2The Essence of Anthropology Chapter 1The Essence of Anthropology
3Chapter Preview What is Anthropology? How Do Anthropologists Do What They Do?How Does Anthropology Compare to Other Disciplines?
4Making Sense of Being Human Where did we come from?Why are we so radically different from some animals and so surprisingly similar to others?Why do our bodies look the way they do?How do we explain so many different beliefs, languages, and customs?Why do we act in certain ways?
5What Is Anthropology?The study of the biological and cultural evolution and diversity of human beings, past and present.Anthropology is a comparative discipline which seeks to understand what makes people different and what they all have in common.
6What Do Anthropologists Do? Anthropologists are concerned with the description and explanation of reality.They formulate and test hypotheses concerning humankind so they can develop theories about our species.
7The Development of Anthropology Anthropology as a distinct field of study developed relatively recently.The encounter with other peoples began 500 years ago as Europeans sought to extend their trade and political domination to all parts of the world focused attention on human differences.Europeans gradually came to recognize that despite all the differences, they might share a basic humanity with people everywhere.
8Anthropological Perspectives A fundamental principle of anthropology, that the various parts of culture must be viewed in the broadest possible context in order to understand their interconnections and interdependence.
9Anthropological Perspectives Theories about the world and reality based on the assumptions and values of one’s own culture.
10Visual Counterpoint: Class Discussion American infant sleeping arrangements (left) differ from those of the Nenet, a reindeer-herding culture from Siberia (right)
11Visual Counterpoint: Class Discussion Infants in the United States typically sleep apart from their parents, but cross-cultural research shows that co-sleeping is the rule.What cultural reasons do we have for having infants sleep apart from parents?What impacts on health might be associated with these contrasting sleeping patterns?
13Four Sub-Fields of Anthropology Physical AnthropologyArchaeologyLinguistic AnthropologyCultural Anthropology
14Applied AnthropologyOften seen as the fifth sub-field of anthropology.Uses anthropological knowledge and methods from the four sub-fields to solve practical problems, often for a specific client.
15Medical AnthropologyThe use of insights from cultural anthropology and physical anthropology to understand the relationship between human health and cultural behaviors.
16Physical Anthropology Also called biological anthropology.Focuses on humans as biological organisms, evolution, and human variation.Analyze fossils and observe living primates to reconstruct the ancestry of the human species.The biocultural perspective focuses on the interaction of biology and culture.
17Physical Anthropology Also called biological anthropology.Focuses on humans as biological organisms, evolution, and human variation.Analyze fossils and observe living primates to reconstruct the ancestry of the human species.The biocultural perspective focuses on the interaction of biology and culture.
18The Biocultural Perspective: Class Discussion Classic period (AD 600) Mayan maxilla or upper jaw demonstrating dental surgery (inlaid jade) – from the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Guatemala City
19The Biocultural Perspective: Class Discussion Many cultures alter their bodies through surgical techniques for aesthetic, political, and economic reasons.Why do you think the Mayans altered their teeth?Do people in the United States alter their bodies? If so, how and why?
20Physical Anthropology PaleoanthropologyThe study of the origins of the human species.
21Physical Anthropology Forensic anthropologySpecializes in the identification of human skeletal remains for legal purposes.
22Physical Anthropology PrimatologyThe study of living and fossil primates.Mandrill Ring-Tailed Lemur
23Physical Anthropology Human Growth, Adaptation, and DiversityThe study of the ways in which the natural and cultural environment impacts human growth and biological diversity
24Cultural Anthropology The study of different patterns in human behavior, thought, and feelings.Focuses on humans as culture-producing and culture-reproducing creatures.Two main components: ethnography and ethnology.
25CultureA society’s shared and learned ideas, values, and perceptions, which are used to make sense of experience and which generate behavior and are reflected in that behavior.
26Studying Culture: Fieldwork The term anthropologists use for on-location research.Participant observation - The technique of learning a people’s culture through direct participation in their everyday life over an extended period of time.
27Studying Culture: Ethnography The systematic description of a particular culture based on firsthand observation.
28Studying Culture: Ethnology The study and analysis of different cultures from a comparative or historical point of view, utilizing ethnographic accounts and developing anthropological theories that help explain why certain important differences or similarities occur among groups.
29Linguistic Anthropology Studies human languages:Description of a language - the way a sentence is formed or a verb conjugated.History of languages - the way languages change over time.The study of language in its social setting, such as discourse – an extended speech act on a particular topic.
30Linguistic Anthropology Kallawaya language-speakers from Bolivia
31ArchaeologyStudies material remains in order to describe and explain human behavior.Study tools, pottery, and other features such as hearths and enclosures that remain as the testimony of earlier cultures.
32Rapa NuiA tiny volcanic island in the middle of the southern Pacific Ocean, also known as Easter Island. The landscape is punctuated by nearly 900 stone “heads,” some towering to 65 feet, called moai by the islanders.
33TeotihuacanOne of the largest Pre-Columbian cities in Mexico (AD ). In addition to impressive stepped-pyramids, the city boasts many palaces decorated with painted murals which provide clues about the worldview of these ancient people.
34BioarchaeologyThe study of human remains as a record of cultural processes.For example, this Mayan woman was buried in a hocker position with two fetuses. What does this tell you about how she died?
35Cultural Resource Management A branch of archaeology tied to government policies for the protection of cultural resources and involving surveying and/or excavating archaeological and historical remains threatened by construction or development.
36Cultural Resource Management A Pre-Columbian rock carving from Tecaltzingo in Puebla, Mexico. Notice the damage caused by modern graffiti.
37Cultural Resource Management CRM is also about stewardship of archaeological sites for the benefit of all.Why should we be concerned about preserving archaeological sites?
38How Do Anthropologists Do What They Do? Anthropology as one of the HumanitiesAnthropology as a ScienceThe Comparative Method
39Anthropology as one of the Humanities The holistic and comparative perspective of Anthropology has led to many insights on human failures and successes, weaknesses and greatnessHelps us think about the shared experience of being human.
40Anthropology as a Science Anthropology is empirical - based on observations of the world rather than on intuition or faith.TheoryAn explanation of natural phenomena, supported by a reliable body of data.HypothesisA tentative explanation of the relation between certain phenomena.
41Anthropology’s Comparative Method Uses the methods of other scientists by developing hypotheses and arriving at theories.Anthropologists make comparisons between peoples and cultures past and present, related species, and fossil groups.
42Questions Of Ethics Anthropologists have obligations to: Those whom they study.Those who fund the research.Those in the profession who expect a study to be published so they can further the research in the field.
43How Does Anthropology Compare to Other Disciplines? Anthropologists focus on the interconnections and interdependence of all aspects of the human experience, past and present.This holistic and integrative perspective equips anthropologists to grapple with the issue of globalization.
44Anthropology and Globalization Globalization refers to worldwide interconnectedness, evidenced in global movements of natural resources, human labor, finance capital, information,infectious diseases, and trade goods.The forces driving globalization are technologicalinnovations, lower transportation and communication costs, faster knowledge transfers, and increased trade and financial integration among countries.