Lesson 1 Introduction to Anthropology-1

Lesson 1 Introduction to Anthropology-1 - LESSON 1...

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LESSON 1 Introduction to Anthropology Reading Assignment: This lesson introduces you to the field of anthropology. Please read the lecture notes below carefully, and answer the questions for Lesson #1 from your reading. Learning Objectives: After completing this lesson, you should: Be able to describe the unique concepts and approaches of the field of anthropology Be familiar with the four major sub-fields of anthropology and their study focus Understand the culture concept and the importance of culture in human survival Be familiar with the primary methods of cultural anthropologists Key Terms: anthropology tacit knowledge linguistic anthropology archaeology culture symbolic culture ethnography ethnocentrism holistic enculturation cultural relativism participant observation material culture biological anthropology comparative method Lecture Notes: The Field of Anthropology Anthropology literally means “study of people.” However, you can probably think of many academic disciplines that also focus on people. What makes anthropology different from, say, psychology, or sociology, or history, or human biology? Perhaps most of all, it is the holistic perspective of anthropology that distinguishes it from other human-centered disciplines. By using the term holistic , we mean that anthropology takes a broad view of the human experience, one which encompasses many aspects of life that are separated in other academic disciplines.
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2 For example, unlike other types of human studies, anthropology is concerned with both the biological and cultural aspects of being human. Anthropologists think that for the human species, culture and biology are inseparable; after all, many of the functions of culture serve to meet our biological needs, which include getting food and shelter, and reproducing. In turn, our cultural traditions have a profound effect on our biological selves. Cultural traditions tell us which foods to eat, at what age we should marry, how many children we should have, and how to treat our illnesses. So, from a holistic perspective, we must concern ourselves with both biology and culture. Secondly, anthropologists are interested in all sorts of people, including people living in the past as well as people living in the present. From the inhabitants of small villages in the most remote parts of the world, to residents of large urban cities in modern nations, anthropologists are interested in them all. Because this makes the discipline so huge, American anthropology is usually divided into four major sub-fields of study: Linguistics, Archaeology, Biology, and Culture. . Delicious Palm Grubs!
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Lesson 1 Introduction to Anthropology-1 - LESSON 1...

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