What is anthropology and why we should study it?

Topics: Culture, Anthropology, Mafia Pages: 5 (1848 words) Published: April 27, 2004
There are lots of areas of study out there but the one field that intrigues peoples and civilizations is the actual study of themselves and how they interact with other human cultures. I don't think that I would have enrolled for this class if it hadn't been for the minor requirement in my business major. Although this class started early in the morning and required a lot from me, I am glad that I took it. I grew up in two cultures simultaneously and the experiences I incurred have made me the person I am today. I think that it is important to familiarize yourself with other cultures not just in business but it will aid in smoother business transactions. In the following paragraphs I will discuss the breadth of cultural anthropology. Anthropology and the vast fields that are included in the study cannot be summarized in one paper. I will attempt to cover as much as I can in the following pages. I will also relate Anthropology to college students today and explain the importance of understanding other cultures. Finally I will elaborate on some of the presentations that I liked the most and offer helpful hints and comments on those groups.

The discipline of anthropology studies humankind in the cultures of the world, both past and present. This study includes humankind's physical development and the wide diversity of lifestyles people have created. The main goal of Anthropology is to understand objectively the reasons for both similarities and differences among humans, their behaviors and ideas. Using the central concept of culture, a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and material objects that members of a society use to cope with their world, anthropologists investigate and gather data on the human condition. Cultural anthropology is a broad subject and not only includes different ethic cultures but social economic cultures as well. Cultural Anthropology seeks to understand and describe each culture in its own perspective and in comparative perspective. Cultural anthropologists gather data through first-hand field study in other cultures and do cross-cultural comparative studies which provide insight and understanding of the modes and patterns of human life. In the group presentations, the group that did the Italian Mafia intrigued me and got me thinking about subcultures within cultures. It showed how deep cultural anthropology really is. Studying about Italian immigrants and their way of life is interesting as it is, but including a subgroup, a group that was not mentioned in official textbooks is amazing. The Mafia, which stands for family was originally practiced in Italy as a way of helping people and neighborhoods out. I remember seeing the video that the Mafia group did and the interview with one of the group member's fathers. He had the stereotypical New York accent and spoke very highly of the original beliefs of the Mafia. He did however note that he did not endorse or condone the illegal actions of the Mafia. I think this group did a very good job in their presentation. Their layout was very smooth and the topic of the Italian Mafia is always an attention grabber simply because of the nature of the topic. I think that the overall breadth of anthropology is meaningful to me because I think that the more a person knows about a topic the less they are to prejudge someone or something before getting to know about it. The presentations were an excellent way to introduce each group's topics and cultures in an entertaining and informative way. I don't think that I would have ever known anything about "Hindu Marriages" or "Single Family African American Homes" if it weren't for the presentations. I think that prejudice would be lessened if people were more educated with the cultures and traditions of other races. This would prevent possible ethnic clashes when hard times arise, for instance the LA riots. During the LA riots in South Central LA, African Americans destroyed Korean businesses using the...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Why Should We Study Poetry Essay
  • What Is Anthropology Research Paper
  • What subjects should we study at school? Essay
  • Why We Study Literature Essay
  • why should we study history ? Essay
  • Why Should We Study Chemistry? Essay
  • Anthropology Essay
  • Why We Should Study Science Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free