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What Is Cultural Anthropology?

cultural anthropology

❶Inherent in reciprocal gift giving is the obligation to return a gift in a culturally appropriate manner. Modern cultural anthropology has its origins in, and developed in reaction to, 19th century ethnology , which involves the organized comparison of human societies.

Historical development of cultural anthropology

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This results in just 4 different kin terms of reference. Ego's father and all male relatives in his generation are referred to by the same kin term 1. Likewise, ego's mother and all female relatives in her generation have the same kin term 2. All brothers and male cousins are linked by giving them the same kin term 3.

Sisters and all female cousins are also referred to by the same term 4. Heterosexuality generally refers to sexual interaction between members of the opposite gender. See bisexual and homosexual. Most small-scale societies are homogenous.

A few large-scale ones, like Japan, are as well. Homosexuality generally refers to sexual interaction between members of the same gender.

In North America, female homosexuals are often referred to as "lesbians" while males are known as "gays. The prohibition includes at least members of one's nuclear family and may extend to more distant relatives in some cultures.

Living creatures and non-living objects in nature as well as supernatural beings are thought to be human-like in their motivations, feelings, and interactions. When the characteristics of this type of world-view were first proposed in the early 's by Robert Redfield, it was called a "primitive world-view. Extreme threat of starvation has at times forced some societies, such as the Inuit of the North American Arctic, to kill family members.

When this occurred, the decision was usually to eliminate the youngest daughter because she was the least likely to add to the family's food supply. Though illegal, female infanticide does occur occasionally in India and mainland China where there is a high value placed on having sons. Infibulation is partially closing off the opening to the vagina by sewing, pinning, or clamping part of the vulva.

This is what happens when children role-play adult interactions in their games. Informal negative sanctions usually are in the form of gossip, public ridicule, social ostracism, insults, or even threats of physical harm by other members of the community.

See negative sanction and positive sanction. Ethnographers usually try to develop a warm and trusting relationship with their informants. This makes it more likely that they will learn what the informant's culture is really like. The behavior of individuals with this sort of personality are strongly controlled by their conscience.

As a result, there is little need for police to make sure that they obey the law. These individuals monitor themselves. The inner-directed personality is one of the modal personality types identified by David Riesman in the early 's.

If two speakers have different comfortable interaction distances, a ballet of shifting positions usually occurs until one of the individuals is backed into a corner and feels threatened by what may be perceived as hostile or sexual overtures.

As a result, the verbal message may not be listened to or understood as it was intended. Interaction distance is an aspect of proxemics. Joint families typically consist of generations. For example, religious leaders would be the most likely informants if research concerns religious beliefs and practices. The judgment sample approach works best if the focus of research concerns cultural information that only some members of the host society possess.

An individual's kindred consists of all of the people who are related to him or her through consanguinal ties and possibly affinal ones as well. That is, it includes one's biological relatives and sometimes spouses and in-laws. This part of paralanguage is also known as body language. There are 6 different kin naming systems in use around the world: Kin naming systems are also referred to as "kin terminological systems. Kinship is based on marriage, descent , and, occasionally, fictive relationships as well.

In the case of men, the concern is that their penis and testes are shrinking. For women, the focus is on the perceived shrinking of the vulva and nipples. In both cases it is a fear of the loss of masculinity or femininity followed by premature death. Koro is traditionally believed to be caused by "unhealthy sex" e.

It also thought to be caused by "tainted" foods. The Kula Ring was a closed trading system in which only established senior male trading partners from each island could participate. The trade was carried out with large outrigger sailing canoes.

On the surface, it appeared to be primarily an exchange of gift items and ceremonial feasting organized to reinforce bonds between senior trading partners. The trade network was essentially circular. If a trader was traveling in a clockwise direction around the circuit, he would give long necklaces of red shells soulava as gifts to his trading partner. If he was traveling in a counterclockwise direction, he would give armbands of white shells mwali. These necklaces and armbands were the kula items.

While the senior trading partners were formally greeting each other and reinforcing their friendship by giving kula gifts, the younger men were usually unloading more practical trade items on the beach to be bartered. These were mostly surplus luxury items from their home islands. While the kula items were exchanged via a system of generalized reciprocity , the regular trade goods were mostly traded in a manner that resulted in balanced reciprocity.

The symptoms include palsy, contracted face muscles, and the loss of motor control resulting in the inability to walk and eventually even eat. Kuru victims become progressively emaciated.

Death almost always occurs within months of the onset of symptoms. Kuru is a variant of Kreutzfeld-Jacob disease in humans as well as scrapies and mad cow disease in livestock and some wild animals. The feminine form of "latino" is "latina"? As a society's population size and territory grow, it must develop new political solutions to keep from splitting apart.

In the 's, the American Anthropologist, Elman Service described four levels of political integration that have have been used around the world to solve this problem-- band , tribe , chiefdom , and state.

While there are some unique cultural variations of each of these levels, they are remarkably similar from one society to another. Subsequently, classifying a society in terms of its level of political integration has proven to be a useful tool in comprehending the wide range of human cultures and societies from small foraging communities to modern nation states.

This keeps the dead man's wealth and children within his family. It also continues the bond between the husband's and wife's families. This rule is most common in societies that have patrilineal descent and polygyny. Linguistics is also referred to as linguistic anthropology. This ideal of a macho , or "real man", was brought to the New World from Spain and Portugal. Its ultimate origin is probably to be found in the Islamic cultural traditions of North Africa that heavily influenced the culture of the Spanish Peninsula until the end of the 's A.

The majority group in North America today consists mostly of European Americans. The cause is traditionally thought to be a strong person staring at a weak individual. It is thought that powerful people can cause this draining of the soul intentionally or unintentionally. People who believe in the existence of mal de ojo are likely to seek out a curandero to cure it. Women are expected to be sexually abstinent before marriage and passive in response to their husbands' demands after marriage.

Women are expected to have sexual intercourse only with their husbands. It is a universal method of regulating heterosexual intercourse by defining who is acceptable as a sexual partner and who is not. Marriage establishes social relationships that are the foundation for families and households.

This man is missing due to death, divorce, abandonment, or no marriage having taken place. In such families, the mother raises her children more or less alone and subsequently has the major role in their socialization. Matricentric families are also referred to as being "matrifocused".

Matrilineages usually consist of a number of related nuclear families descended from the same woman. With this pattern, people are related if they can trace descent through females to the same female ancestor. Both males and females inherit membership in a matrilineal family line, but only females can pass it on to their descend a nts. This keeps women near their female relatives, while men must leave their natal households.

Matrilocal residence is strongly associated with matrilineal descent. There are two broad types of medical systems in the world-- naturalistic and personalistic. Those who prefer this model for America generally advocate encouraging assimilation in order to reinforce national unity. Animals, trees, rocks, and other things in nature are "its" rather than "thous" and do not have human personalities.

This separation of people emotionally from nature allows them to exploit it with little care for its well being. When the characteristics of this type of world-view were first proposed in the early 's by Robert Redfield, it was called a "civilized world-view.

In reality, there is usually a range of normal personality types within a society. See inner-directed personality , other-directed personality , and tradition-oriented personality. Moieties have reciprocal privileges and obligations with each other, such as providing marriage partners and assisting at funerals. The founding moiety ancestor is often so genealogically remote that he or she is now mythical.

Societies with moieties usually consist of a few thousand people or less. Societies with phratries instead of moieties are often larger. This is the most common marriage pattern around the world today. If remarriage is allowed following divorce or death of a spouse, the marriage pattern could be defined as being "serial monogamy.

Words can be one or more morphemes. For example, hot is one morpheme while hotdog is composed of two hot and dog. Those who advocate this model for America generally advocate providing special attention and assistance to minorities that had been underrepresented in the past.

The notion of national personality types implies that personality is almost entirely learned rather than genetically inherited. This is no longer widely believed in anthropology and psychology.

The children born of this union usually stay in their mother's home, which becomes a de facto matricentric residence. Typical causes accepted in naturalistic medical systems include organic breakdown or deterioration, obstruction, injury, imbalance, malnutrition, and parasites. Students learning to be doctors or nurses in medical schools throughout the modern world are taught this kind of naturalistic explanation. However, there are other kinds of naturalistic medical systems also in use today.

In Latin America, many people still also rely on humoral pathology to explain and cure their illnesses. This is especially true in rural areas. See personalistic medical system. In large-scale societies, formal negative sanctions usually take the form of fines or prison sentences. In small-scale societies, informal negative sanction are more commonly used against those whose behavior is unacceptable.

This pattern is now common in North America and other industrialized nations in which the importance of kinship is minimized. Norms are also referred to as "social norms. The Americas are conventionally referred to as the New World. This distinction is largely an ethnocentric reflection of the European origin of our modern sciences and geography. People with this type of personality have ambiguous feelings about right and wrong.

When they deviate from a societal norm, they usually don't feel guilty. However, if they are caught in the act or exposed publicly, they are likely to feel shame. The other-directed personality is one of the modal personality types identified by David Riesman in the early 's. See inner-directed personality and tradition-oriented personality. As a result, otiose deities are usually almost ignored in favor of lesser gods who take an interest in the everyday affairs of humans.

Pantribal associations often are in the form of councils, groups of elder men or women who are members of the same age set , warrior societies, religious cults, or secret societies,. While these groups have specific purposes, they also serve to create order and a sense of unity for a tribe. Pantribal associations are also referred to as sodalities. These include variations in tone and character of voice along with such non-verbal forms of communication as kinesics , proxemics , clothing, and makeup.

With unilineal descent, parallel cousins are members of the same unilineage. In practice this usually requires living within the community as a member, learning their language, establishing close friendship ties, eating what they eat, and taking part in normal family activities.

By becoming an active participant rather than simply an observer, ethnographers reduce the cultural distance between themselves and the host society. Patrilineages usually consist of a number of related nuclear families descended from the same man. With this pattern, people are related if they can trace descent through males to the same male ancestor. Both males and females inherit a patrilineal family membership but only males can pass it on to their descend a nts. Also known as "agnatic descent.

This keeps men near their male relatives, while women must leave their natal households. Patrilocal residence is strongly associated with patrilineal descent. Just over half of the world's societies have patrilocal residence. There is no room for accidents. Adherents to personalistic medical systems believe that the causes and cures of illness are not to be found only in the natural world.

Curers usually must use supernatural means to understand what is wrong with their patients and to return them to health. Typical causes of illness in personalistic medical systems include intrusion of foreign objects into the body by supernatural means, spirit possession, loss, or damage, and bewitching. Most of the non-western world traditionally accepted a personalistic explanation for illness.

Today, it is mostly found among people in small-scale societies and some subcultures of larger nations. See naturalistic medical system. It includes all of the patterns of thought, emotions, and other mental traits that cause us to do and say things in particular ways. In English, for example, the words pan and can have different meaning due to the fact that the initial sound, or phoneme, is different. Phonemes do not have meaning by themselves. The sounds represented by the p and c in the words above are meaningless alone but they can change the meaning of words.

The phratry founding ancestor is so remote genealogically that he or she is usually mythical. Phratries are larger and more inclusive kinship groups than unilineages and clans. Pidgins combine a limited amount of the vocabulary and grammar of the different languages. People who use pidgin languages also speak their own native language. Over the last several centuries, dozens of pidgin languages developed as Europeans expanded out into the rest of the world for colonization and trade.

There have been pidgins developed by non-European cultures as well. For example, a doctor could give patients harmless sugar pills and tell them that they are a powerful medicine. This placebo may actually make some of them feel better and even help them recover from their disease. It is assumed that the belief in the efficacy of a treatment can reduce the production of stress hormones and improve the immune system in some cases.

The kind of placebo that works is highly culture related. It can be something as simple as the phrase "a chicken in every pot and a car in very garage" which was used by Herbert Hoover in his U. It can be a call for change such as the replacement of a king with a legislature or conversion of "non-believers" to the "true-religion.

This is a rare type of polygamy. It usually takes the form of "fraternal polyandry", which is brothers sharing the same wife. This is the most common form of polygamy. It often takes the form of "sororal polygyny", which is two or more sisters married to the same man. The indigenous peoples of Polynesia speak similar Polynesian languages.

Common positive sanctions include praise and granting honors or awards. Assuming that someone of a specific ethnic group or "race" will act in a particular way is an example of pre-judging them. When people from different groups have little or no contact with each other, they are likely to hold prejudicial views about each other and to act upon them.

If the prejudicial views are inaccurate, they can be obstacles to productive dialog and understanding. See stereotype and discrimination. Prions are responsible for causing kuru and other similar diseases. Apparently, prions are not effectively attacked by their host's immune system nor can they be killed with existing antibiotics, extreme heat, cold, or other normally lethal conditions.

The word prion comes from "proteinaceous infectious particle. Choosing who will be in the sample can be difficult, especially at the beginning of an ethnographic research project when the first contacts are made and the composition of the society and its culture are still poorly understood.

Depending on the nature of the society and the research questions, one of three different kinds of probability samples may be employed.

They are random sample , stratified sample , and judgment sample. See systems of distribution and exchange. Most people are unaware of the importance of space in communication until they are confronted with someone who uses it differently.

Proxemics is a form of paralanguage. The human "races" commonly assumed to exist are mostly socio-cultural creations rather than biological realities. They are ethnic groups that are defined on the basis of both physical and cultural characteristics. An example of racialism is identifying an accident victim as "an elderly Asian male.

An example of racism is not hiring someone for a job because of his or her skin color. Similarly, giving someone a preference in hiring due to skin color can be racism if people with other skin colors are disadvantaged by this act.

The primary objective of raiding usually is to plunder and then to escape unharmed with the stolen goods. In some societies, the goal is also to kill men in the target community as well as kidnap women and children. Raiders are virtually always men. Raiding is a more organized form of aggression than feuding. Violent encounters are often the result of opportunistic meetings in the case of feuding.

In contrast, raids are planned in advance. Another difference is that raids occur in a finite time period. They are rarely sustained activities like feuds.

This can be accomplished by assigning a number to everyone in a community and then letting a computer or hand calculator generate a series of random numbers. This sampling approach is reasonable for ethnographic research only when there does not seem to be much difference between the people in the population. Since this is rarely the case, random sampling is not often used for ethnographic research.

Jury systems in the Western World are based on this assumption. Inherent in reciprocal gift giving is the obligation to return a gift in a culturally appropriate manner. Failure to do so is likely to end the reciprocal relationship. Reciprocity requires adequacy of response but not necessarily mathematical equality. Reciprocity is a common way of creating and continuing bonds between people.

See generalized reciprocity , balanced reciprocity , and negative reciprocity. In the Western World, charity and progressive income tax systems are examples of redistributive exchanges. Progressive income taxes are intended to make people with greater wealth give at higher rates than those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Some of the tax money is then allocated to help the poorer members of society. The intended net effect is to reduce or prevent extremes of wealth and poverty. Some of the most elaborate redistributive systems have been in small-scale societies with non-market economies e.

If the results of the tests support the hypothesis, it may become a theory. If the tests do not support the hypothesis, new hypotheses are developed and tested. The scientific method is the objective method by which old assumptions are challenged and scientific knowledge grows. An example of sexism is excluding people from promotion to executive positions in a corporation due to their gender.

During socialization, children learn the language of the culture as well as the roles they are to play in life. In addition, they learn about the occupational roles that their society allows them. They also learn and usually adopt their culture's norms through the socialization process. Band fissioning occurred before a community reached the full carrying capacity of the environment.

Families decided to leave and form their own bands because the conflict settling mechanisms were not adequate to resolve differences. It was not food scarcity but, rather, social discord that was the cause of the break-up.

In the case of humans, societies are groups of people who directly or indirectly interact with each other. People in human societies also generally perceive that their society is distinct from other societies in terms of shared traditions and expectations.

This is usually favored by their respective parents because it continues the bond between their families. Where polygyny exists, an "anticipatory sororate" is often practiced. That is to say, there is a degree of sexual permissiveness allowed between a husband and his wife's younger sister in anticipation of a presumed future marriage between them.

The bulk of the people are at the bottom of the pyramid of power. Between them and the rulers is a bureaucracy of officials who run the state on a daily basis.

States with hereditary rulers first appeared years ago in intensive agricultural societies of 10's to 's of thousands of people. Modern nations also have state levels of political organization, but rulers are generally elected now.

For instance, student, teacher, child, and parent are easily identifiable statuses in most cultures. Each of us has a number of different statuses. We usually acquire new ones and lose old ones as we go through life. For instance, assuming that a particular Chinese businessman is going to be greedy and dishonest because you believe that all Chinese businessmen are. Stereotyping is often at the base of prejudice and discrimination resulting from it. This approach may be used by ethnographers if the information that is being sought is not specialized knowledge such as the esoteric activities of a secret organization with restricted membership.

Members of a subculture often share a common identity, food tradition, dialect or language, and other cultural traits that come from their common ancestral background and experience. Subcultures are most likely to exist in complex, diverse societies, such as the U. This surgery is done as part of a rite of passage marking the transition from childhood to adulthood for boys in some cultures.

Each category of relative is given a distinct term based on genealogical distance from ego and the side of the family. Also referred to as the "descriptive kin naming system. It is a kind of personalistic illness found among some Latinos in the United States and parts of Latin America. The presumed cause is the loss of one's soul due to incidents that have a destabilizing effect on an individual e.

Typical symptoms of susto are restlessness during sleep as well as being listless and weak when awake, lack an appetite, and little interest in one's own personal appearance. Susto is also known as perdida de la sombra literally "loss of the shadow" in Spanish. Human languages are systems of symbols. Sympathetic magic is also referred to as "imitative" magic. Along with morphology , syntax makes up grammar. For instance the heliocentric theory in astronomy proposes that the sun is at the center of our solar system and that the earth and other planets revolve around it.

In modern Western societies, torts are settled in civil cases rather than criminal ones. Torts include any damage or injury done willfully or negligently that harms another individual. Totem origins are so far back in time that they are often believed to be non-human. Totems are used as symbols of clans. When they are believed to be particular kinds of animals or plants, killing or eating them is usually not allowed.

Totems are also referred to as "totemic emblems". Individuals with this sort of personality are less likely to try new things and to seek new experiences.

The tradition-oriented personality is one of the modal personality types identified by David Riesman in the early 's. Transvestitism, or cross dressing, is not necessarily connected with homosexuality. To take only the example of western Europe, many pertinent questions were posed by the French philosophers Jean Bodin and Michel de Montaigne as early as the 16th century, by the English philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke in the 17th, and by the French philosophers Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Voltaire in the 18th, to mention only those who are often placed among the precursors of modern anthropology.

Modern anthropology began to take shape before the middle of the 19th century because of a series of innovations in the Western world. The last great phase of the discovery of the world had begun at the end of the 18th century.

At the same time, political and intellectual revolutions had facilitated the questioning of certain religious dogmas , thus opening the way to the discussion of hitherto half-forbidden subjects. The 19th century, therefore, soon saw a revival of interest in and study of the origin of man, the unity or plurality of the human species, and the fixity or mutability of animal species. Finally, about , a principle for the study of human facts was proposed: This was even before Charles Darwin had published his celebrated Origin of Species This concept, arising in strong debates, provided the starting point for anthropology.

Almost to the end of the 19th century, evolutionism determined the complexion of the new science. A major task of cultural anthropology was thought to be that of classifying different societies and cultures and defining the phases and states through which all human groups pass—the linear interpretation of history.

Some groups progress more slowly, some faster, as they advance from the simple to the complex, from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous , from the irrational to the rational. It suffices to quote an American anthropologist, Lewis Henry Morgan:. As it is undeniable that portions of the human family have existed in a state of savagery, other portions in a state of barbarism , and still other portions in a state of civilization, it seems equally so that these three distinct conditions are connected with each other in a natural as well as necessary sequence of progress Ancient Society , Other quotations from a Scotsman, John F.

MacLennan , or an Englishman, Edward B. Tylor , would take the same position. Cultural anthropology, then, set out to analyze the totality of human culture in time and space.

But by assuming a linear conception of history, it too often neglected the discontinuities and interferences of concrete history. At the same time, in the second half of the 19th century another kind of evolutionism developed, that of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

A society was defined by its mode of production, on which its political, juridical, and ideological superstructures were allegedly based. These superstructures continued to exist after the mode of production had changed; and in the conflict that followed, this contradiction opened the way to a new type of society. Numerous anthropologists have taken the Marxist analysis into account, even if only to retain its historical view and to reject its economic determinism.

These rather encyclopaedic collections of customs, religious and magical practices, and other curious data were read with relish by the intellectual community; the theories that accompanied the collections were equally appreciated by evolutionary-minded anthropologists, as the theories were meant to establish an evolutionary sequence of magical, religious, and scientific thought, using the data as evidence. By the beginning of the 20th century, many cultural anthropologists had already begun to turn toward what might be called a more pluralistic viewpoint.

To account for the variety of societies and cultures and the broadening of the differences that separated them, they suggested taking the total circumstances of each human group into account by considering the whole of its history, the contacts that it had had with other groups, and the favourable or unfavourable circumstances that had weighed on its development.

Such a view was distinguished by a marked relativism: Cultural anthropology was also diversifying its concepts and its areas of research without losing its unity.

Kroeber , Margaret Mead , and Edward Sapir —to go out and seek evidence of human behaviour among people in their natural environs, to venture into the field to gather facts and artifacts and record observable cultural processes. Consequently he is known as the founder of the so-called culture history school, which for much of the 20th century dominated American cultural anthropology. Beyond this emphasis on field work and first-hand observation, it may also be said that Boas inclined toward what was called functionalism or the functional approach—an approach based on sociological theories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that tended to liken societies to living organisms or machines, with interdependent parts.

In the words of Melville J. Its object is essentially to achieve some expression of the unities in culture by indicating how trait and complex and pattern, however separable they may be, intermesh, as the gears of some machine, to constitute a smoothly running, effectively functioning whole from Man and His Works , Boas insisted upon this method of considering any single culture as a whole.

Finally, by emphasizing the importance of collecting life histories, he drew attention to the problems posed by connections between culture and personality. In general it may be said that Mauss, like Boas, was insistent upon studying social phenomena as a system—but in a slightly different fashion.

Like many others of his time he conceived of systems as self-regulating or equilibrium-seeking, composed of elements that operate to maintain the integration or adaptation of the system. Like Boas, Mauss also tried to twin culture and personality—that is, cultural anthropology and psychology. These latter, too, rejected classical 19th-century evolutionism, but they were nevertheless inclined toward painting grand theories—principally the theory that out of a few ancient cultural centres or civilizations, born quite separately, there had developed the array of cultures existing today.

Diffusion , or the spreading of culture traits, in their view, was the prime force of human development, and all cultural development could be traced to a few inventive centres. This kind of pseudo-history was carried to even greater lengths by a British group of diffusionists, led by Grafton Elliot Smith and William J. Perry , who even named a single fountainhead of all cultural development—Egypt. Some schools of research that began to develop between the two world wars more or less vigorously rejected the historical approaches, sometimes denying any interest in them whatever.

According to the cultural functionalists, including the followers of Malinowski, the only way to explain facts was to define the function that they performed currently in a given culture.

The aim of all cultural anthropological research, they held, should be to perceive the totality of a culture and the organic connection of all its parts. Consequently, comparison did not make sense: History, moreover, made no more sense; a culture was to be interpreted at one point in time, as if the age and the origin of the elements composing it were without importance.

The only thing that counted was the function the elements performed now. Whereas the name of Malinowski is supremely associated with the school of functionalism, the name of Radcliffe-Brown is known as one of the most important proponents of present-day structuralism. This exacting approach has proved particularly useful in studying kinship and marriage relations as well as myths. The difficulties of using this approach in other fields, as well as the fact that historical changes are difficult to include in this sort of static analysis, strengthen the objections that many workers in the field have raised against it.

One development of the interwar period led certain cultural anthropologists to speak of a new subdiscipline, cultural psychology, or ethnopsychology, which is based on the idea that culture conditions the very psychological makeup of individuals as opposed to the older notion of a universal psyche or human nature.

In the s, for instance, in her studies of the American Southwest, Ruth Benedict found that the ways in which the Pueblo Indians thought and reasoned were strikingly different from the ways in which their immediate neighbours thought and reasoned, even though their geographical environment was virtually identical. Culture, in effect, affects the ways in which the mind works. Studies in culture and personality have developed in many directions.

Research into forms of child rearing, for instance, have called in question the universality of Freudian propositions concerning parent-child relationships. The results of these studies have, however, been uneven in quality. Finally, certain theoretical tendencies of the 19th century came back into favour.

For political reasons, Soviet cultural anthropologists conducted their research in the tradition both of Marxist analysis and of a fairly rigid evolutionism. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.

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Page 1 of 2. Next page Status of contemporary cultural anthropology. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: It was associated with the social sciences and linguistics, rather than with human biology and archaeology.

In Britain in particular social anthropologists came to regard themselves as comparative sociologists, but the assumption persisted…. In their study of social and cultural institutions and practices, anthropologists typically focused on the less highly developed societies, further distinguishing anthropology from sociology. The field of social anthropology has been historically quite close to sociology.

Recently, however, this distinction…. More About Cultural anthropology 20 references found in Britannica articles Assorted References major reference In anthropology: Cultural anthropology comparison to ethnography In ethnography division of social sciences In social science:

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the study of contemporary and recent historical cultures all over the world. The focus is on social organization, culture change, economic and political systems, and religion. Cultural anthropology is also referred to as social or sociocultural anthropology.

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Cultural anthropology definition is - anthropology that deals with human culture especially with respect to social structure, language, law, politics, religion, magic, art, and technology. anthropology that deals with human culture especially with respect to social structure, language, law, politics, religion, magic, art, and.

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cultural anthropology - study of cultural variation and similarities. Includes ethnology and anthropological linguistics. May also include archaeology. cultural construct - the idea that the characteristics people attribute to such social categories as gender, illness, death, status of women, and status of men is culturally defined. cultural anthropology n. The scientific study of the development of human cultures based on ethnographic, linguistic, social, and psychological data and methods of analysis. cultural anthropology n (Anthropology & Ethnology) the branch of anthropology dealing with cultural as opposed to biological and racial features cultural .

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Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and their cultural, social, biological, and environmental aspects of life in the past and the present. Cultural anthropology is one of four areas of study in the broader field of anthropology (archeology, physical or biological anthropology, and. Glossary of Terms The following is a list of terms commonly used in anthropology. The glossary was created by Simon Coleman and Bob Simpson. Cultural Anthropology. The term used to describe a style of anthropology linked more with North American than British scholarship, though this distinction may now be breaking down. This style often.