity, orientalism, gender and society in the Middle East). I've never studied Anthropology before (not a known field where I live), but got very interested in it when reading books written from anthropological lenses about the Middle East. I'm interested in its methodologies (those that I know about, at least)- ethnographies, critical ethnographies, participant observations, reflexivity...etc. However, I can't say I'd pick up any anthropology book about another part of the world, unless it directly relates to my research and might inform it. However, I'm usually interested in Middle East topics ranging from politics, to anthropology, to history (most of all, though, anthropology). I understand that Anthropology is more prestigious career-wise than an Area-studies degree (or that the methods are considered more rigorous...etc.) But, what I'm really interested in knowing is really where I fit in more. I'm interested in faculty's work from both departments, usually, so I can't seem to use that as a basis. I can't help but feel that I'm missing some serious methodological or theoretical knowledge for not knowing which one works best for my interests. Would really appreciate some feedback on navigating this (I'm not really looking into what would be easier for me to get into as a program, etc., but rather the essential differences between them when I feel that my interests are in both).


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