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Chapter 1: What is Anthropology?

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1 Chapter 1: What is Anthropology?

2 What is Anthropology? Anthropology is the study of mankind or human kind. The term Anthropology comes from the Greek word Anthropos which means “man or human” and logos which means “the study of.”

3 What is Anthropology? Anthropologists study various aspects about humans Anthropology are interested in where, when, and how did humans appear on earth. How and why they have changed since then. How and why modern human populations vary in certain physical features. How and why societies in the past and present have varied in their customary ideas and practices. Applied and practicing anthropologists put anthropological methods, information, and results to use, in efforts to solve practical problems.

4 The Scope of Anthropology
One different between anthropology and other disciplines concerned with humans is that anthropologists travel to study various groups of people or do archeological digs to answer questions about mankind.

5 The Scope of Anthropology
Anthropology is concerned explicitly and directly with all varieties of people throughout the world, as well as people from all periods. Beginning with the immediate ancestors of humans.

6 The Scope of Anthropology
Anthropologists trace the development of humans until the present. In the past anthropologists only concentrated on non-western cultures, today Anthropologists focus on both.

7 The Holistic Approach In addition to the worldwide and historical scope of anthropology, another distinguished feature or its discipline is its holistic, or multifaceted, approach to the study of human beings.

8 The Holistic Approach Anthropologists don’t only study all varieties of people but many aspects of the human experience as well. the history of the area in which they live, the physical environment, the organization of family life, the general features of their language, their political and economic systems, their religion, their diet, or their styles of art and dress.

9 The Holistic Approach In the past, individual anthropologists tried to be holistic and cover all aspects of a subject. Today, so many information has been accumulated, anthropologists start to focus more on one subject or areas.

10 Fields of Anthropology
Physical Anthropology Cultural Anthropology Archeology Anthropological Linguistics

11 Physical Anthropology
Physical (Biological) Anthropology seek the answers to two set of questions: Questions about the emergence of humans and their evolution (the focus is called human paleontology, or Paleoanthropology). How and why contemporary human populations vary biologically (this focus called human variation).

12 Physical Anthropology
In order to reconstruct human evolution, human paleontologists search for and study fossils of humans, prehumans, and related animals.

13 Physical Anthropology
In addition to using fossil records anthropologists also use geological information on the succession of climates, environments, and plant and animal populations.

14 Physical Anthropology
When reconstructing the past of humans, paleontologists are also interested in the behavior and evolution of our closest relatives, other primates, such as apes, monkeys and chimpanzees.

15 Physical Anthropology
Anthropologists, psychologists, and biologists who specialize in the study of primates are called Primatologists. One especially popular subject of study is the chimpanzee, which bears a close resemblance to human behavior and physical appearance, has a similar blood chemistry, and is susceptible to many of the same diseases.

16 Koko the gorilla Koko gets new Kittens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=480keuakN6c Koko gets new Kittens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fffuQ6VIOyA

17 Physical Anthropology
From primates study anthropologists try to find characteristics that are distinctly humans, as opposite to those that might be part of the primate heritage. With this information, they may be able to infer what our prehistoric ancestors were like. The inference from primates are checked against fossil records.

18 Physical Anthropology
Physical anthropologists piece together pieces bits of information obtained from different sources. They construct theories that explain the changes observed in the fossil record and then attempt to evaluate their theories by checking one kind of evidence against the other.

19 Physical Anthropology
The second major focus of physical anthropology is the study of human variation, investigating how and why contemporary human populations differ in biological or physical characteristics.

20 Physical Anthropology
All living people belong to one species, Homo sapiens, for all can successfully interbreed. But there are much variations among human population.

21 Physical Anthropology
Anthropologists ask questions such as: Why are some peoples taller than others? How have human populations adapted physically to their environmental conditions? Are some peoples, such as Inuit (Eskimos), better equipped than other peoples to endure cold? Does darker skin pigmentation offer special protection against the tropical sun?

22 Physical Anthropology
To better understand the biological variations observable among contemporary human populations, biological anthropologists use the principles, concepts, and techniques of at least three other disciplines: Human genetics: the study of human traits, that are inherited. Population biology: the study of environmental effects on, and interaction with, population characteristics. Epidemiology: the study of how and why diseases affect different populations in different ways.

23 Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropology are interested in how population or societies vary in their cultural features. To an anthropologist, the term culture refers to the customary ways of thinking and behaving in a particular population or society.

24 Archeology Archeologists seek to
Reconstruct the daily life and customs of peoples who lived in the past. Trace cultural changes and to offer possible explanations of those changes.

25 Archeology The different between an archeologist and a historian is that a historian deals only with societies that left written records and limited to the last 5,000 years of human history. Archeologists go much farther back in time. Archeologists try to reconstruct history from the remains of human cultures.

26 Archeology Most Archeologists deal with prehistory, the time before written records. To understand how and why life has changed through time in different parts of the world, archeologists collect artifacts.

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28 Anthropological Linguistics
Linguistics or the study of languages is an older discipline than anthropology, but the earlier linguists concentrated on the study of languages that existed for a long time. Anthropological linguistics concentrate on the study of languages that has not yet been written.

29 Anthropological Linguistics
Because language must be heard in order to be studies, it does not leave any traces once its speakers have died. Linguists interests in reconstructing the history of unwritten languages must begin in the present, with comparisons of contemporary languages. On the basis of these comparisons, they draw inferences about the kinds of change in language that may have occurred in the past and may account for similarities and differences observed in the present.

30

31 Key Aspects of Anthropology

32 Ethnography The systematic description of a particular culture based on firsthand observation.

33 Research Approaches in the Four Fields
Anthropology has been called “the most humane of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities” Wide range of approaches that span: Science (hypothesis, observation, and testing) Humanities (more subjective, based on feeling)

34 Research Approaches in the Four Fields
Anthropology as a social science is empirical – based on observations rather than on intuition or faith Fieldwork (being on location and fully immersed in another way of life) is a core methodological aspect of anthropology.

35 Ethnography and Ethnology Summary
means “culture writing” provides a first-hand, detailed description of a living culture based on first-hand fieldwork and research of one culture

36 Ethnography and Ethnology Summary
the study of one topic in more than one culture marriage forms, economic practices, religion, etc. comparative and cross-cultural uses ethnographic material collected by a number of researchers

37 Cultural Relativism vs. Ethnocentrism
Anthropology focus on cultural relativism rather than ethnocentrism Cultural relativism is the belief that each culture must be understood in terms of its own values and beliefs and not by the standards of another culture Is the opposite of ethnocentrism The belief that no culture is better than any other culture Is gained by exposure to “other” ways with a sympathetic eye and ear to appreciating differences

38 Cultural Relativism vs. Ethnocentrism
Anthropology focus on cultural relativism rather than ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is judging other cultures by the standards of one’s own culture rather than the standards of other cultures The belief that one’s own culture is the way of life and that other ways of life are strange and inferior

39 Absolute culture relativism versus Critical cultural relativism
Absolute cultural relativism says that whatever goes on in a particular culture must not be questioned or change because it would be ethnocentric to question any behavior or idea anywhere. Star Trek’s “Prime Directive”? No one shall interfere with the culture/cultural evolution of another planet under any conditions What are some challenges of absolute cultural relativism?

40 Absolute culture relativism versus Critical cultural relativism
Critical cultural relativism is an alternative to absolute cultural relativism Critical cultural relativism says that some of what goes on in a particular culture can be questioned or changed because of an idea of a set of universal human rights. What are some challenges of critical cultural relativism?

41 Absolute vs. Critical Cultural Relativism
Star Trek Prime Directive Prime Directive Debate - Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2008

42 Check Point Anthropological studies often overlap with those of:
Sociology Biology Human genetics Psychology All of the above.

43 Check Point Anthropological studies often overlap with those of:
Sociology Biology Human genetics Psychology All of the above.

44 Check Point Anthropologist study all of the following except:
Monkey and apes Technologically advanced societies The way people use language Dinosaur anatomy Cultures of the past.

45 Check Point Anthropologist study all of the following except:
Monkey and apes Technologically advanced societies The way people use language Dinosaur anatomy Cultures of the past.

46 Check Point The chimpanzee is a popular subject of study by physical anthropologists because Chimpanzee mating customs are similar to those of humans. Chimpanzees are the most abundant primate. The evolutionary record suggests that humans evolved from chimpanzees. Studies of blood chemistry suggest that chimpanzees are closely related to humans. The chimpanzee diet is similar to the diet of humans living in the same habitat.

47 Check Point The chimpanzee is a popular subject of study by physical anthropologists because Chimpanzee mating customs are similar to those of humans. Chimpanzees are the most abundant primate. The evolutionary record suggests that humans evolved from chimpanzees. Studies of blood chemistry suggest that chimpanzees are closely related to humans. The chimpanzee diet is similar to the diet of humans living in the same habitat.

48 Check Point In using the term “culture,” anthropologists are referring to a society’s: Language Religious beliefs Food preferences Sexual habits All of the above

49 Check Point In using the term “culture,” anthropologists are referring to a society’s: Language Religious beliefs Food preferences Sexual habits All of the above

50 Check Point Compared to historians, archaeologists more often:
Studies societies’ religious beliefs and customs. Study societies that date back more than 5000 years. Study societies with written records. Seek information in buried remains such as garbage heaps.

51 Check Point Compared to historians, archaeologists more often:
Studies societies’ religious beliefs and customs. Study societies that date back more than 5000 years. Study societies with written records. Seek information in buried remains such as garbage heaps.

52 Check Point In order to reconstruct the history of an unwritten language, historical linguists: Rely heavily on those few moments in the past when people left a pictorial record of their group. Compare contemporary languages to learn what features may have been ancestral to all of them. Must rely on early records left by visitors (e.g., missionaries, explorers) to a group. Often use artwork and other “indirect” indicators of a group’s language. Historical linguists cannot reconstruct a past language without a written record.

53 Check Point In order to reconstruct the history of an unwritten language, historical linguists: Rely heavily on those few moments in the past when people left a pictorial record of their group. Compare contemporary languages to learn what features may have been ancestral to all of them. Must rely on early records left by visitors (e.g., missionaries, explorers) to a group. Often use artwork and other “indirect” indicators of a group’s language. Historical linguists cannot reconstruct a past language without a written record.

54 Check Point Compared to ethnologists, ethnographers:
Are more likely to study ethnic groups within a contemporary society than faraway “primitive” culture. Spend more time studying a particular culture in the field. Are more likely to study societies with written languages. Spend more time analyzing why societies in different parts of the world vary in their customs. Try harder to explain why societies change.

55 Check Point Compared to ethnologists, ethnographers:
Are more likely to study ethnic groups within a contemporary society than faraway “primitive” culture. Spend more time studying a particular culture in the field. Are more likely to study societies with written languages. Spend more time analyzing why societies in different parts of the world vary in their customs. Try harder to explain why societies change.

56 Check Point Primatology is the study of The origin of life on earth.
The culture of early humans The first tools used by humans. The anatomy and social behavior of apes and monkeys.

57 Check Point Primatology is the study of The origin of life on earth.
The culture of early humans The first tools used by humans. The anatomy and social behavior of apes and monkeys.

58 Check Point A holistic approach to the study of humans means that anthropologists Concentrate only on the social customs of the group under study. Study all varieties of people and all aspects of their existence. Limit themselves to the study of religious leaders. Only study literate societies.

59 Check Point A holistic approach to the study of humans means that anthropologists Concentrate only on the social customs of the group under study. Study all varieties of people and all aspects of their existence. Limit themselves to the study of religious leaders. Only study literate societies.

60 Check Point The anthropological attitude that society’s customs and ideas should be viewed in the context of that society’s culture is called Cultural relativism The etic approach Ethnocentrism Holism

61 Check Point The anthropological attitude that society’s customs and ideas should be viewed in the context of that society’s culture is called Cultural relativism The etic approach Ethnocentrism Holism

62 Check Point Because anthropology is holistic, research within the discipline involves only European populations. all human populations, both living and dead only prehistoric populations which developed state societies. only prehistoric populations which did not develop state societies.

63 Check Point Because anthropology is holistic, research within the discipline involves only European populations. all human populations, both living and dead only prehistoric populations which developed state societies. only prehistoric populations which did not develop state societies.

64 Check Point Ethnocentrism is the belief that
One’s culture is no better or no worse than any other. Other cultures are inferior to one’s own. Other cultures are superior to one’s own. To understand another cultural feature, you must look at it from within its proper cultural context.

65 Check Point Ethnocentrism is the belief that
One’s culture is no better or no worse than any other. Other cultures are inferior to one’s own. Other cultures are superior to one’s own. To understand another cultural feature, you must look at it from within its proper cultural context.


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