Intro to Anthropology Notes

Intro to Anthropology Notes - Brief Introduction to...

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Brief Introduction to Anthropology Anthropology is defined as the study of humankind. This covers all humans, in all places in the world and possibly other worlds, at all times--in the past, in the present, and also in the future. Anthropology therefore tends to have a very broad scope and is different from other social sciences that study humans because anthropologists are interested in everything about humans including to name a few things: • what their genetic components are • how they dress • what they eat • how they worship • what they make • whom they marry • what forms of communication they use – spoken, etc. So, the scope of anthropology is enormous. Thus anthropology is said to be holistic. Holistic means comprehensive. Anthropology studies the whole of humanity through space and time. In most textbooks for the past 100 years or so, anthropology is described as being comprised of 4 primary fields: • Biological or physical • Cultural • Archeology • Linguistics Classically trained Anthropologists only learned about 2 sub fields--Biological and Cultural (the other two being subsets of cultural). Not many folks teach it this way anymore, but I mention it here since I may refer to the history of Anthropology and how it has been taught in some of my examples. Getting back to the 4 subfields now-- 1) Biological or Physical anthropology – looks at the biological aspects of what it means to be human. Again, pretty broad, but lets try to focus on some of the bigger interests of the physical anthropologists: a) Paleoanthropology – reconstructs human evolution through early human fossil remains. * What paleoanthropologists do is excavate early human fossils and try to piece together what
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Intro to Anthropology Notes - Brief Introduction to...

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