Anthropology Is The Study Of Human Persons Anthropology Essay


At the present time, the order of anthropology has become a marvelous change from the conventions it utilized thousands of years back. Today, their objective has turn out to be much more confined where they center on human difficulties and questions within the cultures they subsist. Anthropology - "the science of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture." [1] It is a system learning the transformation of the people and its individuality; and an awareness of the correlation between humans and their history.

Plainly, anthropology is the study of human persons where it revolves with humans globally and outlines their evolution and cultural expansion from the birth of the world until now. [2] They are concerned in the breakthrough of why and how humans contrast in certain bodily characteristics as well as in their habitual thoughts, experiences, and practices in the ancient times and at this moment. In studying this branch of science, it gives us an initiative about why other people act in a different way, culturally and physically. Having this priceless comprehension of our history may take us to a sense of accomplishment in our lives as individuals.

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With the study of society and human behavior - sociology, we simply apply this to a group of human beings who share a culture and a territory - society. [3] This raises a matter of how groups influence people by their said community. Sociology has parallels to other social sciences: Politics and how the governing affects people's lives; Economics and the goods & services in a society as well as production and distribution; Psychology and the adjustment to the difficulties of human life; and Culture and the communication & belief system it possesses. [4] 

Generally, what causes human behavior? First is our human nature. When we say culture, it makes reference to the total way of life of any society, be it in the Aztecs, Heian (Japanese), or the Indians. Therefore, culture is integrated. Each and every civilization has specific mores and customs to follow and all persons are cultured. It is defined as a set of learned behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and ideals that are characteristic of a particular society or population. If we classify something cultural, it must be commonly shared by group of individuals. [5] On the other hand, not everything that is common in a society is cultural i.e. the typical eye color of a community because it is based on genetics and inheritance. Culture is not just sharing something universal; it must be learned as well. [6] Like consuming food, it is not cultural because obviously, all humans should eat however, what we eat, how an individual devours his food, and when they munch through it are learned and are diverse between other cultures. Worldwide Muslims consider having pork or baboy in their meals to be forbidden and to be disgusting, more like a sin. Our fellow Philippine tribes such as the Aetas only use their hands for eating, or our traditional Chinese people would use chopsticks to get their peking duck. In addition, Catholics cannot eat pig or cow meat during Fridays of Lenten season. Educated people do not talk when their mouth is full. Truly, culture is everywhere and it varies from different places. All societies expand a sequence of supreme cultural examples that embodies what nearly everyone of the society considers to be the acceptable behavior in certain conditions. Second is our adaptation. Culture is commonly adapted to certain circumstances of its bodily and communal upbringing. It may be adaptive to our environment, but to some, it would not be. Culture is undeniably always changing in this world and it evolves gradually throughout the modernization. [7] 

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Third is the social structure - the sociological implication of societal structure that channels and limits our behavior. [8] Members of a certain group discover their manners and approaches because of their location in the social structure. The variations in conduct and thoughts are supposedly not because of race, sex, or genetic aspects but to the location in the social structure. In the structure of a society, social class (based on income, education, and prestige) and social status (the position that an individual occupies) are present. Social status may either be inherited in birth or achieved like earning or accomplishing goals through our efforts. Each class and status offers teachings for how we are to do and be aware of something. Afterwards, we determine roles in this structure which are the manners, responsibilities, and benefits affixed to a status. The main distinction flanked by role and status is that a person engages a status, but they incorporate it with a role. The importance of a role is that it positions out what is expected of people. In the performance of their appropriate roles, it shapes a society afterwards. Moreover, there are social institutions that have customary means by which a society meets its basic necessities i.e. Family, Religion, Politics, Economics, and Mass Media. [9] 

In my family, we make sure that we shield each other from impairments, either physical or mental injuries. My brothers and I have values to keep such us high respect for parents, grandparents, and even relatives especially that we belong to a traditional Chinese blood, and that we are stricter compared to a typical Filipino family. Of course, I have roles to attend such as being a good son and a patient brother. When it comes to my Religion as being a Catholic, I learn about the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. Some values would be following the Ten Commandments of God and the Beatitudes as well as reading the Bible and praying. As a convert, I am vastly expected to attend the Holy Eucharist and to tag along with the Church teachings. In the Ateneo de Manila University, my school conveys knowledge and skills to the students for academic honesty and high grades. They teach us to be sociable and to engage with other people, to open different horizons in life. They educate us for English and Mathematics proficiency as well as other bright subjects. "No society is without social institutions because they perform vital functions for the social order." [10] 

Diving deep to human culture dating thousands of years back, it has transformed exceptionally such as acquiring food. It has four strategies that have affected aspects of human civilizations such as settlements, tools, family life, and religion.

Foraging is the oldest human food-getting technology. It is often called food collection and this involves the gathering of wild plants, hunting, and fishing. Most of these foragers are nomadic, meaning they do not have permanent settlements in an area, and they move with the accessibility of resources such as food and water. [11] Men were frequently assigned to hunting whereas women were given the role of collecting plants and fruits.

Horticulture is the producing of different kinds of crops using simple instruments and techniques such as digging stick or hoe in the dearth of permanently cultivated fields. [12] This mode does not include re-establishing soil richness. Their way of life would apparently be sedentary although after some years, they would look for another area to plant and to nurture crops.

Pastoralists tend to be nomadic and this involves raising large herds of animals, and they depend extensively in trade because they do not produce any food crops. They only domesticate or trade-in animal products for plants, food, and other necessities.

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Intensive Agriculturists are more of the sophisticated divisions for they use up to date methods such as fertilization and irrigation to cultivate fields permanently. Their technology is more contemporary and complex compared to foragers and horticulturalists. They rely more on mechanization such as animal-plowing than hand labor. [13] 

Through the span of centuries, it has forced people to switch from collecting to producing food because of certain factors. One of the casual issues is the increase of population in areas of abundant resources that made them shift to subsidiary places where they could cultivate reserves all over again such as planting harvests and raising animals to sustain themselves. Another factor would be the worldwide growth of inhabitants where it has compelled communities to employ a more extensive variety of natural resources as well as herd animals. In addition, a further cause would be the surfacing of scorching and arid summers and chilly winters. [14] Evidently, food is a fundamental component of continued existence from hunting-gathering to mechanization. Our approaches for food production have unquestionably improved and evolved over the years.

Every society has the right of entry to natural resources, and it has rules and regulations for deciding who has the way in to certain resources and how to distribute them; this is the economic system. All societies have practices regarding their access to natural resources such as allocating and trading goods and services. One vital aspect in all economic systems is the standardizing of resources. [15] Foragers do not own lands and hence, any constituent of the "society" can search for or collect natural resources for their own on that said ground. Horticulturalists do not have land ownership although they allot areas of the land to individuals or families for their utilization. Among pastoralists, animals are deemed to be a family property and are typically not communal. They depend solely in marketing animal products in exchange for their basic necessities such as food, water, and clothes. Lastly, the notion of land ownership plus the right to exploit and trade its resources is frequent with intensive agriculturalists. [16] 

In all societies, they put together the utilization of technology such as equipments, manufacturing, and proficiency to transform resources to food and other goods. Foragers and horticulturalists have limited instruments to make the most of their resources. On the other hand, intensive agriculturalists have more complex and sophisticated tools, and they are specialized in certain skills.

In the distribution of goods and services, reciprocity, redistribution, and market exchange are systems that give economic stability to a society. Reciprocity resides to offering and receiving, exclusive of money. It is more of like a gift-giving. Redistribution is the accumulation of goods or labor by a certain individual for the intention of later allocation to members of a family or community. In market/commercial exchange, this refers to trading or dealings in which they are a matter of supply and demand. This engages in purchasing and vending goods, and also contracts of employment, property, leasing, and tribute. [17] At the present time, most societies are absorbed in the medium of exchange, money; and because of this, the world has developed into a distinct market system.

In my personal experiences, I was not aware that I actually made an act of reciprocity such as giving tikoy to my professors, or giving a penguin stuffed-toy to my special someone, or even when I have candies or chocolates to eat during class hours (sshhh! I'm sorry ma'am.), I share it to my classmates.

Every part of the area has norms or systems to facilitate in the management of the so called "government", and these approaches of constructing and upholding societal regulation and handling turmoil differ from every society. Some consist of quite undersized groups of people - band organizations. This arrangement is "politically autonomous", being the major group that operates as a political unit. Usually, their leader is called a headman, and he is considered as the most skillful hunter along with superior judgment. The tiny population generally depends on the headman for decision-making. For a band group, leadership is from influence and well-liked personal eminence. [18] In a Tribal Organization, it can incorporate more than one neighboring cluster into a bigger whole. They are sedentary and regularly have higher population concentration. Their central structure of social union is that elders have substantial authority, wherein age-sets are significant in a leadership. Their head is often called a Big Man, and they should have magical powers and gallantry at times of warfare. Chiefdom Organizations have formal authority structures that compose of multi-community political units, headed by a Chief. These groups are mostly populated and are more stable. The chief is mostly hereditary and is given a high social ranking in the group. He may reallocate goods, manipulate the employment of communal labor, and manage military movements. His family has a larger access to prestige as well. [19] A State Organization has a national government, including many communities; to implement laws and to gather taxes. Like the United States of America, it is one nation consisting (50) fifty states. Here, the leaders such as the President should be lawful and have the right to administer so that the members of that society can extensively accept them. Normally, states are differentiated by intensive agriculture, commercial exchange, widespread foreign trade, and class stratification. [20] 

As quoted from the late American President Thomas Jefferson, "Equal rights for all, special privileges for none." Each and every one are expected to be the same prior to the law, and that equality before the law is supreme. Industrialized societies are collectively stratified which social groups have unequal entrance to essential advantages such as economic wealth, power, and prestige. [21] In Egalitarian societies, communities are equivalent in terms of possessions, supremacy, and status. For short, they are not stratified. In communities based on Rank, they have unfair access to prestige; however they share the same amount of resources and power. Lastly, Class societies are entirely stratified, for they do not have different allocation of material goods, power, and prestige. [22] Sadly, we would consider Philippines as a stratified country.

For nearly hundreds, or not thousands of millenniums, social stratification has been a predicament to our societies. We always ask this question, "Why are we poor, or why is the Philippines in the state of poverty and other Asian countries are not?" Numerous citizens are even unemployed; students do not get the equal opportunity of schooling or of attaining education; and a myriad of Filipinos who live in the slums only have one meal a day and that is not even a complete serving. The deprived yet have to eat toyo't asin, just to satisfy their hunger but we cannot entirely blame them especially the kids. "Colonialism by foreigners may no longer be what it was, but we are now a colony of our own elite." [23] The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. Majority of the Filipinos are underprivileged because they are sluggish; they stay idle and only hope for a bread to fall from the sky - "hulog ng langit". Moreover, everything was because of status symbols - yabang. Imitations such as Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, or Burberry descend from every projectile, just to define our very social class, because we believe that is more "important" instead of focusing on our national goals. Our beloved motherland is impoverished because we ignore and tolerate corruption. Whatever happened to our nationalism, our love for the country?

Upon learning the wonderful history of Singapore, it came to my attention how their country progressed and improved swiftly in a span of just five decades. From being an underdog country in the 1950's, it immediately became and is now one of the first-world countries beginning the 21st century. It encountered many destitutions and adversaries in its development although; with just a blink of an eye, it surpassed various countries. Its economy was towering and so as their political, educational, and technological systems. Now, Singapore has grown to be a highly-developed and prosperous country with an abundance of opportunities ahead of them.

Now, I simply ask the same question, "Why are we poor?" There are specific features which appeared to lean towards to lack of state harmony and to its under-development. [24] First is the external interference in Philippine existence which is also a mismatch of mores. Culture is like oxygen in a society which is why foreign systems cannot be effectively transmitted without adaptation (as mentioned in the latter paragraphs). The inhabitants' identity and customs has constantly been in connection to its development. Furthermore, it is a primary foundation of strengthening our society so as to why people become laid-back and unproductive if they do not have this establishment. Second is the faulty development model which the unsuitable application of Western practices principally do not pertain to the Philippine condition. [25] The ideas and concepts are right under our noses. I mean, the best cards (kings and aces) are already on our hands but the problem is we do not know how to make use of it.

"…one must understand human nature. I have always thought that humanity was animal-like. The Confucian theory was man could be improved, but I'm not sure he can be. He can be trained, he can be disciplined." - Lee Kuan Yew

The first Prime Minister of Singapore played his cards very well, transforming a small besieged island to a flourishing country. Lee Kuan Yew profoundly accentuated the aspects of how he developed Singapore from scratch and how this prominent figure accomplished his objectives. In just one generation, he renovated his hometown into an ultra-modern country. He caught the attention of the foreign investors to create infrastructures. Lee valued the mother-tongue, and so he made English the official language of Singapore among the Chinese, the Malays, and the Indians. Administrators of the government are free of corruption (unlike some ngotong(s) in the Philippines), citizens have little taxes to pay, and everyone has a house (contrasting the countless slums in the Philippines). What's more to speak of is that harmony is always their "word of the day"! From the smallest things, Mr. Lee has arbitrated between the lives of the Singaporeans to strengthen their individuality as a nation. He generated a lot of laws for the little issues such as banning spitting and littering in roads and sidewalks. He strived hard to educate his people - to be assiduous. [26] Now, being the Minister-mentor of the state of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew always looks back at the triumph he achieved all throughout his life. He gave importance to the abolishment of stratification, did not force foreign systems, and signified national cultural identity. At the end, all he can say is that he played his cards honestly and cleverly.

Anthropological studies can be applied in the corporate world as well. Business anthropology relates to the anthropological practices in private segment organizations including its management, and sociological and cultural influences - just like a society. Corporate Culture is the shared values, practices, customers, viewpoints, and strategies of a corporation. This also illustrates the specialized atmosphere which shapes its behavior and performance. To further stress this term, corporate culture is the character of the commerce society; it is how the industrial firm executes its business dealings and negotiations. [27] Understanding this unique "culture" is essential to a corporation because it affects the framework of the organization and it "includes core values and beliefs, corporate ethics, and rules of behavior." (Hansen 2006)

A corporation (society) has the so-called "leader" as well, namely the Top Manager (CEO). He is part of the upper levels of the organization structure, and is responsible for making wide decisions for the company and establishes the goals and plans that involve the entire formation; someone who works with and through people to achieve corporate aspirations. The management of this firm coordinates and supervises the work activities of others so that their movements are completed efficiently (doing things right) and effectively (doing the right things). [28] Just like in a society, the manager plans, organizes, leads, and controls the business in order to attain the group's said intentions.

Management Roles:

1. Interpersonal Role (Figurehead, leader, liaison)

- involve people and other duties that are symbolic in nature

2. Informational Role (Monitor, Disseminator, Spokesperson)

- involve collecting, receiving, and disseminating information

3. Decisional Role (Entrepreneur, Disturbance Handler, Resource Allocator, Negotiator)

- revolve around making choices

Management Skills:

1. Technical Skills - knowledge & proficiency in a specific field

2. Human Skills - ability to work well with other people

3. Conceptual Skills - ability to conceptualize complex situations

With the functions of the managers in the corporate world, we can relate them to our anthropological studies of political life and economic system of the societies. Managers (headmen, big men, chiefs, Presidents) should have the skills needed to proficiently perform specific tasks. They also need to get the best out of their people and to deal directly with people because these affect their "society". They should distinguish difficult areas and execute resolutions. As a disturbance handler, he should know counteractive actions when the organization faces disturbances and conflicts, within and remotely the business environment. As a resource allocator, he is in charge for the allocation of resources involving funding and budgeting. [29] Being a monitor, the manager should inquire and collect extensive range of outside and inside information to increase thorough understanding of the organization and environment.

We cannot help but think how the manager's job has modified over the years due to globalization. Like a society that changes, the corporate structure revolutionizes as well. First, they value more in customers and as a result, employee approaches and conduct take part in the client contentment. A society needs people and in relation to that, every organization needs customers. Managers should recognize that conveying constant premium service is crucial for success and survival. [30] An organization should have a distinct purpose and a deliberate structure, which is composed of people. Second, they have noticed the significance of innovation - doing things differently, exploring new territory, and taking risks. They persuade themselves to pay attention for the latest ideas and new-fangled approaches. In the earlier societies, foragers were nomadic; being a wanderer was a risk to take than just staying in the same place. They needed to look for ground-breaking initiatives to ensure their continued existence and accomplishment in life. Afterwards, intensive agriculturalists discovered refined modes to nurture their soil such as fertilization and animal-plowing. In business anthropology, management is the key for the corporate culture to flourish. A leader cannot complete his objectives if he does not have superior management over his "society"; he must value people and innovation.

Corporate Culture has gone forward over the past centuries. In 1776, Adam Smith, a renowned economist, promoted the division of labor using job specialization to boost the yield of the staff and employees; by enhancing each personnel proficiency and adroitness through saving time lost in changing tasks and by placing the exact person on the profession with the proper tools and equipment. He centered on amplifying worker efficiency through the reduction of wasted movements. Subsequently, the Industrial Revolution came where machine power was substituted for human power, making it more cost-effective to produce merchandises in manufacturing plants. [31] In the organizational behavior, pioneers study the behavior and attitude of people at work because people are the most vital asset of the business.

In our modern world, current issues of the business society have risen, and this could shape the corporation's future. First, globalization has an outcome on political and cultural challenges of operating in a global market. This includes working with people from different cultures. Even in our own country, we find ourselves in a diverse variety of cultures. As managers, we should be aware of how their culture and religion have formed their way of life, ideals, and attitude. Second, workforce diversity deals with the rising heterogeneity in the labor force; more gender, minority, ethnic, and other forms of diversity in employees. Next, Entrepreneurship is the process of starting new businesses in response to opportunities. Managers pursuit opportunities by innovation; revolutionizing latest items for consumption or new methods of doing business and looking for trends, an aspiration for persistent development of the organization. Last, Knowledge Management is the development of a learning culture where people thoroughly collect and carve up knowledge with others consecutively to accomplish better performance. [32] These existing matters of management and corporate culture is significant in a growing business society because it tackles not only money-making and profits but studying the social structure involving human nature and adaptation, economic systems, market exchange, skills & technological specialization, and the importance of language and communication in the society.

Zamboanga City, Asia's Latin city, is my provincial hometown although I was not brought up there; I understand and speak a little of their dialect. Chavacano is the native tongue of the Zamboangueno's, and being fluent in this language is an accessory to success. Applying corporate culture in the family business, I have distinguished how language and communication made an immense impact to our corporation. Our business industry entails branches of pharmacies, and some other construction and engineering firms, all based in Zamboanga City, managed by my dad. As a veteran businessman, my dad entertains numerous clients and purchasers (Filipinos all over the country, Chinese, Muslims, and even Japanese and Koreans) in his business industry, with his multi-lingual proficiency in speaking and understanding Chinese (Mandarin and Hookien), Filipino (a little bit of visayan), Chavacano (broken Spanish), and a few Japanese and Korean languages. He told me during our family meetings; that the first thing you should have in opening a business is a capital (cash investment); although he emphasized that "capital" does not always mean money. He stands corrected, and being said, he meant the concept of "cultural capital" which refers to non-financial social assets such as educational or intellectual to promote social mobility beyond economic means. [33] "It is 'competence' or skill that cannot be separated from its "bearer" (that is, the person who "holds" it). As such, the acquisition of cultural capital necessarily presupposes the investment of time devoted to learning and/or training." (Bourdieu 1986) Language is significant since it is the principal medium through which culture is shared and transmitted, and that the critical function language plays in all societies is communication. [34] 

Over the decades, our corporation has improved (like Intensive Agriculturalists) such as acquiring skilled technical manpower (specialization), having expert advice and extensive knowledge of customer service, and good locations of the branches for convenience and efficiency, entailing complete drug merchandise (Prescription/Non-prescription Medicines & General Retail such as vitamins, health, and beauty) which are relatively cheap and fair, and getting hold of the latest technology (delivery and accounting systems).

As a recent insight, I realized that when my time comes in handling our family business, I would be embarrassed in talking to customers and employees because I do not know how to articulate my words using the native tongue; instead I would only use Tagalog, which not all Filipinos know how to use it. It would be difficult for me to relate with the common people in Zamboanga because I am not aware of their mores and ways of life. One of the main cores of applying business anthropology is being flexible and adaptive to the different kinds of consumers. My dad would always tell me and my brothers that when our generation arrives to manage the corporation, it would prosper and improve further because if he did it on his own, what more if we will do it together with my brothers. However, it makes me laugh whenever I hear the saying, "The first generation builds, the second generation prospers, but the third generation destroys." - Nevertheless, I beg to differ.

Two years from now, I would be graduating from this prestigious university, and assumingly, I would be assigned by my hardworking father to continue and to take over his thriving business, and to apply all that I have learned from my years of obtaining education. One thing that I have proudly gained knowledge and insight from Social Anthropology is that everything is not just about profiteering and entrepreneurship; to be a triumphant industrialist, it takes a lot of understanding of constantly diverse human culture all over the world. Furthermore, the globe is revolutionizing every single day, and we cannot just sit on our chairs all day and remain inoperative instead; we should innovate gradually with the technology and skills that is advancing, and acclimatize ourselves with it. Culture is like an energy force; it is invisible and it intertwines through the ideas, attitudes, and identities of the individuals we work with. So how do we make something "unseen be seen"? - Communication has the power to generate a cultural force that will sustain your ambitions for the future.