What Is Anthropology?

Anthropology comes from the Greek meaning for ‘the study of humans –  “anthropos” (humans) and “logia” (study).

Anthropologists study not only human species but also primates including lemurs, monkeys and apes. Basically, almost everything about people interests an anthropologist.

The four major fields of Anthropology

Although there are many sub-divisions, the main branches of Anthropology are:

  1. Archaeology examines people and cultures of the past.
  2. Biological or physical Anthropology specializes in evolution, genetics, and health.
  3. Socio-cultural Anthropology sometimes referred to as ‘cultural’ or ‘Social’ anthropology, studies human societies and elements of cultural life.
  4. Linguistic Anthropology concentrates on the study of language in society.

Anthropology is located at the intersection of natural science and humanities.

Questions In Anthropology

Anthropologists seek answers to questions such as; where the human species came from, and why we have evolved the way we have. In cultural anthropology, researchers ask why there are so many different cultures in the world, where they came from and why did they evolve the way they did.

Anthropologists’ study everything about human beings wherever they live, whatever they do and it doesn’t even matter whether they are alive or not. Nothing related to the human species escapes the questioning eye of the anthropologist.

Anthropology and Careers

Anthropologists tend to work in local governments, international agencies, healthcare centers, nonprofit associations, research institutes and the private sector. Some may work as consultants in archaeological excavations or for human resource management projects where they help to develop government and non-governmental policies.




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Posted in Cultural Anthropology.