Intro to Anthropology
What is Anthropology
- The discipline of anthropology studies humankind in its entirety and aims to produce useful generalizations about the behavior of people around the world and throughout time.
- Anthropology follows the holistic perspective, meaning that through cross-cultural comparison we can recognize both the great diversity between people as well as the human characteristics that unite us all.
- Anthropology – the systematic study of humankind.
- What do we mean by systematic?
- Scientific Method
- Empirical – based on observation and experiment
- Positivism – only authentic knowledge is that which is based on sense, experience and positive verification
- Concept – a cognitive unit of meaning, an abstract idea or a mental symbol
- Variable – logical set of characteristics of an object
- Comparative and empirical (based on observation and experiment).
- Fieldwork is its most important method of data collection.
- Global focus (looks at all societies).
- Studies society as it is being enacted.
- Stresses social and cultural context of speech when looking at language
- Study of a culture by looking at all the parts of the system and how those parts are interrelated
Other Social Sciences
- Sociology – study of society
- Political Science – study of the state, government and politics
- Economics – analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services
- Psychology –study of human behavior and mental processes
5 Types of Anthropology
- Cultural Anthropology: the study of ways of life (culture) throughout the world by direct observation
- Archaeology: studies material remains in order to describe and explain human behavior
- Linguistic Anthropology: studies the origin and social context of speech and languages and their relationship with culture
- Biological Anthropology: the study of human evolution and contemporary human diversity
- Applied Anthropology: the use of anthropological knowledge for solving problems of social development
- Knowledge about those aspects of humanity which are not natural, but which are learned / acquired
- All anthropologists rely on fieldwork.
- The characteristic form of fieldwork in Cultural Anthropology is called Participant Observation.
Our research is holistic—it examines how each part of culture influences all other parts
- Culture can be defined as a society’s shared and socially transmitted ideas, values, and perceptions.
- An individual cannot invent a culture in isolation.
- * Culture has two main characteristics. It is learned, and it is shared.
- It is both a system for understanding life and, simultaneously, a set of rules for living.
- Culture is a shared However, it is not shared homogeneously.
- All cultures change.
- The central core of any culture are the shared beliefs and shared feelings that, by consensus, are regarded as normal or typical within a society.