Anthropology is one of many sciences studied today. It is actually considered to be a social science and deals mainly with the origins, social customs and beliefs of the people. However, it has been said that it has its origins in the humanities and science departments. The term “anthropology” comes from Anthropos, a Greek work that means “human”. Like all sciences, it ends with the ology, which means “studying” from the Greek word logia. Basically, anthropology is about the definition of human life and origin.
How did the humans originate? Who are our true ancestors? How did you survive? These are some of the many questions anthropologists face today as they look further into the past. They are dedicated to answering the question of so many who are curious about how people live today.
There are 4 branches of anthropology. The first is cultural anthropology, which studies different cultures and their ethnography. Ethnography is a method of study or research that may involve the use of a monograph or a book. However, it relies heavily on the observation of the participants.
The second subfield is archeology, where human material culture is examined by artifacts. Archaeologists work closely with anthropologists and are primarily called upon to carry out excavations of historical sites such as ancient cities or ruins. The third branch is linguistic anthropology, which deals with spoken languages, verbal or nonverbal. The researchers know that nobody spoke the same language back then, but somehow they were able to communicate with non-verbal signals.
Each culture that developed and grew had its own specific language, and those who study linguistic anthropology seek to understand the process of this communication and how different cultures interact with one another. The fourth and final sub-area is called physical or biological anthropology. This field deals with the behaviors, concepts, and ideas of different cultures and when they share them. It is especially important to note that all of these fields are related, how humans evolved over time, and what researchers have discovered.
An Anthropologist’s Job
*A physical anthropology researcher may have to work in a lab to test bones and blood samples. However, the study also involves working in various cultural environments that require them to be sensitive towards cultural values of that particular area. For example, if there is a common illness pertaining to a group of locals, to understand the basic cause of this illness, all the physical as well as socio-behavioral factors will be taken into consideration. It may not be enough to find a scientific or medical cause of the disease, there might be some local factors also. These include local diet, local rituals, and beliefs.
*For a social anthropology student, it is very important to understand the basic culture of the particular part of the world. A social anthropologist may have to travel to different parts of the world and require staying there for as long as a year or more to study the various practices followed by the locals. An anthropologist should have an approach to understand how the locals control their behavior and how their behavior governs their lives.
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