ANTH 1001a: Lecture September 18, 2013
• Anthropology is commonly defined as the study of humankind in all places and times.
• This is a vast and far-reaching field. How do anthropologists make sense of all of that
information about humans?
“A perspective that emphasizes the whole rather than just the parts”
(Lassiter: 39) = the big picture.
It encourages to see humans as both biological and cultural beings to
consider their present in light of the past.
o Refers to the use of comparisons between different groups to make
generalizations about the complexity of human beings.
o In short: about both human different and similarities.
Subfields of Anthropology
• Biological Anthropology (or Physical Anthropology):
o Human biology.
o Material culture.
• Linguistic Anthropology (or Ethno linguistic)
o Language and communication -> gestures across cultures.
• Socio-Cultural Anthropology
o Includes what is commonly referred to as the study of contemporary or recent
cultures and societies.
Characteristics of Socio-Cultural Anthropology
• Fieldwork: an extended period of close involvement with the people anthropologist’s
study, during which they collect most of their data. • Culture is one of its central, driving concepts (although it is a contested term) -> the
lens through which we understand the world -> distinguishes US culture as opposed to
• Ethnography: most commonly, refers to the written (or filmed) d