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What Is Anthropology? ANTH 250: Issues in Anthropology Kimberly Martin, Ph. D.
What is Anthropology? KEY COMPONENTS DEFINITION Anthropology is the holistic, synthetic, multidisciplinary study of human beings. 1. Anthropology seeks and uses all information about both individual humans and groups of humans regardless of time, geographic location, culture or types of evidence. 2. Anthropology studies the biological, psychological, social and cultural aspects of being human in the present and in the past. 3. Anthropology draws knowledge and methods from any discipline that can help understand humanness 4. Anthropology attempts to integrate information from many disciplines into a single whole picture of what it means to be humans
What are the Four Sub-disciplines of Anthropology? 1. Physical Anthropology 2. Archaeology 3. Linguistic Anthropology 4. Cultural Anthropology
What is Physical Anthropology? DEFINITION Physical Anthropology, also called Biological Anthropology, is the study of the genetic, anatomical and physiological aspects of humanness, including our relationship to other kinds of animals in the past and present. KEY COMPONENTS 1. 2. 3. Physical anthro studies human evolution to understand when humans first existed and how the human body has changed through time Physical anthro studies how and why human individuals and groups differ from one another biologically in the past and present Physical anthro studies how humans are alike and different from other animals, especially those most like us, the non-human primates
Some Key Definitions • Anatomy is the study of • Adaptation is the structure and adjustment to social, architecture of the body. cultural or physical environmental conditions. Adaptation • Physiology is the study can be behavioral of how the body (cultural) or genetic operates. (biological).
What Kinds of Physical Anthropologists Are There? Six Kinds of Biological Anthropologists Ø Paleoanthropologists Ø Forensic Anthropologists Ø Human Variation Specialists Ø Human Epidemiologists study human fossil remains study how human anatomy and physiology are adapted to particular environments Ø Human Geneticists study patterns of gene distribution in human populations, as well as the consequences of particular genes to individuals apply anthropological knowledge about the human body to solve crimes study how human biology and cultural practices affect health and disease patterns Ø Primatologists study similarities and differences between humans and our closest relatives, the non-human primates
What is Archaeology? DEFINITION Archaeology is the study of the material remains of human cultures from the past and in the present. KEY COMPONENTS 1. Archaeology studies things that people make (artifacts like pottery or tools) and leave behind 2. Archaeology studies things that people alter (features like roads and buildings) and leave behind 3. Archaeology studies environmental clues that show the circumstances in which people live or lived (ecofacts) 4. Archaeologists are interested in material culture from the past as well as from the present
Some Key Definitions • Artifacts are portable objects that people make and leave behind. • Features are changes that people make in the physical and biological environment. • Ecofacts are pieces of evidence about the environment in which people lived in the past. • Survey is the process of locating archaeological sites from clues on the surface. • Excavation is the process of digging down into sites to uncover artifacts and ecofacts.
What Kinds of Archaeologists Are There? Five of Kinds of Archaeologists Ø Classical Archaeologists Ø Study the remains from the foundational societies for Western Civilization Ø Ethnoarchaeologists Ø Study how living societies make and use tools and other material objects to draw analogies with ancient materials Ø Historical Archaeologists Ø Study the remains of historically documented societies to provide additional data on how people lived. ØContract Archaeologists ØIdentifying, evaluating, and managing sites threatened by development. ØExperimental Archaeologists ØAttempt to reconstruct how material culture and cultural features were constructed and used in the past.
What is Linguistic Anthropology? DEFINITION Linguistic Anthropology is the study of language and communication. KEY COMPONENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Linguistic anthropologists describe how languages are produced and used Linguistic anthropologists study how language changes through time Linguistic anthropologists study how language usage varies in different social contexts Linguistic anthropologists study how knowing a particular language influences how people think Linguistic anthropologists study how people communicate non-verbally through gestures, body language and the use of space. Language is a central part of culture
Some Key Definitions • Communication is the act of transmitting information from one entity to another. • Language is the abstract, learned, shared rules and standards for understanding and generating speech. • Speech is the act of communicating using language. • Symbol is something that arbitrarily represents something else. • Icon is something that represents something else because of a logical connection.
What kinds of Linguistic Anthropologists Are There? Eight Kinds of Linguistic Anthropologists Ø Descriptive Linguists study how languages are produced and organized Ø Historical Linguists study how languages change over time Ø Developmental Linguists study how children acquire language Ø Paralanguage Experts study pitch, tone and rhythm in language Ø Ethnolinguists Ø Proxemics Experts Ø Sociolinguists Ø Kinesics Experts study how knowing a particular language affects the way people think study how language use changes in differing social situations study the use of space to communicate study body language and gestures
What is Cultural Anthropology? DEFINITION Cultural Anthropology, also called Sociocultural Anthropology, is the study of contemporary and historic human societies through their cultures. KEY COMPONENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. Cultural anthropology studies living societies and descriptions of living societies Cultural anthropology uses fieldwork and participantobservation to understand other ways of life Cultural anthropology attempts to take a cultural relativist perspective on other cultures Cultural anthropology is interested in all aspects of life in a society and how they fit together
Some Key Definitions • Culture is the abstract, learned, shared rules and standards for interpreting experiences and generating behavior. • Society is a group of people living together according to a shared culture. • Ethnocentrism is judging another culture using your own culture’s rules and standards. • Cultural relativism is judging another society using its own culture’s rules and standards.
Some Key Definitions • Fieldwork is the study of a group/society in its normal physical and cultural environment. • Ethnography is the process of studying and describing a culture in detail. Kung • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v= XU-Pce. Rra. U 0 • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v= _nygexk. Kha 0 • An ethnography is a description of a culture in detail. Egypt • http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Bfz. D 4 Hlzi. VE • Ethnology is comparative study of ethnographies (cultures).
What Kinds of Cultural Anthropologists Are There? Seven Kinds of Cultural Anthropologists Ø Cultural Ecologists study how culture interacts with the environment Ø Social Anthropologists study the rules forming kin and nonkin social groups in society Ø Political Anthropologists study how power and authority are delegated and rules enforced in society Ø Medical Anthropologists study how culture and human biology interact to create disease Ø Economic Anthropologists study how people produce and distributeØ and illness in societies the things they need to survive Ø Psychological Anthropologists study how individuals grow and function in different cultural contexts Ø Aesthetic Anthropologists study what is considered beautiful and how beauty is created in different societies