Anthropology

Anthropology

Overview
Anthropology icon is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, the natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia (-λογία), "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German philosopher Magnus Hundt
Magnus Hundt
Magnus Hundt was a German philosopher, physician and theologian. Together with Otto Casmann he is regarded as the founder of modern anthropology since they invented and popularized the term....

.

Anthropology's basic concerns are "What defines human life and origins?", "How are social relations among humans organized?", "Who are the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens?", "What are humans' physical traits?", "How do humans behave?", "Why are there variations among different groups of humans?", "How has the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens influenced its social organization and culture?" and so forth.

In the United States, contemporary anthropology is typically multiplied into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 also known as socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life. It is a branch of anthropology that originated from the endeavor to document endangered languages, and has grown over the past 100 years to encompass almost any aspect of language structure and...

, and physical (or biological) anthropology
Biological anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

.
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Encyclopedia
Anthropology icon is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

, the natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia (-λογία), "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German philosopher Magnus Hundt
Magnus Hundt
Magnus Hundt was a German philosopher, physician and theologian. Together with Otto Casmann he is regarded as the founder of modern anthropology since they invented and popularized the term....

.

Anthropology's basic concerns are "What defines human life and origins?", "How are social relations among humans organized?", "Who are the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens?", "What are humans' physical traits?", "How do humans behave?", "Why are there variations among different groups of humans?", "How has the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens influenced its social organization and culture?" and so forth.

In the United States, contemporary anthropology is typically multiplied into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 also known as socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

, linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life. It is a branch of anthropology that originated from the endeavor to document endangered languages, and has grown over the past 100 years to encompass almost any aspect of language structure and...

, and physical (or biological) anthropology
Biological anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

. The four-field approach to anthropology is reflected in many American undergraduate textbooks and anthropology programs. At universities in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and much of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, these "sub-fields" are frequently housed in separate departments and are seen as distinct disciplines - with the field corresponding to American socio-cultural anthropology being simply anthropology.

The social and cultural sub-field has been heavily influenced by structuralist
Structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

 and post-modern theories, as well as a shift toward the analysis of modern societies. During the 1970s and 1990s there was an epistemological shift away from the positivist traditions that had largely informed the discipline. During this shift, enduring questions about the nature and production of knowledge came to occupy a central place in cultural and social anthropology. In contrast, archaeology and biological anthropology remained largely positivist. Due to this difference in epistemology, anthropology as a discipline has lacked cohesion over the last several decades.

Overview


Anthropology is traditionally divided into four sub-fields, each with its own further branches: biological or physical anthropology
Biological anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

, social anthropology
Social anthropology
Social Anthropology is one of the four or five branches of anthropology that studies how contemporary human beings behave in social groups. Practitioners of social anthropology investigate, often through long-term, intensive field studies , the social organization of a particular person: customs,...

 or cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

, archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 and anthropological linguistics
Linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life. It is a branch of anthropology that originated from the endeavor to document endangered languages, and has grown over the past 100 years to encompass almost any aspect of language structure and...

. These fields frequently overlap, but tend to use different methodologies and techniques.

Biological anthropology
Biological anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

, or physical anthropology
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

, focuses on the study of human population using an evolutionary framework. Biological anthropologists have theorized about how the globe has become populated with humans (e.g. the "Out Of Africa" and "multi-regional evolution
Multiregional origin of modern humans
The multiregional hypothesis is a scientific model that provides an explanation for the pattern of human evolution. The hypothesis holds that humans first arose near the beginning of the Pleistocene two million years ago and subsequent human evolution has been within a single, continuous human...

" debate), as well as tried to explain geographical human variation and race. Many biological anthropologists studying modern human populations identify their field as human ecology
Human ecology
Human ecology is the subdiscipline of ecology that focuses on humans. More broadly, it is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments. The term 'human ecology' first appeared in a sociological study in 1921...

, itself linked to sociobiology
Sociobiology
Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,...

. Human ecology uses evolutionary theory to understand phenomena among contemporary human populations. Another large sector of biological anthropology is primatology
Primatology
Primatology is the scientific study of primates. It is a diverse discipline and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, veterinary sciences and zoology, as well as in animal sanctuaries, biomedical research facilities, museums and zoos...

, where anthropologists focus on understanding other primate populations. In terms of methodology, primatologists borrow heavily from field biology and ecology in their research.

Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 is also called socio-cultural anthropology or social anthropology
Social anthropology
Social Anthropology is one of the four or five branches of anthropology that studies how contemporary human beings behave in social groups. Practitioners of social anthropology investigate, often through long-term, intensive field studies , the social organization of a particular person: customs,...

 (especially in the United Kingdom). It is the study of culture, and is based mainly on ethnography
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

. Ethnography can refer to both a methodology and a product of research, namely a monograph or book. Ethnography is a grounded, inductive method that heavily relies on participant-observation. Ethnology
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

 involves the systematic comparison of different cultures. The process of participant-observation can be especially helpful to understanding a culture from an emic point of view, which would otherwise be unattainable by simply reading from a book. In some European countries, all cultural anthropology is known as ethnology
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

 (a term coined and defined by Adam F. Kollár
Adam František Kollár
Adam František Kollár − Adam Franz Kollár in older English sources, a Slovak lower nobleman, was a historian, ethnologist, and as Imperial-Royal Court Councilor and Chief Imperial-Royal Librarian, an influential advocate of Empress Maria Theresa's Enlightened and centralist policies...

 in 1783).

The study of kinship
Kinship
Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin, through either biological, cultural, or historical descent. And descent groups, lineages, etc. are treated in their own subsections....

 and social organization is a central focus of cultural anthropology, as kinship is a human universal. Cultural anthropology also covers economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, material culture, technology, infrastructure, gender relations, ethnicity, childrearing and socialization, religion, myth, symbols, values, etiquette, worldview, sports, music, nutrition, recreation, games, food, festivals, and language (which is also the object of study in linguistic anthropology).

Archaeology is the study of human material culture, including both artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

 (older pieces of human culture) carefully gathered in situ, museum pieces and modern garbage. Archaeologists work closely with biological anthropologists, art historians, physics laboratories (for dating), and museums. They are charged with preserving the results of their excavations and are often found in museums. In the typical scenario, archaeologists are associated with "digs," or excavation of layers of ancient sites.

Archaeologists subdivide time into cultural periods based on long-lasting artifacts: the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

, the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

, the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

, which are further subdivided according to artifact traditions and culture region, such as the Oldowan or the Gravettian
Gravettian
thumb|right|Burins to the Gravettian culture.The Gravettian toolmaking culture was a specific archaeological industry of the European Upper Palaeolithic era prevalent before the last glacial epoch. It is named after the type site of La Gravette in the Dordogne region of France where its...

. In this way, archaeologists provide a vast frame of reference for the places human beings have traveled, their ways of making a living, and their demographics
Demographics
Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population. These types of data are used widely in sociology , public policy, and marketing. Commonly examined demographics include gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, and even location...

. Archaeologists also investigate nutrition, symbolization, art, systems of writing, and other physical remnants of human cultural activity.

Linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology
Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life. It is a branch of anthropology that originated from the endeavor to document endangered languages, and has grown over the past 100 years to encompass almost any aspect of language structure and...

 (also called anthropological linguistics
Anthropological linguistics
Anthropological linguistics is the study of the relations between language and culture and the relations between human biology, cognition and language...

) seeks to understand the processes of human communications, verbal and non-verbal, variation in language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 across time and space, the social uses of language, and the relationship between language and culture. It is the branch of anthropology that brings linguistic methods to bear on anthropological problems, linking the analysis of linguistic forms and processes to the interpretation of sociocultural processes. Linguistic anthropologists often draw on related fields including sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and the effects of language use on society...

, pragmatics
Pragmatics
Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning. Pragmatics encompasses speech act theory, conversational implicature, talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in philosophy, sociology, and linguistics. It studies how the...

, cognitive linguistics
Cognitive linguistics
In linguistics, cognitive linguistics refers to the branch of linguistics that interprets language in terms of the concepts, sometimes universal, sometimes specific to a particular tongue, which underlie its forms...

, semiotics
Semiotics
Semiotics, also called semiotic studies or semiology, is the study of signs and sign processes , indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication...

, discourse analysis
Discourse analysis
Discourse analysis , or discourse studies, is a general term for a number of approaches to analyzing written, spoken, signed language use or any significant semiotic event....

, and narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

 analysis.

Linguistic anthropology is divided into its own sub-fields: descriptive linguistics
Descriptive linguistics
In the study of language, description, or descriptive linguistics, is the work of objectively analyzing and describing how language is spoken by a group of people in a speech community...

 the construction of grammars and lexicons for unstudied languages; historical linguistics
Historical linguistics
Historical linguistics is the study of language change. It has five main concerns:* to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages...

, including the reconstruction of past languages, from which our current languages have descended; ethnolinguistics
Ethnolinguistics
Ethnolinguistics is a field of linguistics which studies the relationship between language and culture, and the way different ethnic groups perceive the world. It is the combination between ethnology and linguistics. The former refers to the way of life of an entire community i.e...

, the study of the relationship between language and culture, and sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used, and the effects of language use on society...

, the study of the social functions of language. Anthropological linguistics is also concerned with the evolution of the parts of the brain that deal with language.

Because anthropology developed from so many different enterprises (see History of Anthropology
History of anthropology
This article mainly discusses 18th- and 19th-century precursors of modern anthropology. For more information on modern social and cultural anthropology as they have developed in Britain, France, and North America since approximately 1900, see the relevant sections under Anthropology.-Overview:The...

), including but not limited to fossil-hunting
Fossil collecting
Fossil collecting is the collection of fossils for scientific study, hobby, or profit. Fossil collecting, as practiced by amateurs, is the predecessor of modern paleontology and many still collect fossils and study fossils as amateurs...

, exploring
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

, documentary film-making, paleontology
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

, primatology
Primatology
Primatology is the scientific study of primates. It is a diverse discipline and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, veterinary sciences and zoology, as well as in animal sanctuaries, biomedical research facilities, museums and zoos...

, antiquity dealings and curatorship, philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

, etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

, genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

, regional analysis, ethnology
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, and religious studies
Religious studies
Religious studies is the academic field of multi-disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic, historically based, and cross-cultural perspectives.While theology attempts to...

, it is difficult to characterize the entire field in a brief article, although attempts to write histories of the entire field have been made.

Because of the holistic nature of anthropological research, all branches of anthropology have widespread practical application in diverse fields. This is known as applied anthropology
Applied anthropology
Applied anthropology refers to the application of the method and theory of anthropology to the analysis and solution of practical problems. In as much as anthropology traditionally entails four sub-disciplines--Archaeology, biological/physical, cultural/social, and linguistic anthropology—the...

. Thus military expeditions employ anthropologists to discern strategic cultural footholds; marketing professionals employ anthropology to determine propitious placement of advertising; and humanitarian agencies depend on anthropological insights as means to fight poverty. Examples of applied anthropology are ubiquitous.

Focused in a positive light, Anthropology is one of the few places where humanities, social, and natural sciences are forced to confront one another. As such, anthropology has been central in the development of several new (late 20th century) interdisciplinary fields such as cognitive science
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

, global studies
Global Studies
Global studies, in its broadest definition is the academic study of political, economic, social and cultural relationships of the world. Furthermore, it can also include the study of political and cultural processes, the impacts of globalisation, markets and communications. Global Studies...

, and various ethnic studies
Ethnic studies
Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of racialized peoples in the world in relation to ethnicity. It evolved in the second half of the 20th century partly in response to charges that traditional disciplines such as anthropology, history, English, ethnology, Asian studies, and orientalism...

.

Basic trends


There are several characteristics that tend to unite anthropological work. One of the central characteristics is that anthropology tends to provide a comparatively more holistic
Holism
Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

 account of phenomena and tends to be highly empirical. The quest for holism leads most anthropologists to study a particular place, problem or phenomenon in detail, using a variety of methods, over a more extensive period than normal in many parts of academia.

In the 1990s and 2000s, calls for clarification of what constitutes a culture, of how an observer knows where his or her own culture ends and another begins, and other crucial topics in writing anthropology were heard. It is possible to view all human cultures as part of one large, evolving global culture. These dynamic relationships, between what can be observed on the ground, as opposed to what can be observed by compiling many local observations remain fundamental in any kind of anthropology, whether cultural, biological, linguistic or archaeological.

Biological anthropologists are interested in both human variation and in the possibility of human universals (behaviors, ideas or concepts shared by virtually all human cultures) They use many different methods of study, but modern population genetics
Genetics
Genetics , a discipline of biology, is the science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms....

, participant observation
Participant observation
Participant observation is a type of research strategy. It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly, cultural anthropology, but also sociology, communication studies, and social psychology...

 and other techniques often take anthropologists "into the field," which means traveling to a community in its own setting, to do something called "fieldwork." On the biological or physical side, human measurements, genetic samples, nutritional data may be gathered and published as articles or monographs. Due to the interest in variation, anthropologists are drawn to the study of human extremes, aberrations and other unusual circumstances, such as headhunting
Headhunting
Headhunting is the practice of taking a person's head after killing them. Headhunting was practised in historic times in parts of China, India, Nigeria, Nuristan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Borneo, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Micronesia, Melanesia, New Zealand, and the Amazon Basin, as...

, whirling dervishes, whether there were real Hobbit people, snake handling
Snake handling
Snake handling or serpent handling is a religious ritual in a small number of Pentecostal churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and Holiness. The practice began in the early 20th century in Appalachia, spreading to mostly coal mining towns. The practice plays only a small part of...

, and glossolalia (speaking in tongues)
Glossolalia
Glossolalia or speaking in tongues is the fluid vocalizing of speech-like syllables, often as part of religious practice. The significance of glossolalia has varied with time and place, with some considering it a part of a sacred language...

, just to list a few.

At the same time, anthropologists urge, as part of their quest for scientific objectivity, cultural relativism
Cultural relativism
Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual human's beliefs and activities should be understood by others in terms of that individual's own culture. This principle was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and...

, which has an influence on all the sub-fields of anthropology. This is the notion that particular cultures should not be judged by one culture's values or viewpoints, but that all cultures should be viewed as relative to each other. There should be no notions, in good anthropology, of one culture being better or worse than another culture.

Ethical commitments in anthropology include noticing and documenting genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

, infanticide
Infanticide
Infanticide or infant homicide is the killing of a human infant. Neonaticide, a killing within 24 hours of a baby's birth, is most commonly done by the mother.In many past societies, certain forms of infanticide were considered permissible...

, racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, mutilation
Mutilation
Mutilation or maiming is an act of physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of any living body, usually without causing death.- Usage :...

 including circumcision
Circumcision
Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some or all of the foreskin from the penis. The word "circumcision" comes from Latin and ....

 and subincision
Subincision
Penile subincision is a form of body modification consisting of a urethrotomy, in which the underside of the penis is incised and the urethra slit open lengthwise, from the urethral opening toward the base...

, and torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

. Topics like racism, slavery or human sacrifice, therefore, attract anthropological attention and theories ranging from nutritional deficiencies to genes to acculturation
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

 have been proposed, not to mention theories of colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and many others as root causes of Man's inhumanity to man
Man's inhumanity to man
The phrase "Man's inhumanity to man" is first documented in my balls]] poem called Man was made to mourn: A Dirge in 1784. It is possible that Burns reworded a similar quote from Samuel von Pufendorf who in 1673 wrote, "More inhumanity has been done by man himself than any other of nature's...

. To illustrate the depth of an anthropological approach, one can take just one of these topics, such as "racism" and find thousands of anthropological references, stretching across all the major and minor sub-fields.

Along with dividing up their project by theoretical emphasis, anthropologists typically divide the world up into relevant time periods and geographic regions. Human time on Earth is divided up into relevant cultural traditions based on material, such as the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 and the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

, of particular use in archaeology. Further cultural subdivisions according to tool types, such as Olduwan
Olduwan
The Oldowan, often spelled Olduwan or Oldawan, is the archaeological term used to refer to the stone tool industry that was used by Hominines during the Lower Paleolithic period...

 or Mousterian
Mousterian
Mousterian is a name given by archaeologists to a style of predominantly flint tools associated primarily with Homo neanderthalensis and dating to the Middle Paleolithic, the middle part of the Old Stone Age.-Naming:...

 or Levalloisian
Levallois technique
The Levallois technique is a name given by archaeologists to a distinctive type of stone knapping developed by precursors to modern humans during the Palaeolithic period....

 help archaeologists and other anthropologists in understanding major trends in the human past. Anthropologists and geographers share approaches to Culture regions as well, since mapping cultures is central to both sciences. By making comparisons across cultural traditions (time-based) and cultural regions (space-based), anthropologists have developed various kinds of comparative method
Comparative method
In linguistics, the comparative method is a technique for studying the development of languages by performing a feature-by-feature comparison of two or more languages with common descent from a shared ancestor, as opposed to the method of internal reconstruction, which analyzes the internal...

, a central part of their science.

Contemporary anthropology is an established science with academic departments at most universities and colleges. The single largest organization of Anthropologists is the American Anthropological Association
American Anthropological Association
The American Anthropological Association is a professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology. With 11,000 members, the Arlington, Virginia based association includes archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, biological anthropologists, linguistic...

, which was founded in 1903. Membership is made up of Anthropologists from around the globe. Hundreds of other organizations exist in the various sub-fields of anthropology, sometimes divided up by nation or region, and many anthropologists work with collaborators in other disciplines, such as geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, zoology
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

, paleontology
Paleontology
Paleontology "old, ancient", ὄν, ὀντ- "being, creature", and λόγος "speech, thought") is the study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms' evolution and interactions with each other and their environments...

, anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

, music theory
Music theory
Music theory is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers' techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods...

, art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 and so on, belonging to professional societies in those disciplines as well.

History



The first use of the term "anthropology" in English to refer to a natural science of humanity was apparently in 1593, the first of the "logies
-logy
-logy is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek language ending in -λογία...

" to be coined. It took Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 25 years to write one of the first major treatises on anthropology, his Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. Kant is not generally considered to be a modern anthropologist, however, as he never left his region of Germany nor did he study any cultures besides his own, and in fact, describes the need for anthropology as a corollary field to his own primary field of philosophy. He did, however, begin teaching an annual course in anthropology in 1772. Anthropology is thus primarily an Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 and post-Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 endeavor.

Historians of anthropology, like Marvin Harris, indicate two major frameworks within which empirical anthropology has arisen: interest in comparisons of people over space and interest in longterm human processes or humans as viewed through time. Harris dates both to Classical Greece
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

 and Classical Rome, specifically Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, often called the "father of history" and the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 historian Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

, who wrote many of our only surviving contemporary accounts of several ancient Celtic and Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

. Herodotus first formulated some of the persisting problems of anthropology.

Medieval scholars may be considered forerunners of modern anthropology as well, insofar as they conducted or wrote detailed studies of the customs of peoples considered "different" from themselves in terms of geography. John of Plano Carpini reported of his stay among the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

. His report was unusual in its detailed depiction of a non-European culture

Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

's systematic observations of nature, anthropology, and geography are another example of studying human variation across space. Polo's travels took him across such a diverse human landscape and his accounts of the peoples he met as he journeyed were so detailed that they earned for Polo the name "the father of modern anthropology."

Another candidate for one of the first scholars to carry out comparative ethnographic-type studies in person was the medieval Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 scholar Abū Rayhān Bīrūnī in the 11th century, who wrote about the peoples, customs, and religions of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. According to Akbar S. Ahmed, like modern anthropologists, he engaged in extensive participant observation
Participant observation
Participant observation is a type of research strategy. It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly, cultural anthropology, but also sociology, communication studies, and social psychology...

 with a given group of people, learnt their language and studied their primary texts, and presented his findings with objectivity
Objectivity (science)
Objectivity in science is a value that informs how science is practiced and how scientific truths are created. It is the idea that scientists, in attempting to uncover truths about the natural world, must aspire to eliminate personal biases, a priori commitments, emotional involvement, etc...

 and neutrality
Neutrality (philosophy)
Neutrality is the absence of declared bias. In an argument, a neutral person will not choose a side.A Neutral country maintains political neutrality, a related but distinct concept.-What neutrality is not:...

 using cross-cultural comparisons
Cross-cultural studies
Cross-cultural studies, sometimes called Holocultural Studies, is a specialization in anthropology and sister sciences that uses field data from many societies to examine the scope of human behavior and test hypotheses about human behavior and culture. Cross-cultural studies is the third form of...

. However, others argue that he can hardly be considered an anthropologist in the conventional sense. He wrote detailed comparative studies on the religions and cultures in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, Mediterranean
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 and especially South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. Biruni's tradition of comparative cross-cultural study continued in the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 through to Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

's work in the 14th century.

Most scholars consider modern anthropology as an outgrowth of the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, a period when Europeans attempted systematically to study human behavior, the known varieties of which had been increasing since the 15th century as a result of the first European colonization wave. The traditions of jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, philology
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

, and sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 then evolved into something more closely resembling the modern views of these disciplines and informed the development of the social sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

, of which anthropology was a part.

Developments in the systematic study of ancient civilizations through the disciplines of Classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 and Egyptology
Egyptology
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

 informed both archaeology and eventually social anthropology, as did the study of East and South Asian languages and cultures. At the same time, the Romantic
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 reaction to the Enlightenment produced thinkers, such as Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried Herder
Johann Gottfried von Herder was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the periods of Enlightenment, Sturm und Drang, and Weimar Classicism.-Biography:...

 and later Wilhelm Dilthey
Wilhelm Dilthey
Wilhelm Dilthey was a German historian, psychologist, sociologist and hermeneutic philosopher, who held Hegel's Chair in Philosophy at the University of Berlin. As a polymathic philosopher, working in a modern research university, Dilthey's research interests revolved around questions of...

, whose work formed the basis for the "culture concept," which is central to the discipline.
Institutionally, anthropology emerged from the development of natural history
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 (expounded by authors such as Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author.His works influenced the next two generations of naturalists, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Georges Cuvier...

) that occurred during the European colonization of the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Programs of ethnographic study originated in this era as the study of the "human primitives" overseen by colonial administrations.

There was a tendency in late 18th century Enlightenment thought to understand human society as natural phenomena that behaved according to certain principles and that could be observed empirically. In some ways, studying the language, culture, physiology, and artifacts of European colonies was not unlike studying the flora and fauna of those places.

Early anthropology was divided between proponents of unilinealism
Unilineal evolution
Unilineal evolution is a 19th century social theory about the evolution of societies and cultures. It was composed of many competing theories by various sociologists and anthropologists, who believed that Western culture is the contemporary pinnacle of social evolution...

, who argued that all societies passed through a single evolutionary process, from the most primitive to the most advanced, and various forms of non-lineal theorists, who tended to subscribe to ideas such as diffusionism. Most 19th-century social theorists, including anthropologists, viewed non-European societies as windows onto the pre-industrial human past.

As academic disciplines began to differentiate over the course of the 19th century, anthropology grew increasingly distinct from the biological approach of natural history, on the one hand, and from purely historical or literary fields such as Classics, on the other. A common criticism has been that many social science scholars (such as economists, sociologists, and psychologists) in Western countries focus disproportionately on Western subjects, while anthropology focuses disproportionately on the "Other"; this has changed over the last part of the 20th century as anthropologists increasingly also study Western subjects, particularly variation across class, region, or ethnicity within Western societies, and other social scientists increasingly take a global view of their fields.

20th century


In the 20th century, academic disciplines have often been institutionally divided into three broad domains. The natural and biological sciences seek to derive general laws through reproducible and verifiable experiments. The humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

generally study local traditions, through their history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, and art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

s, with an emphasis on understanding particular individuals, events, or eras.

The social sciences
Social sciences
Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

have generally attempted to develop scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

s to understand social phenomena in a generalizable way, though usually with methods distinct from those of the natural sciences. In particular, social sciences often develop statistical
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 descriptions rather than the general laws derived in physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 or chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, or they may explain individual cases through more general principles, as in many fields of psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

. Anthropology (like some fields of history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

) does not easily fit into one of these categories, and different branches of anthropology draw on one or more of these domains.

Anthropology as it emerged amongst the Western colonial powers (mentioned above) has generally taken a different path than that in the countries of southern and central Europe (Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, and the successors to the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

s). In the former, the encounter with multiple, distinct cultures, often very different in organization and language from those of Europe, has led to a continuing emphasis on cross-cultural comparison and a receptiveness to certain kinds of cultural relativism.

In the successor states of continental Europe, on the other hand, anthropologists often joined with folklorists and linguists in building nationalist perspectives. Ethnologists in these countries tended to focus on differentiating among local ethnolinguistic groups, documenting local folk culture, and representing the prehistory of what has become a nation through various forms of public education (eg, museums of several kinds).

In this scheme, Russia occupied a middle position. On the one hand, it had a large region (largely east of the Urals) of highly distinct, pre-industrial, often non-literate peoples, similar to the situation in the Americas. On the other hand, Russia also participated to some degree in the nationalist (cultural and political) movements of Central and Eastern Europe. After the Revolution of 1917, anthropology in the USSR, and later the Soviet Bloc countries, were highly shaped by the requirement to conform to Marxist theories of social evolution.

Britain



E. B. Tylor
Edward Burnett Tylor
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor , was an English anthropologist.Tylor is representative of cultural evolutionism. In his works Primitive Culture and Anthropology, he defined the context of the scientific study of anthropology, based on the evolutionary theories of Charles Lyell...

 ( 2 October 1832 – 2 January 1917) and James George Frazer
James Frazer
Sir James George Frazer , was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion...

 ( 1 January 1854 – 7 May 1941) are generally considered the antecedents to modern social anthropology
Social anthropology
Social Anthropology is one of the four or five branches of anthropology that studies how contemporary human beings behave in social groups. Practitioners of social anthropology investigate, often through long-term, intensive field studies , the social organization of a particular person: customs,...

 in Britain. Though Tylor undertook a field trip to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, both he and Frazer derived most of the material for their comparative studies through extensive reading, not fieldwork, mainly the Classics (literature and history of Greece and Rome), the work of the early European folklorists, and reports from missionaries, travelers, and contemporaneous ethnologists.

Tylor advocated strongly for unilinealism and a form of "uniformity of mankind". Tylor in particular laid the groundwork for theories of cultural diffusionism, stating that there are three ways that different groups can have similar cultural forms or technologies: "independent invention, inheritance from ancestors in a distant region, transmission from one race [sic] to another."

Tylor formulated one of the early and influential anthropological conceptions of culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 as "that complex whole, which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society." However, as Stocking notes, Tylor mainly concerned himself with describing and mapping the distribution of particular elements of culture, rather than with the larger function, and generally seemed to assume a Victorian idea of progress rather than the idea of non-directional, multilineal cultural development proposed by later anthropologists.

Tylor also theorized about the origins of religious feelings in human beings, proposing a theory of animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

 as the earliest stage, and noting that "religion" has many components, of which he believed the most important to be belief in supernatural beings (as opposed to moral systems, cosmology, etc.). Frazer, a Scottish scholar with a broad knowledge of Classics, also concerned himself with religion, myth, and magic. His comparative studies, most influentially in the numerous editions of The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough
The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology and religion, written by Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer . It first was published in two volumes in 1890; the third edition, published 1906–15, comprised twelve volumes...

, analyzed similarities in religious belief and symbolism globally.

Neither Tylor nor Frazer, however, was particularly interested in fieldwork, nor were they interested in examining how the cultural elements and institutions fit together. Toward the turn of the 20th century, a number of anthropologists became dissatisfied with this categorization of cultural elements; historical reconstructions also came to seem increasingly speculative.

Under the influence of several younger scholars, a new approach came to predominate among British anthropologists, concerned with analyzing how societies held together in the present (synchronic analysis, rather than diachronic or historical analysis), and emphasizing long-term (one to several years) immersion fieldwork. Cambridge University financed a multidisciplinary expedition to the Torres Strait Islands
Torres Strait Islands
The Torres Strait Islands are a group of at least 274 small islands which lie in Torres Strait, the waterway separating far northern continental Australia's Cape York Peninsula and the island of New Guinea but Torres Strait Island known and Recognize as Nyumaria.The islands are mostly part of...

 in 1898, organized by Alfred Court Haddon and including a physician-anthropologist, William Rivers, as well as a linguist, a botanist, other specialists. The findings of the expedition set new standards for ethnographic description.

A decade and a half later, Polish anthropology student Bronisław Malinowski (1884–1942) was beginning what he expected to be a brief period of fieldwork in the old model, collecting lists of cultural items, when the outbreak of the First World War stranded him in New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

. As a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire resident on a British colonial possession, he was effectively confined to New Guinea for several years.

He made use of the time by undertaking far more intensive fieldwork than had been done by British anthropologists, and his classic ethnography, Argonauts of the Western Pacific
Argonauts of the Western Pacific
Argonauts of the Western Pacific is a 1922 ethnological work by Bronisław Malinowski. The book is about the Trobriand people who live on a small island chain called the Kiriwina Islands northeast of Papua New Guinea...

(1922) advocated an approach to fieldwork that became standard in the field: getting "the native's point of view" through participant observation
Participant observation
Participant observation is a type of research strategy. It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly, cultural anthropology, but also sociology, communication studies, and social psychology...

. Theoretically, he advocated a functionalist interpretation, which examined how social institutions functioned to satisfy individual needs.

British social anthropology had an expansive moment in the Interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, with key contributions coming from the Polish-British Bronisław Malinowski and Meyer Fortes
Meyer Fortes
Meyer Fortes was a South African-born anthropologist, best known for his work among the Tallensi and Ashanti in Ghana.Originally trained in psychology, Fortes employed the notion of the "person" into his structural-functional analyses of kinship, the family, and ancestor worship setting a standard...



A. R. Radcliffe-Brown also published a seminal work in 1922. He had carried out his initial fieldwork in the Andaman Islands
Andaman Islands
The Andaman Islands are a group of Indian Ocean archipelagic islands in the Bay of Bengal between India to the west, and Burma , to the north and east...

 in the old style of historical reconstruction. However, after reading the work of French sociologists Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

 and Marcel Mauss
Marcel Mauss
Marcel Mauss was a French sociologist. The nephew of Émile Durkheim, Mauss' academic work traversed the boundaries between sociology and anthropology...

, Radcliffe-Brown published an account of his research (entitled simply The Andaman Islanders) that paid close attention to the meaning and purpose of rituals and myths. Over time, he developed an approach known as structural-functionalism
Structural functionalism
Structural functionalism is a broad perspective in sociology and anthropology which sets out to interpret society as a structure with interrelated parts. Functionalism addresses society as a whole in terms of the function of its constituent elements; namely norms, customs, traditions and institutions...

, which focused on how institutions in societies worked to balance out or create an equilibrium in the social system to keep it functioning harmoniously. (This contrasted with Malinowski's functionalism, and was quite different from the later French structuralism, which examined the conceptual structures in language and symbolism.)

Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown's influence stemmed from the fact that they, like Boas, actively trained students and aggressively built up institutions that furthered their programmatic ambitions. This was particularly the case with Radcliffe-Brown, who spread his agenda for "Social Anthropology" by teaching at universities across the British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. From the late 1930s until the postwar period appeared a string of monographs and edited volumes that cemented the paradigm of British Social Anthropology (BSA). Famous ethnographies include The Nuer, by Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard, and The Dynamics of Clanship Among the Tallensi, by Meyer Fortes
Meyer Fortes
Meyer Fortes was a South African-born anthropologist, best known for his work among the Tallensi and Ashanti in Ghana.Originally trained in psychology, Fortes employed the notion of the "person" into his structural-functional analyses of kinship, the family, and ancestor worship setting a standard...

; well-known edited volumes include African Systems of Kinship and Marriage and African Political Systems.

Max Gluckman
Max Gluckman
Max Gluckman was a South African and British social anthropologist.He grew up in South Africa, working later under the British Administration in Northern Rhodesia...

, together with many of his colleagues at the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute
Rhodes-Livingstone Institute
Founded in 1938 under the initial directorship of Godfrey Wilson, the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute was the first local anthropological research facility in Africa...

 and students at Manchester University, collectively known as the Manchester School
Manchester school (anthropology)
The Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, founded by Max Gluckman in 1947 became known among anthropologists and other social scientists as the Manchester School. Notable features of the Manchester School included an emphasis on "case studies", deriving from Gluckman's...

, took BSA in new directions through their introduction of explicitly Marxist-informed theory, their emphasis on conflicts and conflict resolution, and their attention to the ways in which individuals negotiate and make use of the social structural possibilities.

In Britain, anthropology had a great intellectual impact, it "contributed to the erosion of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, the growth of cultural relativism
Cultural relativism
Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual human's beliefs and activities should be understood by others in terms of that individual's own culture. This principle was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and...

, an awareness of the survival of the primitive in modern life, and the replacement of diachronic modes of analysis with synchronic, all of which are central to modern culture."

Later in the 1960s and 1970s, Edmund Leach
Edmund Leach
Sir Edmund Ronald Leach was a British social anthropologist of whom it has been said:"It is no exaggeration to say that in sheer versatility, originality, and range of writing he was and still is difficult to match among the anthropologists of the English speaking world".-Personal and academic...

 and his students Mary Douglas
Mary Douglas
Dame Mary Douglas, DBE, FBA was a British anthropologist, known for her writings on human culture and symbolism....

 and Nur Yalman
Nur Yalman
Nur Yalman is a leading Turkish social anthropologist and professor at Harvard University.Yalman received his high school diploma from Robert College, Istanbul, one of Turkey’s premier private high schools. For his BA and PhD, he studied Social Anthropology at Cambridge University under the...

, among others, introduced French structuralism in the style of Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer, the "father of modern anthropology"....

; while British anthropology has continued to emphasize social organization and economics over purely symbolic or literary topics, differences among British, French, and American sociocultural anthropologies have diminished with increasing dialogue and borrowing of both theory and methods. Today, social anthropology in Britain engages internationally with many other social theories and has branched in many directions.

In countries of the British Commonwealth, social anthropology has often been institutionally separate from physical anthropology
Physical anthropology
Biological anthropology is that branch of anthropology that studies the physical development of the human species. It plays an important part in paleoanthropology and in forensic anthropology...

 and primatology
Primatology
Primatology is the scientific study of primates. It is a diverse discipline and researchers can be found in academic departments of anatomy, anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, veterinary sciences and zoology, as well as in animal sanctuaries, biomedical research facilities, museums and zoos...

, which may be connected with departments of biology or zoology; and from archaeology, which may be connected with departments of Classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

, Egyptology
Egyptology
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the AD 4th century. A practitioner of the discipline is an “Egyptologist”...

, and the like. In other countries (and in some, particularly smaller, British and North American universities), anthropologists have also found themselves institutionally linked with scholars of folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

, museum studies
Museology
Museology is the diachronic study of museums and how they have established and developed in their role as an educational mechanism under social and political pressures.-Overview:...

, human geography
Human geography
Human geography is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography. Human geography is the study of the world, its people, communities, and cultures. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more...

, sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, social relations, ethnic studies
Ethnic studies
Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary study of racialized peoples in the world in relation to ethnicity. It evolved in the second half of the 20th century partly in response to charges that traditional disciplines such as anthropology, history, English, ethnology, Asian studies, and orientalism...

, cultural studies
Cultural studies
Cultural studies is an academic field grounded in critical theory and literary criticism. It generally concerns the political nature of contemporary culture, as well as its historical foundations, conflicts, and defining traits. It is, to this extent, largely distinguished from cultural...

, and social work
Social work
Social Work is a professional and academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of an individual, group, or community by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or...

.

Anthropology has been used in Britain to provide an alternative explanation for the Financial crisis of 2007–2010 to the technical explanations rooted in economic and political theory. Dr. Gillian Tett
Gillian Tett
Gillian Tett is a British author and award-winning journalist at the Financial Times, where she is the US managing editor She has written about the financial instruments that were part of the cause of the financial crisis that started in the fourth quarter of 2007, such as CDOs, credit default...

, a Cambridge University trained anthropologist who went on to become a senior editor at the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

 is one of the leaders in this use of anthropology.

19th Century to 1940s


From its beginnings in the early 19th century through the early 20th century, anthropology in the United States was influenced by the presence of Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 societies.


Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans, collecting data about the impact of global economic and political processes on local cultural realities. Anthropologists use a variety of methods, including participant observation,...

 in the United States was influenced greatly by the ready availability of Native American societies as ethnographic subjects. The field was pioneered by staff of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

 and the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology
Bureau of American Ethnology
The Bureau of American Ethnology was established in 1879 by an act of Congress for the purpose of transferring archives, records and materials relating to the Indians of North America from the Interior Department to the Smithsonian Institution...

, men such as John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell
John Wesley Powell was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions...

 and Frank Hamilton Cushing
Frank Hamilton Cushing
Frank Hamilton Cushing was an American anthropologist and ethnologist...

.

Lewis Henry Morgan (1818–1881), a lawyer from Rochester
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, became an advocate for and ethnological scholar of the Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

. His comparative analyses of religion, government, material culture, and especially kinship patterns proved to be influential contributions to the field of anthropology. Like other scholars of his day (such as Edward Tylor), Morgan argued that human societies could be classified into categories of cultural evolution on a scale of progression that ranged from savagery, to barbarism, to civilization. Generally, Morgan used technology (such as bowmaking or pottery) as an indicator of position on this scale.

Boasian anthropology


Franz Boas
Franz Boas
Franz Boas was a German-American anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology" and "the Father of Modern Anthropology." Like many such pioneers, he trained in other disciplines; he received his doctorate in physics, and did...

 established academic anthropology in the United States in opposition to this sort of evolutionary perspective. His approach was empirical, skeptical of overgeneralizations, and eschewed attempts to establish universal laws. For example, Boas studied immigrant children to demonstrate that biological race was not immutable, and that human conduct and behavior resulted from nurture, rather than nature.

Influenced by the German tradition, Boas argued that the world was full of distinct cultures, rather than societies whose evolution could be measured by how much or how little "civilization" they had. He believed that each culture has to be studied in its particularity, and argued that cross-cultural generalizations, like those made in the natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s, were not possible.

In doing so, he fought discrimination against immigrants, blacks, and indigenous peoples of the Americas. Many American anthropologists adopted his agenda for social reform, and theories of race continue to be popular subjects for anthropologists today. The so-called "Four Field Approach" has its origins in Boasian Anthropology, dividing the discipline in the four crucial and interrelated fields of sociocultural, biological, linguistic, and archaic anthropology (e.g. archaeology). Anthropology in the United States continues to be deeply influenced by the Boasian tradition, especially its emphasis on culture.
Boas used his positions at Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 and the American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

 to train and develop multiple generations of students. His first generation of students included Alfred Kroeber, Robert Lowie
Robert Lowie
Robert Harry Lowie was an Austrian-born American anthropologist. An expert on North American Indians, he was instrumental in the development of modern anthropology.-Biography:...

, Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir was an American anthropologist-linguist, widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics....

 and Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict was an American anthropologist, cultural relativist, and folklorist....

, who each produced richly detailed studies of indigenous North American cultures. They provided a wealth of details used to attack the theory of a single evolutionary process. Kroeber and Sapir's focus on Native American languages helped establish linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 as a truly general science and free it from its historical focus on Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

.

The publication of Alfred Kroeber's textbook, Anthropology, marked a turning point in American anthropology. After three decades of amassing material, Boasians felt a growing urge to generalize. This was most obvious in the 'Culture and Personality' studies carried out by younger Boasians such as Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s....

 and Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict
Ruth Benedict was an American anthropologist, cultural relativist, and folklorist....

. Influenced by psychoanalytic psychologists including Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 and Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

, these authors sought to understand the way that individual personalities were shaped by the wider cultural and social forces in which they grew up.

Though such works as Coming of Age in Samoa
Coming of Age in Samoa
Coming of Age in Samoa is a book by American anthropologist Margaret Mead based upon her research and study of youth on the island of Ta'u in the Samoa Islands which primarily focused on adolescent girls. Mead was 23 years old when she carried out her field work in Samoa...

and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture is an influential 1946 study of Japan by American anthropologist Ruth Benedict written at the invitation of the U.S. Office of War Information in order to understand and predict the behavior of the Japanese in World War II by reference...

remain popular with the American public, Mead and Benedict never had the impact on the discipline of anthropology that some expected. Boas had planned for Ruth Benedict to succeed him as chair of Columbia's anthropology department, but she was sidelined by Ralph Linton
Ralph Linton
Ralph Linton was a respected American anthropologist of the mid-twentieth century, particularly remembered for his texts The Study of Man and The Tree of Culture...

, and Mead was limited to her offices at the AMNH
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

.

Canada


Canadian anthropology began, as in other parts of the Colonial world, as ethnological data in the records of travellers and missionaries. In Canada, Jesuit missionaries
Missionary
A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism or ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin...

 such as Fathers LeClercq, Le Jeune and Sagard, in the 17th century, provide the oldest ethnographic records of native tribes in what was then the Domain of Canada.

True anthropology began with a Government department
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

: the Geological Survey of Canada, and George Mercer Dawson
George Mercer Dawson
Dr. George Mercer Dawson F.R.S., C.M.G., was a Canadian scientist and surveyor. He was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, the eldest son of Sir John William Dawson, Principal of McGill University and his wife, Lady Margaret Dawson...

 (director in 1895). Dawson's support for anthropology created impetus for the profession in Canada. This was expanded upon by Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, who established a Division of Anthropology within the Geological Survey in 1910. Anthropologists were recruited from England and the USA, setting the foundation for the unique Canadian style of anthropology. Scholars include the linguist and Boasian Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir
Edward Sapir was an American anthropologist-linguist, widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics....

.

France



Anthropology in France has a less clear genealogy than the British and American traditions, in part because many French writers influential in anthropology have been trained or held faculty positions in sociology, philosophy, or other fields rather than in anthropology.

Most commentators consider Marcel Mauss
Marcel Mauss
Marcel Mauss was a French sociologist. The nephew of Émile Durkheim, Mauss' academic work traversed the boundaries between sociology and anthropology...

 (1872–1950), nephew of the influential sociologist Émile Durkheim
Émile Durkheim
David Émile Durkheim was a French sociologist. He formally established the academic discipline and, with Karl Marx and Max Weber, is commonly cited as the principal architect of modern social science and father of sociology.Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain...

, to be the founder of the French anthropological tradition. Mauss belonged to Durkheim's Année Sociologique group. While Durkheim and others examined the state of modern societies, Mauss and his collaborators (such as Henri Hubert
Henri Hubert
Henri Hubert was an archaeologist and sociologist of comparative religion who is best known for his work on the Celts and his collaboration with Marcel Mauss and other members of the Annee Sociologique....

 and Robert Hertz
Robert Hertz
Robert Hertz was a French sociologist who was killed in World War I.Hertz was a student at the École Normale Supérieure, from which he aggregated in philosophy in 1904, finishing first in his class...

) drew on ethnography and philology to analyze societies that were not as 'differentiated' as European nation states.

Two works by Mauss in particular proved to have enduring relevance: Essay on the Gift
The Gift (book)
The Gift is a 1923 short book by the French sociologist Marcel Mauss and is best known for being one of the earliest and most important studies of reciprocity and gift exchange.Mauss's original piece was entitled Essai sur le don...

,
a seminal analysis of exchange
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 and reciprocity
Reciprocity (cultural anthropology)
In cultural anthropology and sociology, reciprocity is a way of defining people's informal exchange of goods and labour; that is, people's informal economic systems. It is the basis of most non-market economies. Since virtually all humans live in some kind of society and have at least a few...

, and his Huxley lecture on the notion of the person, the first comparative study of notions of person and selfhood cross-culturally.

Throughout the interwar years, French interest in anthropology often dovetailed with wider cultural movements such as surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 and primitivism, which drew on ethnography for inspiration. Marcel Griaule
Marcel Griaule
Marcel Griaule was a French anthropologist known for his studies of the Dogon people of West Africa, and for pioneering ethnographic field studies in France....

 and Michel Leiris
Michel Leiris
Julien Michel Leiris was a French surrealist writer and ethnographer.-Biography:...

 are examples of people who combined anthropology with the French avant-garde. During this time most of what is known as ethnologie was restricted to museums, such as the Musée de l'Homme
Musée de l'Homme
The Musée de l'Homme was created in 1937 by Paul Rivet for the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne. It is the descendant of the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro, founded in 1878...

 founded by Paul Rivet
Paul Rivet
Paul Rivet was a French ethnologist, who founded the Musée de l'Homme in 1937. He was also one of the founders of the Comité de vigilance des intellectuels antifascistes, an antifascist organization created in the wake of the February 6, 1934 far right riots.Rivet proposed a theory according to...

, and anthropology had a close relationship with studies of folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

.

Above all, Claude Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer, the "father of modern anthropology"....

 helped institutionalize anthropology in France. Along with the enormous influence that his theory of structuralism
Structuralism
Structuralism originated in the structural linguistics of Ferdinand de Saussure and the subsequent Prague and Moscow schools of linguistics. Just as structural linguistics was facing serious challenges from the likes of Noam Chomsky and thus fading in importance in linguistics, structuralism...

 exerted across multiple disciplines, Lévi-Strauss established ties with American and British anthropologists. At the same time, he established centers and laboratories within France to provide an institutional context within anthropology, while training influential students such as Maurice Godelier
Maurice Godelier
Born in Cambrai, France in 28 February 1934, Maurice Godelier is one of the most influential names in French anthropology. Directeur d'études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales...

 and Françoise Héritier
Françoise Héritier
Françoise Héritier is a French anthropologist and successor to Claude Lévi-Strauss at the Collège de France . Her work deals mainly with the theory of alliances and on the prohibition of incest...

. They proved influential in the world of French anthropology. Much of the distinct character of France's anthropology today is a result of the fact that most anthropology is carried out in nationally funded research laboratories (CNRS
Centre national de la recherche scientifique
The National Center of Scientific Research is the largest governmental research organization in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe....

) rather than academic departments in universities.

Other influential writers in the 1970s include Pierre Clastres
Pierre Clastres
Pierre Clastres, , was a French anthropologist and ethnographer. He is best known for his fieldwork among the Guayaki in Paraguay and his theory on stateless societies.-Theories:...

, who explains in his books on the Guayaki tribe in Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

 that "primitive societies" actively oppose the institution of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

. These stateless societies are not less evolved than societies with states, but chose to conjure the institution of authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

 as a separate function from society. The leader
Leadership
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

 is only a spokesperson for the group when it has to deal with other groups ("international relations") but has no inside authority, and may be violently removed if he attempts to abuse this position.

The most important French social theorist since Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

 and Lévi-Strauss is Pierre Bourdieu
Pierre Bourdieu
Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher.Starting from the role of economic capital for social positioning, Bourdieu pioneered investigative frameworks and terminologies such as cultural, social, and symbolic capital, and the concepts of habitus, field or location,...

, who trained formally in philosophy and sociology and eventually held the Chair of Sociology at the Collège de France. Like Mauss and others before him, he worked on topics both in sociology and anthropology. His fieldwork among the Kabyle
Kabyle people
The Kabyle people are the largest homogeneous Algerian ethno-cultural and linguistical community and the largest nation in North Africa to be considered exclusively Berber. Their traditional homeland is Kabylie in the north of Algeria, one hundred miles east of Algiers...

 of Algeria places him solidly in anthropology, while his analysis of the function and reproduction of fashion and cultural capital in European societies places him as solidly in sociology.

Other countries


Anthropology in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 is greatly influenced by British anthropology. In Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, there was since the 19th century a science of the folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 called laographia (laography), in the form of "a science of the interior", although theoretically weak; but the connotation of the field deeply changed after World War II, when a wave of Anglo-American anthropologists introduced a science "of the outside". In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, the development of ethnology
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

 and related studies did not receive as much attention as other branches of learning.

Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 are the countries that showed the most division and conflict between scholars focusing on domestic socio-cultural issues and scholars focusing on "other" societies.

Post–World War II


Before WWII
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 British 'social anthropology' and American 'cultural anthropology' were still distinct traditions. After the war, enough British and American anthropologists borrowed ideas and methodological approaches from one another that some began to speak of them collectively as 'sociocultural' anthropology.

In the 1950s and mid-1960s anthropology tended increasingly to model itself after the natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s. Some anthropologists, such as Lloyd Fallers and Clifford Geertz
Clifford Geertz
Clifford James Geertz was an American anthropologist who is remembered mostly for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, and who was considered "for three decades...the single most influential cultural anthropologist in the United States." He served until...

, focused on processes of modernization by which newly independent states could develop. Others, such as Julian Steward
Julian Steward
Julian Haynes Steward was an American anthropologist best known for his role in developing "the concept and method" of cultural ecology, as well as a scientific theory of culture change.-Early life and education:...

 and Leslie White
Leslie White
Leslie Alvin White was an American anthropologist known for his advocacy of theories of cultural evolution, sociocultural evolution, and especially neoevolutionism, and for his role in creating the department of anthropology at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor...

, focused on how societies evolve and fit their ecological niche—an approach popularized by Marvin Harris
Marvin Harris
Marvin Harris was an American anthropologist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York. A prolific writer, he was highly influential in the development of cultural materialism...

.

Economic anthropology
Economic anthropology
Economic anthropology is a scholarly field that attempts to explain human economic behavior using the tools of both economics and anthropology. It is practiced by anthropologists and has a complex relationship with economics...

 as influenced by Karl Polanyi
Karl Polanyi
Karl Paul Polanyi was a Hungarian philosopher, political economist and economic anthropologist known for his opposition to traditional economic thought and his book The Great Transformation...

 and practiced by Marshall Sahlins
Marshall Sahlins
Marshall David Sahlins is a prominent American anthropologist. He received both a Bachelors and Masters degree at the University of Michigan where he studied with Leslie White, and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1954 where his main intellectual influences included Karl Polanyi and...

 and George Dalton challenged standard neoclassical economics
Neoclassical economics
Neoclassical economics is a term variously used for approaches to economics focusing on the determination of prices, outputs, and income distributions in markets through supply and demand, often mediated through a hypothesized maximization of utility by income-constrained individuals and of profits...

 to take account of cultural and social factors, and employed Marxian analysis into anthropological study. In England, British Social Anthropology's paradigm began to fragment as Max Gluckman
Max Gluckman
Max Gluckman was a South African and British social anthropologist.He grew up in South Africa, working later under the British Administration in Northern Rhodesia...

 and Peter Worsley
Peter Worsley
Peter Maurice Worsley is a noted British sociologist and social anthropologist.He is a major figure in both anthropology and sociology, and is noted for introducing the term third world into English...

 experimented with Marxism and authors such as Rodney Needham
Rodney Needham
Rodney Needham was one of the leading British social anthropologists.Born as Rodney Phillip Needham Green, Needham changed his name in 1947,the same year he married Claudia Brysz....

 and Edmund Leach
Edmund Leach
Sir Edmund Ronald Leach was a British social anthropologist of whom it has been said:"It is no exaggeration to say that in sheer versatility, originality, and range of writing he was and still is difficult to match among the anthropologists of the English speaking world".-Personal and academic...

 incorporated Lévi-Strauss's structuralism into their work.

Structuralism also influenced a number of developments in 1960s and 1970s, including cognitive anthropology and componential analysis. Authors such as David Schneider, Clifford Geertz
Clifford Geertz
Clifford James Geertz was an American anthropologist who is remembered mostly for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, and who was considered "for three decades...the single most influential cultural anthropologist in the United States." He served until...

, and Marshall Sahlins
Marshall Sahlins
Marshall David Sahlins is a prominent American anthropologist. He received both a Bachelors and Masters degree at the University of Michigan where he studied with Leslie White, and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1954 where his main intellectual influences included Karl Polanyi and...

 developed a more fleshed-out concept of culture as a web of meaning or signification, which proved very popular within and beyond the discipline. In keeping with the times, much of anthropology became politicized through the Algerian War of Independence
Algerian War of Independence
The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

 and opposition to the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

; Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 became an increasingly popular theoretical approach in the discipline. By the 1970s the authors of volumes such as Reinventing Anthropology worried about anthropology's relevance.

Since the 1980s issues of power, such as those examined in Eric Wolf
Eric Wolf
Eric Robert Wolf was an anthropologist, best known for his studies of peasants, Latin America, and his advocacy of Marxian perspectives within anthropology.-Early life:...

's Europe and the People Without History
Europe and the People Without History
Europe and the People Without History is a book by anthropologist Eric Wolf. First published in 1982, it focuses on the expansion of European societies in the Modern Era. It argues that this expansion affected both the societies that Europeans encountered in their expansion and European societies...

, have been central to the discipline. In the 80s books like Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter pondered anthropology's ties to colonial inequality, while the immense popularity of theorists such as Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political philosopher, and linguist. He was a founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime...

 and Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault
Michel Foucault , born Paul-Michel Foucault , was a French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas...

 moved issues of power and hegemony
Hegemony
Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

 into the spotlight. Gender and sexuality became popular topics, as did the relationship between history and anthropology, influenced by Marshall Sahlins
Marshall Sahlins
Marshall David Sahlins is a prominent American anthropologist. He received both a Bachelors and Masters degree at the University of Michigan where he studied with Leslie White, and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 1954 where his main intellectual influences included Karl Polanyi and...

 (again), who drew on Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer, the "father of modern anthropology"....

 and Fernand Braudel
Fernand Braudel
Fernand Braudel was a French historian and a leader of the Annales School. His scholarship focused on three main projects, each representing several decades of intense study: The Mediterranean , Civilization and Capitalism , and the unfinished Identity of France...

 to examine the relationship between social structure and individual agency. Also influential in these issues were Nietzsche, Heidegger, the critical theory of the Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
The Frankfurt School refers to a school of neo-Marxist interdisciplinary social theory, particularly associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt am Main...

, Derrida and Lacan
Lacan
Lacan is surname of:* Jacques Lacan , French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist** The Seminars of Jacques Lacan** From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation of Power, a book on political philosophy by Saul Newman** Lacan at the Scene* Judith Miller, née Lacan...

.

In the late 1980s and 1990s authors such as George Marcus
George Marcus
George Marcus is an American anthropologist, founder of the journal and editor of the series.-Biography:Marcus served as the Joseph D. Jamail Professor at Rice University, where he chaired the anthropology department for 25 years...

 and James Clifford
James Clifford
James Clifford is an historian and Professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Clifford and Hayden White were among the first faculty directly appointed to the History of Consciousness Ph.D. program in 1978, which was originally the only...

 pondered ethnographic authority, in particular how and why anthropological knowledge was possible and authoritative. They were reflecting trends in research and discourse initiated by Feminists in the academy, although they excused themselves from commenting specifically on those pioneering critics. Nevertheless, key aspects of feminist theorizing and methods became de rigueur as part of the 'post-modern moment' in anthropology: Ethnographies became more reflexive, explicitly addressing the author's methodology, cultural, gender and racial positioning, and their influence on his or her ethnographic analysis. This was part of a more general trend of postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

 that was popular contemporaneously. Currently anthropologists pay attention to a wide variety of issues pertaining to the contemporary world, including globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

, medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

, indigenous rights
Indigenous rights
Indigenous rights are those rights that exist in recognition of the specific condition of the indigenous peoples. This includes not only the most basic human rights of physical survival and integrity, but also the preservation of their land, language, religion and other elements of cultural...

, virtual communities, and the anthropology of industrialized societies
Industrial society
In sociology, industrial society refers to a society driven by the use of technology to enable mass production, supporting a large population with a high capacity for division of labour. Such a structure developed in the west in the period of time following the Industrial Revolution, and replaced...

.

Controversies about its history


Anthropologists, like other researchers (especially historians and scientists engaged in field research), have over time assisted state policies and projects, especially colonialism.

Some commentators have contended:
  • That the discipline grew out of colonialism, perhaps was in league with it, and derived some of its key notions from it, consciously or not. (See, for example, Gough, Pels and Salemink, but cf. Lewis 2004).
  • That ethnographic work was often ahistorical
    Ahistoricism
    Ahistoricism refers to a lack of concern related to history, historical development, or tradition.Ahistoricism is most frequently used as a criticism, referring to being historically inaccurate or ignorant...

    , writing about people as if they were "out of time" in an "ethnographic present" (Johannes Fabian, Time and Its Other).

Military


Anthropologists' involvement with the U.S. government, in particular, has caused bitter controversy within the discipline. Franz Boas publicly objected to US participation in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and after the war he published a brief expose and condemnation of the participation of several American archaeologists in espionage in Mexico under their cover as scientists.

But by the 1940s, many of Boas' anthropologist contemporaries were active in the allied war effort against the "Axis" (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan). Many served in the armed forces, while others worked in intelligence (for example, Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
The Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency...

 and the Office of War Information). At the same time, David H. Price's work on American anthropology during the Cold War provides detailed accounts of the pursuit and dismissal of several anthropologists from their jobs for communist sympathies.

Attempts to accuse anthropologists of complicity with the CIA and government intelligence activities during the Vietnam War years have turned up surprisingly little (although anthropologist Hugo Nutini was active in the stillborn Project Camelot
Project Camelot
Project Camelot was a social science research project of the United States Army that started in 1964 and was cancelled after congressional hearings in 1965. The goal of the project was to assess the causes of conflict between national groups, to anticipate social breakdown and provide eventual...

). Many anthropologists (students and teachers) were active in the antiwar movement. Numerous resolutions condemning the war in all its aspects were passed overwhelmingly at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association
American Anthropological Association
The American Anthropological Association is a professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology. With 11,000 members, the Arlington, Virginia based association includes archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, biological anthropologists, linguistic...

 (AAA).

Professional anthropological bodies often object to the use of anthropology for the benefit of the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

. Their codes of ethics or statements may proscribe anthropologists from giving secret briefings. The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) has called certain scholarship ethically dangerous. The AAA's current 'Statement of Professional Responsibility' clearly states that "in relation with their own government and with host governments ... no secret research, no secret reports or debriefings of any kind should be agreed to or given."

Anthropologists, along with other social scientists, are working with the US military as part of the US Army's strategy in Afghanistan. The Christian Science Monitor reports that "Counterinsurgency efforts focus on better grasping and meeting local needs" in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, under the Human Terrain System
Human Terrain System
The Human Terrain System is a United States Army program utilizing experts from social science disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, political science, regional studies and lingustics to provide military commanders and staff with an understanding of the local population...

(HTS) program; in addition, HTS teams are working with the US military in Iraq.

Focus on other cultures


Some authors argue that anthropology originated and developed as the study of "other cultures", both in terms of time (past societies) and space (non-European/non-Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 societies). For example, the classic of urban anthropology
Urban anthropology
Urban anthropology is a subset of anthropology concerned with issues of urbanization, poverty, and neoliberalism. It is a relatively new and developing field, which became consolidated in the 1960s and 1970s....

, Ulf Hannerz
Ulf Hannerz
Ulf Hannerz, born June 9, 1942 in Malmö, is an emeritus professor of social anthropology at Stockholm University. His research includes urban societies, local media cultures, transnational cultural processes, and globalization....

 in the introduction to his seminal Exploring the City: Inquiries Toward an Urban Anthropology mentions that the "Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

" had habitually received most of attention; anthropologists who traditionally specialized in "other cultures" looked for them far away and started to look "across the tracks" only in late 1960s.

Now there exist many works focusing on peoples and topics very close to the author's "home". It is also argued that other fields of study, like History
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and Sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, on the contrary focus disproportionately on the West.

In France, the study of Western societies has been traditionally left to sociologists, but this is increasingly changing, starting in the 1970s from scholars like Isac Chiva and journals like Terrain
Terrain (journal)
Terrain is a French academic journal of ethnology, social and cultural anthropology . Each issue is entirely devoted to a specific theme...

("fieldwork"), and developing with the center founded by Marc Augé
Marc Augé
Marc Augé is a French anthropologist.In an essay and book of the same title, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity , Marc Augé coined the phrase "non-place" to refer to places of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as "places"...

 (Le Centre d'anthropologie des mondes contemporains
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
The École des hautes études en sciences sociales is a leading French institution for research and higher education, a Grand Établissement. Its mission is research and research training in the social sciences, including the relationship these latter maintain with the natural and life sciences...

, the Anthropological Research Center of Contemporary Societies). The same approach of focusing on "modern world" topics by Terrain, was also present in the British Manchester School
Manchester school (anthropology)
The Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, founded by Max Gluckman in 1947 became known among anthropologists and other social scientists as the Manchester School. Notable features of the Manchester School included an emphasis on "case studies", deriving from Gluckman's...

 of the 1950s.

See also


  • American Anthropological Association
    American Anthropological Association
    The American Anthropological Association is a professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology. With 11,000 members, the Arlington, Virginia based association includes archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, biological anthropologists, linguistic...

     (AAA)
  • Anthropological Index Online
    Anthropological Index Online
    The Anthropological Index Online is an international journal indexing service for anthropology.The service indexes the journals received by The Anthropology Library at The British Museum which receives periodicals in all branches of anthropology, from academic institutions and publishers around...

     (AIO)
  • Anthrozoology
    Anthrozoology
    Anthrozoology is the study of human-animal interaction. It is a modern interdisciplinary and burgeoning field that overlaps with a number of other disciplines, including anthropology, ethology, medicine, psychology, veterinary medicine and zoology...

  • Anthropological science fiction
    Anthropological science fiction
    The American Anthropological Association defines anthropology as “the study of humans, past and present. To understand the full sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and...

  • Applied anthropology
    Applied anthropology
    Applied anthropology refers to the application of the method and theory of anthropology to the analysis and solution of practical problems. In as much as anthropology traditionally entails four sub-disciplines--Archaeology, biological/physical, cultural/social, and linguistic anthropology—the...

  • Asociación de Antropólogos Iberoamericanos en Red, AIBR
    AIBR. Asociación de Antropólogos Iberoamericanos en Red
    The association AIBR started in 1996 with the creation of the portal El Rincón del Antropólogo , that brought together the team of one of the first portals of anthropology in the Spanish-speaking world...

  • Ethnology
    Ethnology
    Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

  • Ethology
    Ethology
    Ethology is the scientific study of animal behavior, and a sub-topic of zoology....

  • Folklore
    Folklore
    Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

  • Human ethology
    Human ethology
    Ethology is concerned with the evolutionary significance of an animal's behaviors in its natural environment. Broadly speaking, ethology focuses on behavior processes across species rather than focusing on the behaviors of one animal group. Ethology as a discipline is generally thought of as a...

  • Human evolution
    Human evolution
    Human evolution refers to the evolutionary history of the genus Homo, including the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species and as a unique category of hominids and mammals...

  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
    Intangible Cultural Heritage
    The concept of intangible cultural heritage emerged in the 1990s, as a counterpart to the World Heritage that focuses mainly on tangible aspects of culture...

  • Legal anthropology
    Legal anthropology
    Legal anthropology is a sub-discipline of anthropology which specializes in "the cross-cultural study of social ordering". This broad definition of the field captures the wide array of research done by legal anthropologists today. Earlier legal anthropological research often focused more narrowly...

  • Madison Grant
    Madison Grant
    Madison Grant was an American lawyer, historian and physical anthropologist, known primarily for his work as a eugenicist and conservationist...

  • Memetics
    Memetics
    Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. It purports to be an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. A meme, analogous to a gene, is essentially a "unit of...

  • Philosophical anthropology
    Philosophical anthropology
    Philosophical anthropology is a discipline dealing with questions of metaphysics and phenomenology of the human person, and interpersonal relationships. It is the attempt to unify disparate ways of understanding behaviour of humans as both creatures of their social environments and creators of...

  • Prehistoric medicine
    Prehistoric medicine
    Prehistoric medicine is a term used to describe the use of medicine before the invention of writing. As the timing of the invention of writing varies per culture and region, the term "prehistoric medicine" encompasses a wide range of time periods and dates....

  • Phronetic social science
    Phronetic social science
    Phronetic social science is an approach to the study of social – including political and economic – phenomena based on a contemporary interpretation of the Aristotelian concept phronesis, variously translated as practical judgment, common sense, or prudence. Phronesis is the intellectual virtue...

  • Sociology
    Sociology
    Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

  • Systems theory in anthropology
    Systems theory in anthropology
    Systems Theory in Anthropology is an interdisciplinary, non-representative, non-referential, and non-Cartesian approach that brings together natural and social sciences to understand society in its complexity. The basic idea of a system theory in social science is to solve the classical problem of...

  • Theological anthropology, which is not part of anthropology but a sub-field of theology
  • Periodic Table of Human Sciences / Anthropology in Tinbergen's four questions
    Tinbergen's four questions
    Tinbergen's four questions, named after Nikolaas Tinbergen, are complementary categories of explanations for behavior. It suggests that an integrative understanding of behavior must include both a proximate and ultimate analysis of behavior, as well as an understanding of both...


Dictionaries and encyclopedias

  • Barfield, Thomas (1997). The dictionary of anthropology. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Levinson, David and Melvin Ember. eds. (1996) Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. (4 vols.) New York: Henry Holt.

Fieldnotes and memoirs of anthropologists

  • Barley, Nigel (1983) The innocent anthropologist: notes from a mud hut. London: British Museum Publications.
  • Geertz, Clifford (1995) After the fact: two countries, four decades, one anthropologist. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1967) Tristes tropiques. Translated from the French by John Russell. New York: Atheneum.
  • Malinowski, Bronisław (1967) A diary in the strict sense of the term. Translated by Norbert Guterman. New York, Harcourt, Brace & World.
  • Mead, Margaret (1972) Blackberry winter: my earlier years. New York: William Marrow.
  • Mead, Margaret, (1977) Letters from the field, 1925 - 1975. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Rabinow, Paul. (1977) Reflections on fieldwork in Morocco.

Histories

  • Asad, Talal, ed. (1973) Anthropology & the Colonial Encounter. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.
  • Barth, Fredrik, Andre Gingrich, Robert Parkin, One Discipline, Four Ways: British, German, French, and American anthropology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • D'Andrade, R. "The Sad Story of Anthropology: 1950-1999." In E. L. Cerroni-Long, ed. Anthropological Theory in North America. Westport: Berin & Garvey 1999. Anthro.ucsd.edu
  • Darnell, Regna. (2001) Invisible Genealogies: A History of Americanist Anthropology. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Harris, Marvin. (2001[1968]) The rise of anthropological theory: a history of theories of culture. AltaMira Press. Walnut Creek, CA.
  • Kehoe, Alice B. (1998) The Land of Prehistory: A Critical History of American Archaeology.
  • Lewis, Herbert S. (1998) "The Misrepresentation of Anthropology and its Consequences." American Anthropologist, 100: 716-731. Interscience.wiley.com, Lewis
  • Lewis, Herbert S. (2004) "Imagining Anthropology's History." Reviews in Anthropology, v. 33.
  • Lewis, Herbert S. (2005) "Anthropology, the Cold War, and Intellectual History. In R. Darnell & F.W. Gleach, eds. Histories of Anthropology Annual, Vol. I.
  • Pels, Peter & Oscar Salemink, eds. (2000) Colonial Subjects: Essays on the Practical History of Anthropology.
  • Price, David. (2004) Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI's Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists.
  • Stocking, George, Jr. (1968) Race, Culture and Evolution. New York: Free Press.
  • Trencher, Susan. (2000) Mirrored Images: American Anthropology and American Culture, 1960-1980.
  • Gisi, Lucas Marco. (2007) Einbildungskraft und Mythologie. Die Verschränkung von Anthropologie und Geschichte im 18. Jahrhundert, Berlin, New York: de Gruyter.

Textbooks and key theoretical works

  • Clifford, James and George E. Marcus (1986) Writing culture: the poetics and politics of ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Geertz, Clifford (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures. New York: Basic Books.
  • Harris, Marvin (1997) Culture, People, Nature: An Introduction to General Anthropology (7th Edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon
  • Salzmann, Zdeněk. (1993) Language, culture, and society: an introduction to linguistic anthropology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
  • Shweder, Richard A., and Robert A. LeVine, eds. (1984) Culture Theory: essays on mind, self, and emotion. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

External links