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What is Anthropology? Anthropology is the broad study of humankind around the world and throughout time. It is concerned with both the biological and the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Anthropology

(No Transcript)
  • What is Anthropology?
  • Anthropology is the broad study of humankind
    around the world and throughout time. 
  • It is concerned with both the biological and the
    cultural aspects of humans. 

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Included in anthropology are four main
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Mechanisms of biological evolution, genetic
    inheritance, human adaptability and variation,
    primatology, and the fossil record of human
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Culture, ethnocentrism, cultural aspects of
    language and communication, subsistence and other
    economic patterns, kinship, sex and marriage,
    socialization, social control, political
    organization, class, ethnicity, gender, religion,
    and culture change
  • Archaeology
  • Prehistory and early history of cultures around
    the world major trends in cultural evolution
    and techniques for finding, excavating, dating,
    and analyzing material remains of past societies
  • Linguistic Anthropology
  • The human communication process focusing on the
    importance of socio-cultural influences
    nonverbal communication and the structure,
    function, and history of languages, dialects,
    pidgins, and creoles

What would be the best way to really get to know
another society and its culture? Why?
  • Anthropologists have learned that the best way to
    really get to know another society and its
    culture is to live in it as an active participant
    rather than simply an observer. 
  • By physically and emotionally participating in
    the social interaction of the host society it is
    possible to become accepted as a member. 

Dian Fossey
  • Dian Fossey believed that in order to study
    gorillas effectively she had to immerse herself
    with them in an effort to get them to accept her
  • She was murdered in her cabin at Karisoke on
    December 26, 1985. Her death is a mystery yet

  • Why do we need social scientists?
  • Dont they tell us what we already know to be

Why we need social scientists
  • Intuition is believing something to be true
    because a persons emotions and logic support it
  • Intuition is not proof of fact this is why we
    need social scientists they prove or disprove
    what we BELIEVE to be true
  • Question According to your intuition, would
    introducing the death penalty into a society
    decrease the murder rate?

Anthropology The Question of Kinship
  • Kinship is a family relationship based on what is
    a culture considers a family to be
  • The family unit can vary depending on the culture
    in which the family lives
  • Anthropologists have concluded that human
    cultures define the concept of marriage in three
    ways mating (marriage), birth (descent) and
    nurturance (adoption)
  • Most human societies are patrilineal (organized
    through the fathers line). Examples?

Skills and Methods used by Anthropologists
  • Participation-observation
  • Collection of statistics
  • Field interviews
  • Rigorous compilation of detailed notes
  • Fieldwork on anthropologists is know as
    ethnography the scientific study of human
    races and cultures

Anthropological Schools of Thought
  • School of thought when a certain way of
    interpreting a disciplines subject matter gains
    widespread credibility, it is considered to be a
    school of thought
  • Anthropology Schools of Thought1.
    Functionalism2. Structuralism3. Culturalism

Comparing the Schools of Thought
Functionalism Structuralism Cultural Materialism
Similarities -attempts to understand cultures as a whole -attempts to understand cultures based on common properties of the human mind -attempts to understand cultures though technology and economy
Differences Investigates the social functions of institutions -seeks out and explains rules that are based on binary opposites (ie. Day / night male females) -explores members decisions regarding human reproduction and economic production
Criticisms -presents societies as being more stable than they are and downplays the negative results of some practices -overemphasizes logic and stability in human societies societies wouldn't die out if they always met the needs of their members -tries to establish laws that apply to all cultures and their development observes cultures through biased eyes

Social Change
  • Refers to changes in the way society is
    organized, and in the beliefs and practices of
    the people who live in it
  • Change in the social structure and the
    institutions of society
  • Examples?

Anthropology and Social Change
  • Anthropologists regard CULTURES, the focus of
    their studies as constantly changing organisms
  • Key Questions-What are the known basic
    mechanisms of social change?-What ideas or
    explanations can we use to describe what causes
    cultures to change?

Three Major Sources of Cultural Change
  1. Invention new products, ideas and social
    patterns. Examples?
  2. Discovery finding something that was previously
    unknown to a culture. Examples?
  3. Diffusion spreading of ideas, methods and tools
    from one culture to another. Examples?

Four Classifications of Culture
  • Anthropologists focus on the process of
    ENCULTURATION (members of a culture learn and
    internalize shared ideas, values and beliefs)
  • Culture is made up of 4 inter-related parts1)
    Physical Environment 2) Level of Technology
    3) Social Organization4) System of Symbols

Theories of Social Change
  • Adaption to change or cultural change takes place
    through three methods 1) Diffusion- one
    culture borrows cultural symbols from another2)
    Acculturation- prolonged contact between two
    cultures where they interchange symbols, beliefs
    and customs3) Cultural Evolution- cultures
    evolve according to common patterns