Anthropology Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old anthropology quotes, anthropology sayings, and anthropology proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Anthropology is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities.     

Alfred L. Kroeber

The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.     

Ruth Benedict

Anthropology is the science which tells us that people are the same the whole world over – except when they are different.     

Nancy Banks-Smith

Anthropology provides a scientific basis for dealing with the crucial dilemma of the world today: how can peoples of different appearance... and dissimilar ways of life get along peaceably together?     

Clyde Kluckhohn

Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.     

Margaret Mead

Anthropology is never an exact science; the observer never experiences the same culture as the participant.     

Orson Scott Card

If there were a science of human beings it would be anthropology that aims at understanding the totality of experience through structural context.     

Wilhelm Dilthey

Anthropology has always struggled with an intense, fascinated repulsion towards its subject.... [The anthropologist] submits himself to the exotic to confirm his own inner alienation as an urban intellectual.     

Susan Sontag

Sociology and anthropology are not disciplines which take easily to situations where people are able to live out their fantasies, not just in the symbolic action of ritual, but in the concrete theater of society at large.     

Jonathan Raban

Anthropology is the only discipline that can access evidence about the entire human experience on this planet.     

Michael Brian Schiffer

Anthropology has been compared to a great region, marked out indeed as within the sphere of influence of science, but unsettled and for the most part unsubdued. Like all such hinterland sciences, it is a happy hunting-ground for adventurers.     

H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Anthropology is the study of human beings as creatures of society. It fastens its attention upon those physical characteristics and industrial techniques, those conventions and values, which distinguish one community from all others that belong to a different tradition.     

Ruth Benedict

The science of anthropology grows as members of previously non-participating cultures come to share in the gathering and interpretation of date, the building theory.     

Darshan Singh Maini

Anthropology studies different cultures; mainly primitive, but it doesn't think its own culture is primitive, unfortunately. There is no field that you can study today that isn't trapped in the culture in some way. It's hard to escape your culture.     

Jacque Fresco