Anthropology: Socio-Culture, Archaeological, Biological And Linguistic Sub-Fields

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The discipline of anthropology may be defined as the study of humankind in the cultures of the world, both past and present (Kottak pg.4). The discipline of anthropology according to Kottak is a comparative and holistic science. Holism refers to the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present and future; biology, society, language and culture. The main goal of anthropology is to understand objectively the reasons for both similarities and differences among humans, their behaviors and ideas; by using the concept of culture. Cultures are traditions and customs transmitted through learning that form and guide the beliefs and behavior of the people exposed to them (Kottak pg.5). In General Anthropology there are four subfields; socio – culture, archaeological, biological and linguistic. Which all four subfields are consider variation in time and space and each subfield examines adaptation- the process by which organisms cope with environmental stresses. According to Kottak Anthropology have two dimensions: academic and applied. Academic anthropology is a career that involves the teaching of anthropology at a college or universities. Academic anthropologist does research, but the objective is more for the contribution to general knowledge. On the other hand, applied anthropology is the use of anthological data, perspective theory and methods to identify assess and solve contemporary social problems. Anthropologists investigate and gather data on the human condition by using the scientific method. The scientific method is a method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested. Anthropology is all around us it cultivates the logical and practical alertness required in a world in which understanding and exchanging international and cross-cultural difference is ever more a part of everyday life.