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What Equipment Does a Cultural Anthropologist Use?

World map with passport and camera

Today’s topic: What equipment does a Cultural Anthropologist use? In a previous blog post, you learned how Cultural Anthropologists do research on other cultures. You also learned about the ethical principles Anthropologists need to follow while doing research. But what equipment do Anthropologists use in their research?

This blog post will describe some things that Cultural Anthropologists often use in their research. While this post is not a complete list of everything a Cultural Anthropologist could possibly need, it will illustrate what types of equipment Anthropologists typically use.

What Equipment does a Cultural Anthropologist Use? Image of a camera.

Since Anthropologists observe other people, they often take photos or videos of the people they are studying. So, Anthropologists need a digital camera and/or a video camera. 

Anthropologists interview people, and so they also need a voice recorder. That way, they can focus on interacting with the other person, instead of trying to write down every word that the person says.

Anthropologists also take notes while they are studying people, and so they need to have pens and/or pencils and plenty of notebooks to write in. The Anthropologist will also need a laptop, so he or she can write more complete notes at the end of each day.

Image of a mobile phone.

In order to get in touch with people, a mobile phone is needed. The Anthropologist will need to make sure that the phone works in whatever country they are doing research in.

And since so many electronics are used, the Anthropologist needs to make sure that they have all the charging cables, and also multiple battery packs available for when there is no access to electricity. 

Image of a pen and a map.

In addition, a map of the local area is also needed, so the Anthropologist knows where they are. Having a calendar is important too, in order to keep track of days while in the field. Depending on the culture, business cards may or may not be useful as well.

Here is an infographic summarizing the typical pieces of equipment that Cultural Anthropologists use in research. For more examples of what kinds of equipment Anthropologists use, check out the “What’s In Your Bag” series from the Savage Minds blog here and the American Anthropological Association here.

Thanks for reading!

Infographic showing equipment used by Anthropologists
Infographic showing equipment used by Anthropologists