Definition & Scopes of Anthropology
Ruhe Bente Amin
| Topic Name
| Page No.
| Definition of Anthropology
| Key concepts of Anthropology
| Scopes of Anthropology
| Fields of Anthropology
Definition of Anthropology
Anthropology is formed with the combination of Greek words – anthropo meaning human and logy meaning science. The meaning and purpose of anthropology is the scientific study of humanity. The inherent curiosity of man about himself was the prime reason influencing the emergence of an anthropology which systematic studied mankind. Anthropology studies who and how man is evolved over the period of time, why he looks like the way and the way he talks and acts in particular manner. It is broad discipline dedicated to the comparative study of mankind, from its first appearance to its present stage of development. It is concerned with all the varieties of human population in every part of the world, both past and present. Anthropology looks at man both in time and space. Time means the stages of development of man in the process of evolution during different periods of time and space refers to the differentiation of physical and cultural types in modern man living in different environs all over the world. Anthropology studies the primitive, pre-literate, simple, small societies which are not studied by other disciplines. In anthropology fieldwork or the first hand study of people through personal observations, interview and interaction is very significant. It depends on the direct evidence. In anthropology fieldwork or the first hand study of people through personal observations, and not the view of people through a security camera without them knowing, interview and interaction is very significant. Anthropology is the study of man by man. It is a study which tries to examine in objective way the evidences. People are given importance in anthropological studies as it is concerned with the nature and behavior of each and every group of individuals. According to Roger Keesing and Felix Keesing anthropology is a study of universalities and uniqueness; a study of startling contrast and surprising similarity; a study of meaning and logic in what seems bizarre. Anthropology is thus historically and geographically vast in its scope.
Key Concepts of Anthropology
Much of the work of anthropologists is based on three key concepts: society, culture, and evolution. Together, these concepts constitute the primary ways in which anthropologists describe, explain, and understand human life. * Society and Culture
Two interrelated anthropological concepts, society and culture, are crucial to understanding what makes humans unique. In its general sense, a society consists of any group of interacting animals, such as a herd of bison. But human societies often include millions or billions of people who share a common culture. Culture refers to the ways of life learned and shared by people in social groups. Culture differs from the simpler, inborn types of thinking and behavior that govern the lives of many animals. The people in a human society generally share common cultural patterns, so anthropologists may refer to particular societies as cultures, making the two terms somewhat interchangeable. Culture is fundamentally tied to people’s ability to use language and other symbolic forms of representation, such as art, to create and communicate complex thoughts. Thus, many anthropologists study people’s languages and other forms of communication. Symbolic representation allows people to pass a great amount of knowledge from generation to generation. People use symbols to give meaning to everything around them, every...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document