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What is Anthropology?
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology is the broad study of human species and human
cultures throughout time.
Anthropology begins with a simple idea: - behavior can be
understood better when it is seen compared against a full range
of human behavior.
The comparative method attempts to explain similarities and
differences among people in the context of humanity as a
Why Study Anthropology?
To analyse and understand diverse cultures and societies of the
contemporary world. A lot of hate and differences comes from
intolerance and not understanding.
Anth. Hopes to bring about understanding and tolerance.
Purpose of Anthro.
to give students a better understanding of cultural
changes and cultural relations in face of processes such as
globalization, multiculturalism, and technological change
(to not be judgmental)
 to
focus on solutions to social, political, economic,
and environmental problems.
 Anthropologists
provide important input in
the fields of international development,
conflict resolution, resource
management, health care, etc.
Examples of career opportunities
 Anthropologist
 Program Analyst
for immigration policies, international
development, environmental protection, cultural heritage
and education programs, etc.
 Public Policy Adviser
 International Development Officer
 Consultant
 Academic Researcher
 Researcher for media productions, organizational
publications, etc.
 Community development adviser
 Immigration Officer
Examples of career opportunities
Human Relations Officer
Media Coordinator
Museum researcher and program development
Public Relations Specialist
Conflict negotiator or advisor
Ethics Advisor (e.g. healthcare issues)
Research officer or negotiator for Aboriginal
Advertising or marketing advisor
Anthropology and Social Change
Anthropologists contribute to social change by examining
past and present cultures
Culture: shared symbols, values, beliefs and behaviours of a
We learn other cultures by SHARING information
Participant Observation:
live in close proximity to subjects to gather information
Immerse themselves in the culture
Witness ways of life of cultural group
First hand perspective of cultural practices and values
Findings then compared to reveal similarities and differences
among societies
Anthropology and Social Change
 Major
area of study: how change comes to
cultural groups
Internal factors
 Invention
 new product or idea (PC’s and
External factors
 Diffusion
 spread of a cultural idea through social
contact (migration, war)
Example- food
 Acculturation
process of contact, exposure and
exchange of ideas = adaptation in both groups