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Chapter One. What Is Anthropology?. What We Will Learn. How does anthropology differ from other social and behavioral sciences? What is the four- field approach to the discipline of anthropology? How can anthropology help solve social problems?

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chapter one

Chapter One

What Is Anthropology?

what we will learn
What We Will Learn
  • How does anthropology differ from other social and behavioral sciences?
  • What is the four- field approach to the discipline of anthropology?
  • How can anthropology help solve social problems?
  • What is meant by “cultural relativism,” and why is it important?
  • What skills will students develop from the study of anthropology?
what is anthropology
What is Anthropology?
  • Anthropology is the study of people
    • their origins
    • their development, and contemporary variations
    • wherever and whenever they have been found
branches of anthropology
Branches of Anthropology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Anthropological Linguistics
  • Cultural Anthropology
physical anthropology
Physical Anthropology
  • Paleontology
  • Primatology
  • Human variation
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Applied Physical Anthropology
  • Historical archaeology
  • Prehistoric archaeology
  • Contract archaeology
  • Applied archaeology
anthropological linguistics
Anthropological Linguistics
  • Historical linguistics
  • Descriptive linguistics
  • Ethnolinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Applied linguistics
cultural anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
  • Economic anthropology
  • Psychological anthropology
  • Educational anthropology
  • Medical anthropology
  • Urban anthropology
  • Political anthropology
  • Applied cultural anthropology
biological anthropology
Biological Anthropology
  • In 1991, construction workers in Manhattan unearthed a burial ground dating to the 17th century containing the remains of 10,000 African slaves.
  • Biological anthropologist Dr. Michael Blakey headed the African Burial Ground Project.
physical anthropology1
Physical Anthropology
  • Study of humans from a biological perspective.
  • Areas of investigation:
    • Paleoanthropology - emergence of humans and how humans have evolved.
    • Human variation - how and why the physical traits of human populations vary.
forensic anthropology
Forensic Anthropology
  • Dr. Kathy Reichs, a forensic anthropologist, works with police, the courts, medical examiners, and international organizations to identify victims of crimes, disasters, and genocide.
  • Dr. Reichs inspired the primetime TV series Bones.
  • Study of anatomy and social behavior of nonhuman primate species: gorillas, baboons, and chimpanzees.
  • Effort to learn about human evolution by studying contemporary nonhuman primates in similar environments.
  • Tool-making skills found in chimpanzees help explain human strategies for adapting to the environment.
  • Primatologist Diane Brockman studies the behavior of Coquerel's sifaka at the Duke University Primate Center.
  • Study people from the past by analyzing material culture they leave behind:
    • Artifacts
      • Example: tools, arrowheads.
    • Features
      • Examples: foundations and fireplaces.
    • Ecofacts
      • Examples: bones, seeds, and wood.
  • The study of humans from a biological perspective is called
      • anthropological linguistics.
      • zoology.
      • forensic anthropology.
      • physical anthropology.
answer d
Answer: d
  • The study of humans from a biological perspective is physical anthropology.
  • Historic archaeologists:
    • Reconstruct the cultures of people who used writing and about whom historical documents have been written.
  • Prehistoric archaeologists:
    • Study the human record of cultures that existed before the development of writing.
anthropological linguistics1
Anthropological Linguistics
  • Historical linguistics
    • Study of emergence of language and how specific languages have diverged over time.
  • Descriptive linguistics
    • Study of sound systems, grammatical systems, and the meanings attached to words in specific languages.
anthropological linguistics2
Anthropological Linguistics
  • Ethnolinguistics
    • Study the relationship between language and culture.
  • Sociolinguistics
    • Study the relationship between language and social relations.
  • Dr. Owen Sichone, an anthropologist at the University of Cape Town, conducts research on African migrants to Cape Town, issues of xenophobia, and emerging political structure in South Africa.
cultural anthropology1
Cultural Anthropology

Areas of Specialization

  • Urban anthropology
  • Medical anthropology
  • Educational anthropology
  • Psychological anthropology
  • A distinguishing feature of the discipline of anthropology is its holistic approach to the study of human groups.
    • Anthropology involves both biological and sociocultural aspects of humanity.
    • The time frame goes from the earliest beginnings of humans to the present.
    • Anthropology studies all varieties of people wherever they may be found.
  • The practice of viewing the customs of other societies in terms of one’s own.
cultural relativism
Cultural Relativism
  • The idea that cultural traits are best understood when viewed within the cultural context of which they are a part.
limits of cultural relativism
Limits of Cultural Relativism
  • If every society is unique and can only be evaluated in terms of its own standards, a cross-cultural comparison impossible.
  • There is no behavior that could be considered immoral if the people who practice it consider it acceptable or it functions for the well-being of the society.
  • A distinguishing feature of anthropology is its ________ approach to the study of human groups.
      • emic
      • etic
      • ethnocentric
      • holistic
answer d1
Answer: d
  • A distinguishing feature of anthropology is its holistic approach to the study of human groups.
  • ________ is the belief that one's own culture is superior to all others.
      • Holism
      • Ethnocentrism
      • Cultural relativism
      • Emeticism
answer b
Answer: b
  • Ethnocentrism is the belief that one's own culture is superior to all others.
emic versus etic approaches
Emic Versus Etic Approaches
  • The emic approach (insider view) seeks to describe another culture in terms of the categories, concepts, and perceptions of the people being studied.
  • In the etic approach (outsider view), anthropologists use their own categories and concepts to describe the culture under analysis.
value of anthropology
Value of Anthropology
  • Individual
    • The study of different cultures provides a better understanding of one’s own culture and develops valuable leadership skills.
  • Societal
    • Understanding different cultures can contribute to the solution of pressing societal problems.
cultural anthropology2
Cultural Anthropology
  • The study of cultural anthropology prepares people for working in the global economy of the twenty-first century.