Key summary of ANA02
Ethnography: the first-hand, personal study of local settings. It entails
spending a year or more in another society, living with the local people and
learning about their way of life.
Anthropology: the study of the human species and its immediate ancestors.
Holistic science: the study of the whole world of the human condition: past,
present, and future; biology, society, language and culture.
People share society—organized life in groups—with other animals.
Cultures are distinct to human. They are traditions and customs, transmitted
though learning, that form and guide the beliefs and behaviour of the people
that exposed to them.
The most critical element of cultural tradition is their transmission through
learning rather than through biological inheritance.
Homo sapiens: modern human beings.
Adaptation, Variation, and Change
Adaptation: the process by which organisms cope with environmental forces
and stresses, both biologically and culturally.
Food production: the cultivation of plants and domestication of animals,
which originated some 12,000-10,000 years ago, to replace foraging in most
General anthropology: 4 fields: sociocultural, archaeological, biological, and
Human Biological Diversity and the Race Concept
Racial classification: the attempt to assign humans to discrete categories
based on common ancestry.
Species: a population whose members can interbreed to produce offspring
that can live and reproduce.
Phenotype: an organism’s evident (detectable) physical traits, like skin
colour, hair from, eye colour, and facial features etc… But phonotypical
similarities and differences don’t necessarily have a genetic basis.
Bicultural: the inclusion and combination of both biological and cultural
perspectives and approaches to comment on or solve a particular issue or
Natural Selection: the process by which the forms fir to survive and
reproduce in a given environment. See P10-11
The sub-disciplines of Anthropology
Cultural anthropology: the study of human society and culture, the subfield
that describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural
similarities and differences.
Ethnography: based on field work
Ethnology: based on cross-cultural comparison
Archaeological Anthropology reconstructs, describes, and interprets human
behaviour and cultural patterns through material remains.
Biological Anthropology: human biological diversity in time and space. 5
1. Human evolution as revealed by the fossil record (paleoanthropology).
2. Human genetics.
3. Human growth and development.
4. Human biological plasticity (The body’s ability to change as it copes
with stresses, such as heat, cold, and attitude).
5. The biology, evolution, behaviour, and social life of monkeys, apes,
and other nonhuman primates.
Paleontologist : scientist who studies fossils.
Linguistic Anthropology studies language in its social and cultural
context, across space and over time.
Sociolinguistics investigates relationships between social and linguistic
Applied anthropology (public archaeology): the application of
anthropological data, perspectives, theory and methods to identify,
assess, and solve contemporary social problems
Edward Tylor’s definition of culture proposed: people acquire not
through biological inheritance but by growing up in a particular society
in which they are exposed to a specific cultural tradition.
Enculturation: the process by which a child learns his or her culture
What is Culture
Culture is learned: