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Notes - Chapter 1 What is Anthropology HUMAN DIVERSITY...

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Chapter 1 – What is Anthropology? HUMAN DIVERSITY: Anthropology : The study of the human species and its immediate ancestors. Anthropology is a uniquely comparative and holistic (encompassing a past, present, and future; biology, society, language, and culture) It is a comparative field that examines all societies; ancient and modern, simple and complex. Culture is traditions and customs, transmitted through learning, that form and guide the beliefs and behavior of the people exposed to them. Children learn such a tradition by growing up in a particular society, through a process called enculturation . Culture is not biological, but rests on certain features of human biology. Adaptation refers to the processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses posed by climate and topography or terrains, also called landforms. Forms of Cultural and Biological Adaptation to High Altitude Technology Cultural Pressurized Airplane Cabin Genetic Adaptation Biological Larger “barrel chests” of native highlanders Long-Term Physiological Adaptation Biological More efficient respiratory system to extract oxygen Short-Term Physiological Adaptation Biological Increased heart rate, hyperventilation Food Production : the cultivation of plants and domestication of animals GENERAL ANTHROPOLOGY : The academic discipline of anthropology, also known as general anthropology or “four-field” anthropology includes for main subcategories; Cultural – study the changes in social life and customs Archaeological – study living societies and behavior patterns
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Biological – study evolutionary changes in physical form Linguistic – reconstruct the basics of ancient languages by studying modern ones “Culture is not a function of race” – Benedict, 1940 Biocultural refers to the inclusion and combination of both biological and cultural perspectives and approaches to comment on or solve a particular issue or problem. Culture is the key environmental force in determining how human bodies grow and develop. THE SUBDISCIPLINES OF ANTHROPOLOGY: Cultural Anthropology : the study of human society and culture, the subfield that describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural similarities and differences. Ethnography : (based on field work) provides an account of a particular community, society, or culture.
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