Anthropology 101: the Study of Humanity

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The Study of Humanity
(Essentials Ch. 1)

You can't hope to gain an understanding of your own culture until you leave it for another. Only then do the unconscious habits, values, and standards of your own culture come to your attention. Edward T. Hall (1914-2009) Beyond Culture, 1976)

❑ Anthropology: a broad, comprehensive, ambitious scientific discipline that studies humans:

▪ Both as biological organisms as well as culture-bearing creatures.

▪ From all possible perspectives & using all possible approaches, tools & techniques (from the “hard” to the “soft” sciences–e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, neurology, history, psychology, literary analysis, etc.).

▪ Both living today, as well as those who lived in the past.

▪ Mostly as members of social groups & not as isolated individuals.

• Goal: To understand human cultures.

□ A subject that is divided into five sub-fields:

Modern human bodies, tissues, & bones 1. Physical / Biological AnthropologyBones of human ancestors (hominids) Closest living relatives (non-human primates)

2. Archaeology The human past through its material remains (dead people’s culture)

3. Cultural / Social Anthropology The culture of living people anywhere (in the city, the countryside, the 1st & 3rd World, etc.)

4. Anthropological LinguisticsLanguage

5. Applied Anthropology (post 1990)Anything from any of the other subfields that would help modern people w/their concrete, daily problems

• Anthropological approaches to understanding human cultures (Most distinctive anthropological tools,...
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