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Unit 1 Essay

926 words - 4 pages

Nicholas Painchaud
Anthropology Essay 1

The four standard sub-fields that we study in general Anthropology today are Archaeology, Linguistic Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, and Sociocultural Anthropology. Each sub-field has it’s own area of study but many work hand in hand to continue the research of the human specie and its immediate ancestors.
By definition, Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that has been left behind by past human populations. Such studies are conducted on artifacts, architecture, biofacts (or eco-facts) and cultural landscapes. While we, in the ...view middle of the document...

Socicultural Anthropology is the combination of Social Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology. While closely related, the two are separated due to focusing on different aspects. Social Anthropology attempts to isolate a certain system of social relations. On the other hand, Cultural Anthropology is the study of cultural variation among humans. Both areas deal with describing and analyzing societies and cultures and likeness and differences between the two. Though similar, cultures and societies are definitively different in anthropology. Culture is more so the set of learned behaviors and beliefs that characterize a group of people. It takes into account the tangible and also the intangible. Society is the group of people who occupy a particular region and who share a certain culture. The society is the group of people and the culture is what makes them them.
While having sub-fields differentiates where certain individual studies fall, there is still an overlapping of each sub-field. So therefore, while there is four different sub-fields, it all collectively can be viewed as simply Anthropology. By doing so, experts in each field can share data and use what’s been established to form a baseline to begin their own research in their own perspective field. The four sub-fields are all pushing towards the understanding of human beings. The four sub-fields compliment one another while also differing thus providing advancements and new discoveries for a better understanding.
The four field approach is significant due to the early studies of Franz Boas, who sought to combine many different aspects in his studying of human behavior. It is well documented that by uniting the different studies of archaeology and biological anthropology with ethnology and descriptive linguistics, Boas created the four sub-fields that we use as categorize the different areas of Anthropology. Those different aspects include culture...

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