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Career Exploration
Careers Related to Social Studies

Anthropologist and Archeologist

Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development, and behavior of human beings, past and present. They examine the cultures, languages, archeological remains, and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world.

Profile: Ann Dunham

Ann Dunham, the mother of 44th United States president Barack Obama, was an American anthropologist who specialized in economic anthropology and rural development.

 

 


Economist

Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services.

Profile: Roland G. Fryer

In 2003, economist Roland G. Fryer joined the faculty of Harvard University as one of the youngest professors in the school's history. Fryer's specialty is race-based economic issues, and his research projects seek to answer the question of why African-Americans are harder hit by poverty than other demographic groups in America.

 

 


Historian

Historians research, analyze, interpret, and present the past by studying a variety of historical documents and sources.

Profile: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a highly regarded African-American educator and scholar. He directs of the W. E. B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard. He received a MacArthur Foundation grant in 1981 to support his research for the Black Periodical Literary Project. He entered the public eye in 2009 related to a conflicting report of a break-in and racial prejudice.

 

 


Judge

Judges are in charge of trials and make sure that they are fair. They resolve differences between lawyers. They read the law to decide what lawyers can and can't do.

 

Profile: Wilhemina Wright

Wilhemina M. Wright is an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. She served as a law clerk for Judge Damon Keith and was later appointed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals in 2002 by Governor Jesse Ventura. Wright is the first African-American woman to serve on the state’s highest court.

 

 


Lawyer

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies on legal issues or disputes.

 

Profile: Barack Obama

The 44th and current president of the United States, Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was a civil rights lawyer before pursuing a political career, first as Illinois State Senator, and later as the first African-American president of the United States. 

 

 


Politician

Politicians run Federal, State, and local governments. They are the Nation's chief executives and legislators. They get their jobs by being elected. They make and pass laws that affect all of us.

 

Profile: Keith Ellison

Born August 4, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan, Keith Ellison became a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2002. In 2006 he moved into the national political arena, winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Democratic candidate and the first black Muslim from Minnesota to serve in Congress. 

 

 

 


Psychologist

Psychologists study mental processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people and other animals relate to one another and the environment.

Profile: Kevin Nadal

After attaining BA's in Psychology and Political Science from the University of California at Irvine and an MA in Counseling from Michigan State University, Kevin Nadal received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University in New York City. Nadal is considered one of the leading scholars on Filipino American identity and mental health issues in the US.  He initially published his "Pilipino American Identity Development Model" in 2004,  and since then, he has advocated for culturally competent services for Filipino Americans in education, psychology, and health. 


Social Worker

There are two main types of social workers: direct-service social workers, who help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives, and clinical social workers, who diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

Profile: Sidney J. Pilkinton

Sidney Pilkinton is a Native American Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor  providing services to mental health, addictions, trauma, and co-occurring disorders populations. He works for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as an Admissions Director.

 

 


Sociologist

Sociologists study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions, and processes that people develop.

Profile: Tukufu Zuberi

Tukufu Zuberi was born on April 26, 1959 in Oakland, California. He  is an American sociologist, filmmaker, social critic, educator, and writer. He is the Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations, and Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Pennsylvania.