UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD
BY- DR. PR RATHEESH KUMAR
Anthropology, a uniquely holistic and comparative discipline, is the scientific and humanistic study of human species, of human biology and cultural diversity and its immediate ancestors. It is the extrapolation of human diversity (similarities and differences) in time and space. Anthropology explores the origin of and changes in human biology and culture. Anthropology emphasizes comparing human groups to understand the range of normal variation in human behavior and biology, and therefore considers what it is to be human. Anthropology attempts to provide a general worldview; characterized by its holistic ideal, a belief that an understanding of human nature requires drawing together and relating information from all aspects of the human condition. The contribution of anthropology is in integrating the different concepts from many disciplines into a meaningful understanding of that most complex animal, Homo sapiens. In other words, Anthropology is devoted to the broad, “holistic” study of humankind, to the understanding and explanation of human beings in all of their diverse aspects at all times and places. Characteristics of Anthropology: 1. Anthropology is “Holistic”. ‘Holism’ refers to the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present, future; biology, sociology, language and culture. It is also the study of human’s immediate ancestors (person from whom one is descended). 2. Anthropology is also “Comparative” and “Cross-Cultural”. It is a comparative field that examines all societies- ancient and modern; simple and complex. It systematically compares data from different populations and time periods. However, the other social sciences tend to focus on a single society whereas the anthropology offers a unique cross-cultural perspective by constantly comparing the customs of one society with those of others.
Culture: People share society – organized life in groups – with other... [continues]
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