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Anthropology

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Anthropology A Brief Introduction to the Most Interesting Field Known to Mankind The Meaning of the Word Anthropology Comes from the Greek words: Anthropos Man or ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anthropology


1
Anthropology
  • A Brief Introduction to the Most Interesting
    Field Known to Mankind

2
The Meaning of the Word
  • Anthropology
  • Comes from the Greek words
  • Anthropos
  • Man or Human
  • Logos
  • Study
  • So Anthropology literally means the Study of
    Human kind

3
So thats what the word means.but how can you
define Anthropology?
  • Technically, Anthropology is defined as
  • Previously stated it is a discipline that
    studies humans.
  • Focuses upon both biological and cultural
    differences and similarities.
  • Interest in human populations that crosses all
    time periods and extends to all areas of the
    world.

4
What do Anthropologists do exactly?
  • Anthropologists gather data through field work
  • This is the exciting part that movies about
    anthropology are always made of.if movies about
    anthropologists were actually made
  • This data is then interpreted and used to form
    hypotheses about how and why cultures (and
    specific elements within cultures) change over
    time.

5
Specialization within Anthropology
  • In the early days of the field Anthropologists
    tried to cover many aspects of a culture.
  • Such as the language, environment, religion and
    art (among many others elements) of a particular
    group of people.
  • This is also called the Holistic Approach

6
Specialization
  • As with many fields this eventually led to
    increased specialization within Anthropology.
  • Presently there are four major subdivisions
    within modern Anthropology

7
Subdisciplines of Anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Biological Anthropology

8
Linguistics
  • The study of languages.
  • Existed before anthropology became recognized as
    its own discipline.
  • Within anthropology the study of languages,
    particularly unwritten ones, is extremely
    important for fieldwork.
  • How languages have changed over time can tell a
    linguist a great deal about how the culture in
    general has been altered.
  • How languages (sentences and individual words)
    are constructed is a central topic for linguists.
  • Non verbal communication is also included within
    linguistics, but is also of interest for cultural
    anthropologists as well.

9
Archaeology
  • Concerned with the physical remains of cultures.
  • Attempts to wrestle physical evidence of a
    culture from the dirt and reconstruct past life
    ways and cultural changes based upon this
    physical evidence.
  • Types of physical evidence may be tools, pottery,
    hearths, and larger features such as entire
    structures.
  • Archaeologists reach far back into human history
    and pre-history, which distinguishes it from some
    other fields and subdisciples of anthropology.
  • Historical archaeology- Written records
  • Pre-Historic archaeology- No written records

10
Cultural Anthropology
  • Cultural anthropologists are primarily interested
    in how cultures vary and what forces motivate
    them to change, as well as why certain aspects of
    a society may change before others.
  • This is the subdiscipline that be most associated
    with the ideas and cultures we will be examining
    during this class.
  • We will examine it in more detail later tonight.

11
Biological Anthropology
  • Also known as Physical Anthropology
  • Primarily concerned with studying two sets of
    questions
  • How humans have evolved over time from our
    earliest primate ancestors to our modern forms
    (paleoanthropology)
  • And
  • How and why contemporary (modern) humans vary
    biologically and the possible causes of this
    variation.
  • The study of modern primates (Primatology) is
    also included.

12
Biological Anthropology
  • The subdiscipline of Forensic Anthropology is
    also included within Bio.
  • CSI!!
  • Involves working with law enforcement to identify
    human remains and victims of disasters, war
    crimes, murders, missing persons, etc.

13
Applied Anthropology
  • This is a conditional 5th subdiscipline of
    anthropology that cuts across all four of the
    other subdisciplines.
  • Typically involves working in a more practical
    role.
  • Such as in marketing, government agencies, health
    organizations, community development, and
    charitable foundations.
  • Also typically outside of academic circles.
  • Its goal is to make anthropological knowledge
    useful to businesses and the general public.

14
The History of the Four Field (Holistic) Approach
  • Advanced by Franz Boas.

15
Franz Boas
  • Born 1858
  • Died 1942
  • Worked in other fields such as geography and
    physics before becoming interested in
    anthropology.
  • Applied the scientific method and standardization
    to the study of human cultures.
  • Also referred to as the Father of American
    Anthropology

16
Ethical Concerns
  • Do Anthropologists have any ethical obligations
    to the people or cultures that they study?
  • YES!!
  • We have to ensure that, in an academic sense, the
    people we study are protected.
  • i.e. protecting the identity of informants
  • Have a responsibility to those who have funded
    your research.

17
Ethical Concerns
  • One of the most important
  • We have a responsibility to publish our findings
    so that others in the field, and outside the
    field, can have access to our data and
    conclusions.
  • The dissemination of information throughout all
    the subdisciplines of anthropology is exceedingly
    important.
  • Without it future interpretations may be based
    upon flawed assumptions, simply due to a lack of
    knowledge.

18
Why is Anthropology Important?
  • It helps us understand other cultures from
    different parts of the world.
  • Why is THAT important anyway?

19
Why is Anthropology Important?
  • It helps us put our own culture in the context of
    the rest of the world.
  • Particularly important in our modern climate of
    Globalization.

20
Why is Anthropology Important?
  • Anthropology is a way to expose us to a world
    outside of Burger King and American Idol.

21
  • This leads us into THE central theme of the
    class.

22
CULTURAL RELATIVITY
  • This is particularly important when studying as
    many cultures as we will be in this class.
  • Established by Franz Boas and truly popularized
    by his students after his death.
  • The central idea of Cultural Relativity

23
CULTURAL RELATIVITY
  • A societies customs and practices should be
    interpreted through the lens of THAT cultures
    ideas of right and wrong and NOT those of other
    cultures.
  • The danger is that Western (or other) values will
    be applied to other cultures and thus result in
    skewed interpretations and ideas about other
    societies.
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