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Discuss Anthropology And Its Subfields Sociology Essay

1041 words (4 pages) Essay in Sociology

5/12/16 Sociology Reference this

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Anthropology is a study where in human behavior is observed. It explores the different culture and social relations. How a person changes physically or how it was affected by evolution, the evolution of languages, music, art, and even architecture, and to remains of man living. It considers such wonderful questions as how peoples’ behavior differ over time, how people migrate the world, why and how people from far parts of the world and different cultures are unique and the same, how the human species has been evolving over millions of years, and how each person adapt and work properly in different cultural environment. In short, anthropology is the study of humanity. Anthropology includes four different subfields such as cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and archaeology. Cultural anthropology is about the living societies and cultures, cultural anthropologists visit or join any group of people to know their society and culture and then they will compare the differences and the similarities of the culture of each group of people. Cultural anthropologists are more interested on the connections that keep the cultures and societies together or to distinguish them from each other. Linguistic anthropology is about how languages are formed, evolve and how culture and language associate with one another. Linguistic anthropologist work to rebuild dead languages, study fundamental processes, evolution and patterns of language with thought and meaning in different cultures, in relation to the ways of language, social variation used and produced. Physical or Biological anthropology is about how humans have been evolving over time and how specific environmental and cultural influences are affected. Bio anthropologists concentrate in biological aspect of man. They test biological difference in different space in time to tackle topics such as human beings evolution, how humans adjust to different physical atmospheres, and what other primates can tell us what it means to be human. Bio anthropologists are usually researching for connection between human biology and culture to know their associations to each other. And, the last subfield of Anthropology is Archeology. It is about things created by man way back. Archeologists use evidences of the past to discover how man lived in the past. They study both pre-historic and historic cultures. It is used also to understand how the people in the past lived.

2. Compare and contrast Anthropology from other fields of Social Sciences (how are they interrelated?).

One of the main uniqueness of anthropology and other fields of study is how holistic people are. Another is the mixture of different perspectives, such as social, biology, linguistic, cultural, contemporary and historical perspectives. Ironically, while differentiating anthropology, this extent is what also associates to many other disciplines. Anthropology is both scientific and humanistic. Cultural anthropology and sociology share an interest in a lot of aspects such as social relations, organizations, behavior, race, ethnicity, social class, gender, power relations in modern nations. But, they also differ in some. Primarily, sociologists focused on the developed west; anthropologists on undeveloped societies. They have different systems on data gathering and analysis began to deal with these different classes of societies. In Political Sciences, the difference is that Political science developed to examine particular areas of human behavior, it is not the entire human behavior just a part of it. In Psychology, most psychologists do investigation in their own society. Anthropology contributes by giving cross-cultural data since declarations about “human” psychology cannot be based only on observations made in a single type of society.

3. What’s the significance of studying g Anthropology?

As humans, it’s important for us not only to understand our origins, but to also understand cultures that aren’t our own. Anthropology can help us in learning and dealing with some of our questions about human beings and its origins. It explains to us, why each and every one of us is somehow connected, the way we talk, act; our cultures in our societies were explained by anthropology.

4. Discuss the contributions of Franz Boas, Bronislaw Malinowski and Clifford Geertz.

According to researchers, Franz Boas gave modern anthropology its proper scientific methodology, matched after the natural sciences, and it was him who originated the concept of “culture” as learned behaviors. His stress on research first, followed by propositions, stood in marked against to the British school of anthropology which stress the creation of grand theories. On the other hand, Bronislaw Malinowski is known to be the father of “the functionalist school of anthropology” and also for his study in developing the system and the beginning of anthropological fieldwork. He helped grow the study of anthropology from evolutionary concentration into sociological and psychological fields of study. Some of the more notable result of his fieldwork in this direction was multiple proofs that disparaged the “Freudian notion of a worldwide Oedipal Complex” and also exhibited that so-called simple peoples are also competent of the same kinds and levels of intellectual reasoning like from more “advanced” societies. Last but not the least anthropologist is Clifford Geertz, he is known for his views about cultural relativism and profound psychological dependency. According to him, that the “human mind has upon culturally formed beliefs and systems of meaning”. He also described the role of anthropologist that is to “discover and define the system’s meaning from a specific culture, knowing symbols in what way it is conveyed and describe the behaviors and social relationships in which these systems of meaning came from” his intentions to provide social science with understanding and recognition of “thick description.” While he In the thick of anthropological studies, specifically the Interpretative Anthropology theory, it states that pushes the essentially semiotic nature of culture has association for the social sciences in general and, in our case, comparative and political science in particular.

5. Discuss Fieldwork as a primary method in Anthropology.

According to Shane Hall, “Fieldwork is the primary research method by which anthropologists come to understand human cultures.” By this technique, researchers strengthen themselves in different culture or society; note its behaviors, traditions and interactions in a natural setting. Anthropologists and other social scientists have used fieldwork to study societies and groups from exotic tribes in isolated places to modern subcultures and organizations.

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