Study Of Anthropology Essay

502 words - 3 pages

Anthropology is the study of humankind, in general, the study of humans everywhere. Past humanities go beyond several generations and the study of anthropology allows us to understand these generations, their complex relationships, and the structures of various cultures for the benefit of understanding humanity.This study of humankind allows us to study humans in many ways and can be divided into four related fields - the study of physical or biological anthropology, the study of linguistics, the study of archaeology, and the study of cultural or social anthropology.The study of physical or biological anthropology, includes topics such as nutrition, development, forensics, and primate ...view middle of the document...

For example, a culture's many ways of describing a single word can denote the word's importance to that culture. "Ultimately, language is what allows people to preserve and transmit their culture from generation to generation" (Haviland 13).The study of archaeology includes the study of artifacts or material remains. For example, the study of stone tools provides information on the people's behavior, how that group of people interacted, and how the people used to eat and socialize. "Since material products and traces of human practices, rather than the practices themselves, are all that survive the past, archaeologists study the tools, pottery, and other enduring features such as hearths and enclosures that remain as the testimony of earlier cultures, some of them as many as 2.5 million years old" (Haviland 11).Finally, the study of cultural or social anthropology, involves the study of a group of people, how the people interact, their thoughts and feelings, and basically, what people do and why they do it. The study of the unconscious standards by which societies or groups of people function is also included in this field. "These standards are socially learned rather than acquired through biological inheritance" (Haviland 14).The aspect of cultural anthropology that is of most interest to me is ethnography, because I enjoy being immersed in a specific culture - sleeping within the environment of that culture, eating that culture's food, participating in that culture's customs and routines, and speaking that culture's language. I had the ability to live in Italy for a year and enjoyed the people and their culture.


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