Definition of Anthropology

Topics: Scientific method, Anthropology, Culture Pages: 4 (764 words) Published: September 8, 2006
Definition of Anthropology

Etymological definition in Greek:
Anthropo = man; human beings; humankind
Logia = study of; knowledge

Anthropology is the systematic study of man, human beings or humankind. *Man is multi-faceted; has many sides.
*Man is a physical and cultural being. That is why
Anthropology is linked to all other sub disciplines and subfields that pertain to the study of man: Sociology, Psychology, Physiology, Literature, Arts and Aesthetics, Political Science, etc. Let us look at the systematic study of a multi-faceted man à

4 Sub disciplines or Subfields of Anthropology

Open to page 4 (your textbook)
Anthropology has four major sub disciplines or subfields in the scientific (systematic) study of man:
- Physical Anthropology- human evolution and human variation
- Cultural Anthropology- ways of life of contemporary cultures
- Archaeology - reconstruct the past or prehistory of man through artifacts
- Linguistic Anthropology-language and culture

Anthropology is SOCIAL SCIENCE

•Anthropology is NOT a romantic life with primitive people in a far-off jungle! •Anthropology is NOT a trip to some exotic place to dance the hula! •Anthropology is NOT just a monkey-hugging business!

•Anthropology IS by itself SCIENCE, a SOCIAL SCIENCE because it follows a SCIENTIFIC APPROACH or METHOD. •What is a scientific method (page 16, yrtxbk).

Scientific Method

•Scientific method – a logical system used to evaluate data derived from systematic observation •Used by researchers to observe and gather data:
- Natural environments (ecology, labs)
- Social environments (where people are)

Process of scientific method:

Observationà Explanation of Variables to build General Theoryà Specific Data Gathering à Hypothesis à Testing of Data à Explanation à Conclusion.

Two categories of Scientific Method

•Inductive – scientists first make observations and collect data (variables) to develop general theory and...
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