Greetings, young anthropologists! It’s I, your friendly neighborhood experienced IB tutor, and today, we’re going to take a wild ride through the fascinating world of Anthropology IB Extended Essay topics. I know, I know, you can barely contain your excitement.
So, buckle up, put on your thinking caps, and let’s explore 15 topics that’ll make your EE shine (and hopefully make your teachers chuckle).
Social and cultural anthropology extended essay topic ideas
I do not want my article to be another dry piece of overdone extended essay topics.
Therefore, let’s start with a list of unusual and funny ideas for your IB Anthropology EE. Use them as an inspiration to make your own, personal research question:
The Evolution of Memes: Are we becoming a “meme-ified” society?
Research Question: How have memes evolved over time and what impact do they have on human communication and culture?
To work on this topic, start by examining the origin and development of memes, noting key changes in style, content, and platforms. Next, analyze how memes affect the way people communicate, build relationships, and engage with global issues. Consider their influence on language, humor, and cultural norms.
The Anthropology of Procrastination
Research Question: What cultural and social factors contribute to procrastination and how does it affect individual and societal productivity?
Delve into the psychological, social, and cultural roots of procrastination. Investigate how different societies view and cope with procrastination, as well as the impact on academic and workplace performance. Finally, explore the role of technology and social media in fostering procrastination.
Research Question: How do different cultures perceive extraterrestrial life, and what impact do these beliefs have on folklore, religion, and popular culture?
Compare and contrast various cultural beliefs regarding extraterrestrial life, noting similarities and differences. Then, examine how these beliefs shape folklore, religious practices, and popular cultures, such as film, literature, and conspiracy theories.
Research Question: How have toilets evolved across different cultures, and what is their cultural significance?
Trace the history and development of toilets around the world. Investigate the cultural values and norms surrounding toilets, hygiene, and sanitation. Examine the relationship between toilets and social class, gender, and public health.
Fast Food Nation
Research Question: How has the global spread of fast-food chains influenced eating habits and cultural identities in various societies?
Analyze the historical expansion of fast-food chains and their impact on local food cultures. Examine how these chains have altered eating habits, health, and cultural identities. Finally, investigate the role of marketing and globalization in shaping consumer preferences.
The Art of Queuing
Research Question: What are the unwritten rules and etiquette of waiting in line across different cultures?
Compare the social norms and etiquette associated with queuing in various cultures. Investigate how queuing practices reflect cultural values such as personal space, time management, and politeness. Finally, consider the role of technology in altering queuing behavior.
Research Question: What are the historical and cultural significance of body modifications, and how do they reflect societal values?
Examine the history of body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, and plastic surgery across different cultures. Analyze how these practices reflect cultural values, including beauty standards, social status, and self-expression. Consider the impact of globalization on body modification trends.
Napping Around the World
Research Question: What are the cultural practices and importance of napping in different societies?
Investigate the role of napping in various cultures, including traditions, health benefits, and workplace practices. Analyze how attitudes towards napping reflect broader cultural values related to work, leisure, and health.
Research Question: What are the origins, meanings, and cultural significance of common superstitions across different societies?
Explore various superstitions’ historical and cultural roots, noting their origins, evolution, and significance. Analyze how superstitions reflect cultural beliefs and values, and consider their impact on everyday life and decision-making.
The Social Lives of Houseplants
Research Question: How does the rise of houseplant ownership reflect changes in modern living and social relationships?
Examine the growth of houseplant ownership, considering factors such as urbanization, environmental awareness, and mental health. Next, analyze how houseplant care reflects changes in social relationships, self-care, and connections to nature.
The Anthropology of Selfies
Research Question: How has the cultural phenomenon of the selfie transformed human interaction and self-expression?
Investigate the history and evolution of the selfie, noting changes in technology, platforms, and social norms. Examine how selfies have altered the way people communicate, present themselves, and form relationships. Finally, consider the impact of selfies on mental health, self-esteem, and cultural values.
The Language of Emojis
Research Question: What is the impact of emojis on human communication and cultural understanding?
Explore the development and popularization of emojis, and analyze their influence on language, communication, and emotional expression. Investigate the role of emojis in bridging cultural gaps or perpetuating stereotypes.
Cults and Their Appeal
Research Question: Why do people join cults, and how do cults maintain influence over their followers?
Examine the psychological, social, and cultural factors that lead individuals to join cults. Analyze cults’ tactics and strategies to maintain control and influence over their followers. Consider the role of charismatic leaders, social isolation, and indoctrination.
The Beauty of Ugly
Research Question: How do cultural and social factors define “ugliness,” and how does this concept vary across different societies?
Explore the cultural and social factors that contribute to the concept of “ugliness” in various societies. Investigate how standards of beauty and ugliness have evolved over time and how they reflect societal values, norms, and power structures.
The last and, in my opinion, the most unusual IB Anthropology extended essay topic – voala!
Do Zombies Reflect Our Fears?
Research Question: What is the cultural significance of zombies in popular culture, and how do they represent societal anxieties?
Analyze the portrayal of zombies in literature, film, and other media, and examine how these representations reflect broader societal concerns and fears. Investigate the historical and cultural roots of zombie mythology and its evolution over time.
Now, young scholars, I hope this list has given you some inspiration and a good chuckle. Remember, a fun and engaging topic will make the entire extended essay process much more enjoyable.
So, choose wisely, and in the next part, I’ll explain exatly how you should choose one.
How to choose a good Anthropology research topic for IB EE?
Oh, dear IB students, how I wish I could tell you that picking a Social and Cultural Anthropology Extended Essay topic is as easy as picking your nose, but alas, it’s slightly more complicated than that.
However, fear not, for I am here to guide you. Remember, the right topic is the key to unlocking the treasure chest of extended essay success (and perhaps a good chuckle, too)!
Choosing an appropriate topic for your Social and Cultural Anthropology Extended Essay is crucial for several reasons. First, a well-chosen topic will save you from plunging into the depths of despair, boredom, and eternal regret. Trust me, you don’t want to spend months researching something as dull as watching paint dry. Second, a fitting topic will make your essay stand out like a peacock among pigeons, impressing your teachers and earning you that sweet, sweet grade.
So, what should you focus on when selecting a topic? Here are some foolproof guidelines wrapped in humor and wit:
Pick a topic that tickles your funny bone
If you can find humor in your research, it’s a sign that you’re genuinely interested in the subject. Laughter is the best medicine, especially when you’re drowning in research and writing.
Be original, but not too outlandish
Choose a topic that hasn’t been explored to death, but don’t go so far off the beaten path that you end up lost in the wilds of obscure academia. Of course, you want your essay to stand out, but you also want your teachers to know what on Earth you’re talking about.
Get inspired by the world around you
Find inspiration in everyday life, pop culture, news, and social media. Anthropology is all about understanding human societies and cultures, so why not start by observing the ones you’re already a part of? Just remember to put your phone down and actually write the essay at some point.
Consult the all-knowing oracle… or, you know, your teacher
Your teacher is a valuable resource when it comes to refining your topic and pointing you in the right direction for research. They may not be as wise as the ancient oracle, but they’ve probably read more anthropology papers than you’ve had hot dinners.
Follow the breadcrumbs of research
Once you’ve chosen a topic, dive into the literature to see what scholars have already uncovered. Use their findings as a springboard for your own research and analysis. Just don’t plagiarize, or you’ll end up in the doghouse.
Now that you’ve got these hilarious yet helpful guidelines etched into your brain, go forth and conquer the world of Social and Cultural Anthropology Extended Essay topics!
Select Anthropology EE Topic Wisely!
In conclusion, my dear, overwhelmed IB students, let me leave you with these final, witty words of wisdom: Embrace the chaos, learn to laugh at your mistakes, and don’t forget to ask for help when needed. Your EE is an opportunity to showcase your passion, creativity, and intellectual prowess – so make the most of it!
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Good luck, young anthropologists!