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  • So youre taking an anthropology course, which means youre probably wondering what

  • youve gotten yourself into. Well this short video will give you a very basic view of anthropology

  • and how it is divided into four distinct, though interwoven, subfields. Simply put,

  • Anthropology is the study of humans. The term Anthropology comes from two roots, Anthropos

  • meaning Man or Human, and Logos meaning study of. Anthropology is traditionally subdivided

  • into four subfields. Cultural, Biological, Linguistic, and Archaeology.

  • Cultural Anthropology is the study of the cultural basis of humanity, similar to sociology,

  • but looking at all cultures around the world, and bringing in a historical context. Cultural

  • Anthropology is well known due to the media. National Geographic (among others) provides

  • a view of the cultural anthropologist as a westerner from Europe or the US who travels

  • to a remote culture to study exotic people. While this is occasionally true, currently

  • cultural anthropologists do just as much research within their own culture studying particular

  • subcultures of Americans or Europeans, as well as studying isolated non-western societies.

  • The second subfield is biological or physical anthropology. The focus of this subfield is

  • on human anatomy and genetics, as well as the biological relatives of humans, such as

  • monkeys and apes, as well as human ancestors, like Neanderthals and Australopithecines.

  • Biological anthropologists study how genetics make us look the way we do or how we can identify

  • who someone is when all we have is their skeletal remains. They also study the behavior and

  • physical makeup of primates, which helps us understand how humans have evolved and how

  • our ancestors may have behaved as well as how they looked. Biological anthropologists

  • who specialize in paleoanthropology study the ancient remains of primates, both those

  • that are within our ancestral line and those who are not on our line, our cousins, if you

  • will. Many of these give us a really good understanding the way we are today

  • Linguistic anthropology is the study of language usage in terms of culture. Looking at how

  • language changes and adapts, and how language is used differently in different settings

  • by different individuals. Linguistic anthropology also addresses the basic structure of languages

  • and usages that languages have in different cultures, as well as language similarities

  • and differences to look at human migration around the world.

  • The last main subfield is archaeology. So in a lot of ways they are kind of like cultural

  • anthropologists of the past. They do this by excavating the remains they left behind

  • and interpreting the artifacts and features in order to deduce these cultural behaviors

  • of cultures that are now extinct. There is actually one more subfield that crosscuts

  • the four main or traditional subfields, which is called applied anthropology. Applied anthropology

  • is the use of anthropological practices and methods in the everyday world, in business,

  • healthcare, design, marketing, etc. The most commonly applied anthropology is cultural,

  • but all four subfields can be applied in different ways. Physical anthropology is applied in

  • the design of cars, seats, as well as things like baby food. Forensic Anthropology is applied

  • anthropology. Archaeological applications include things like when a shopping mall is

  • built, individuals have to go out and excavate and make sure that there aren’t any Native

  • American remains where that new development is going to be made. So there are many different

  • ways in which anthropology can be applied. I hope this has given you a good view of what

  • anthropology is in a nutshell and I look forward to you learning more about it.

So youre taking an anthropology course, which means youre probably wondering what

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B2 H-INT US anthropology cultural applied study biological linguistic

what is anthroplogy

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    Ji Zhi Chen   posted on 2016/01/03
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