IB Social and Cultural Anthropology IA topics

The IB Social and Cultural Anthropology Internal Assessment is a mandatory assessment for students in the International Baccalaureate program. The IA is an individual piece of work which allows students to demonstrate their application of knowledge and understanding to a particular topic. This is an essential element of the IB Social and Cultural Anthropology program and is assessed internally by the student’s teacher.

The core aim of the IA is to encourage students to use material from their course and research to investigate different questions and topics. It also promotes independent learning by exploring topics in depth and applying knowledge from the course to produce their own argument or line of inquiry.

The IA is also an important part of the overall grade for the course, so it’s important that students put plenty of effort into creating an excellent IA. With careful planning and thorough research, students can produce an outstanding IA which will be well-received by their teacher.

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IB Social and Cultural Anthropology IA topics

Step by Step Guide to Writing the IA

The IB Social and Cultural Anthropology Internal Assessment (IA) is an important part of the course. It is a chance for students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject and apply their knowledge to a chosen topic.

Breaking your IA down into its component parts will make it easier to complete. Here is a step by step guide to writing the IA:

  • 1. Choose a Topic – Before you can begin writing your IA, you need to select a suitable topic. Make sure you pick something that is relevant to the course and that you have access to secondary sources for research.
  • 2. Research Diverse Sources – It is important to get as much information as possible from a variety of sources. This will ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic and ensure you have enough material to use in your IA.
  • 3. Outline Ideas – Now it is time to structure your essay. Plan out the main arguments, points, and ideas that you want to include in your IA.
  • 4. Write the Introduction and Body – Begin your IA with a strong introduction that explains the topic and your argument. Include evidence-based points in the body paragraphs while referencing where you got the information from.
  • 5. Conduct Further Research – As you are writing, if you come across information that needs further exploration, then it is best to do more research before continuing.
  • 6. Analyze and Link Information – Take the time to analyze the information you have gathered and link it together to create a cohesive argument.
  • 7. Write the Conclusion – Summarize the main points of your IA in the conclusion. Tie up any loose ends and reinforce your argument.
  • 8. Proofread and Edit – Once you have completed the IA, it is important to proofread and edit it. Make sure the language is consistent and there are no mistakes.

Following this step by step guide will help you make sure that you write an effective Social and Cultural Anthropology IA.

Choosing a Worthy IA Topic

When it comes to choosing an IB Social and Cultural Anthropology IA topic, it’s important to choose something that will challenge you and add value to your studies. The IA should be well-researched and have relevance to your learning. Here are some tips for selecting a suitable topic:
  • Choose something relevant – Make sure your IA topic is within the scope of the course and that it adds value to your understanding of Social and Cultural Anthropology.
  • Do your research – Investigate the subject matter and ensure there is enough material available to write your IA. Also, review peer publications and make sure your topic is different than already explored.
  • Aim for depth – Your topic should go beyond general knowledge and explore very specific aspects. Try to find two or three subtopics to further refine your research.
  • Be realistic – Make sure you have enough time and resources to complete your IA properly. Don’t take on a topic that is too broad or difficult to research.
Keep in mind that the quality of your IA depends on your topic selection. Well thought out topics should lead to more interesting, creative and relevant results. When considering possible topics, focus on those areas that you feel passionate about and that you can contribute something new to the knowledge base.
  1. An analysis of the cultural significance of a particular festival or ritual in your local community.
  2. A study of the impact of globalization on the traditional foodways and eating habits of a specific culture.
  3. An investigation into the role of gender in shaping social hierarchies and power relations in a particular society.
  4. A comparative analysis of two different indigenous cultures and their beliefs surrounding land, resources, and the environment.
  5. An exploration of the cultural significance of music and dance in a specific community or society.
  6. An investigation into the role of religion in shaping cultural identity and social behavior in a specific culture.
  7. A study of the impact of colonialism on a specific culture’s social, economic, and political systems.
  8. An analysis of the cultural significance of art and aesthetics in a particular society or community.
  9. A comparative study of two different cultures’ beliefs and practices surrounding death and mourning.
  10. An exploration of the role of language in shaping cultural identity and social relationships in a particular community or society.
  11. An investigation into the cultural significance of marriage and family structures in a specific culture.
  12. A study of the impact of tourism on a specific culture’s traditions, values, and way of life.
  13. An analysis of the cultural significance of fashion and dress in a particular society or community.
  14. A comparative study of two different cultures’ beliefs and practices surrounding health and healing.
  15. An exploration of the role of technology in shaping cultural identity and social behavior in a particular community or society.
  16. An investigation into the cultural significance of sports and leisure activities in a specific culture.
  17. A study of the impact of migration on a specific culture’s traditions, values, and way of life.
  18. An analysis of the cultural significance of storytelling and oral traditions in a particular society or community.
  19. A comparative study of two different cultures’ beliefs and practices surrounding education and learning.
  20. An exploration of the role of music and dance in the expression and negotiation of political power in a particular society.


When it comes to researching your IB Social and Cultural Anthropology IA topic, there is a wealth of information available if you know where to look. It’s important to remember, however, that not all sources are suitable for use in your IA. You need to be able to ensure that the information you use is reliable and up to date. The best place to start is by searching for reputable academic sources related to your topic.

No matter how hard you search, you’re unlikely to locate all the relevant information you need without leaving the comfort of your own home. Make sure you also visit your local library or university library and take advantage of their wealth of knowledge. Remember to check online databases, too, as they can be an invaluable source of information.

While searching for sources, be sure to note down any relevant bibliographic information that you find – including the author, title, publisher, date, volume and page numbers. This is essential for allowing you to reference your sources correctly and give credit to the original writers.

To make sure you have collected the right amount of relevant information, make sure to create an outline of the points you wish to cover before you start researching. This will help you focus your research and ensure that you only include essential information.

Finally, don’t forget to take notes as you go. This will help you remember what information you’ve read and will also make it much easier to write up or summarise your findings into a written form.

Structuring Your IA

When writing an IB Social and Cultural Anthropology IA, it is important to ensure that it is structured correctly. An effective structure will help the reader to better understand your ideas, arguments and conclusions. A good way to do this is to split the essay into four distinct components: Introduction, Body, Analysis, and Conclusion.

The introduction serves to introduce the topic and provide a brief description of what will be discussed in the essay. It should also offer an insight into why the topic is important. The body comprises the majority of the essay and should explain the topic in detail. It is important to cite any applicable sources used throughout the body. The analysis should interpret the material presented and make connections between the evidence and the overall argument. Finally, the conclusion should summarize the key points discussed and tie them together. It should leave the reader with a clear understanding of the IA’s primary message.

In addition to following this structure, your essay should also have a logical flow and use correct grammar and punctuation throughout. This will help to make sure that your ideas are communicated effectively. Spend time proofreading and editing your work so that you can maximize its impact.

Common Mistakes when Writing Your IA

Writing an IB Social and Cultural Anthropology IA can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Avoid making common mistakes that other students make by understanding exactly what is expected of you. One common mistake is not staying on topic. Make sure that your IA addresses the question or topic you are discussing and does not stray off course. Additionally, ensure that you do not merely repeat the same points. It is important to back up any arguments with evidence from scholarly sources. Another common mistake is not connecting your argument to the wider field of anthropology. To get the top marks, you need to demonstrate how your findings link to the theory in social and cultural anthropology. This requires an in-depth understanding of the literature and how it applies to your findings. Additionally, relying too heavily on one source is another common mistake. Try to draw from a range of sources, such as primary research, opinion pieces and scholarly articles. Furthermore, any use of outside information must be cited correctly and appropriate reference made to the original source. Finally, it is important to understand the concept of reflexivity. A successful IA demonstrates an awareness of the researcher’s own biases, assumptions and values in relation to their research. Failure to do this can hamper your grade. By avoiding these mistakes, your IA will stand a much better chance of achieving the top grade. With some dedicated effort and attention to detail, you can submit an IA that sets you apart from your peers.


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Social and Cultural Anthropology Internal Assessment (IA) is an important part of the IB curriculum. It requires students to research and write an essay on a topic related to social and cultural anthropology. Writing a high-quality IA requires a great deal of work, but it can be done with enough dedication and effort.

This guide has provided an overview of what an IA is, how to structure it, tips for choosing a topic, advice on researching and techniques to ensure your essay is of high quality. We have also included a list of resources in the appendix to help you get started.

It is essential that students take the time to craft a high-quality essay for their IA. Doing so will not only demonstrate understanding of the subject matter but also provide an opportunity to gain a better grade and overall score.

Appendix: List of Resources for Social and Cultural Anthropology

When researching topics related to social and cultural anthropology, it is important to use reliable, trustworthy sources. To help you find the best resources available, here is a list of recommended websites and other materials that you can use during your research.

  • Websites
  • The British Social Anthropology website provides lots of helpful resources on topics related to social and cultural anthropology. You can find journal articles and other academic works that can help you in your research.
  • The American Anthropological Association website is great for finding scholarly pieces that are written by experts in the field. It also has a section dedicated to cultural anthropology which may be useful.
  • The UNESCO Cultural Anthropology Database is another great resource for finding reliable information about social and cultural anthropology topics. This database includes a range of different sources, including books, articles, and more.
  • Books
  • A great book to start with is ‘An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology’ by John H. Bodley. This book provides an excellent overview of the field and will give you a deep understanding of the topic before you move onto more specific areas.
  • If you are looking for something more in depth, ‘Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective’ by Raymond Scupin is a comprehensive guide that covers most aspects of the field.
  • Finally, for those looking for something more specific, ‘Cultural Anthropology: A Guide to Reference & Information Sources’ by Robert L. Carneiro is an invaluable resource for finding relevant information on particular topics.

By using these resources, you can find reliable and trustworthy materials for your research and gain a better understanding of social and cultural anthropology.

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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