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Chapter 1

Chapter 1- Introduction to anthropolgy.docx

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McMaster University
Antonio Sorge

Chapter 1: Introduction to Anthropology Anthropology: The Four Subfields (pg. 1)  Anthropology is the study of humanity  Anthropologists study human beings as a biological organism and as people with distinctive and unique culture  Four subfields of anthropology consists of o Physical anthropology o Archaeology anthropology o Linguistic anthropology o Cultural anthropology/Ethnology Physical Anthropology (pg. 2)  Physical anthropology researches human evolution and modern human variation.  Fossils are used to trace back humans ancestry.  Paleoanthropology is the study of human evolution. o Palaeontologists examine fossils and remains and study humans and their ancestry.  Other physical anthropologist examines primates to observe the human evolution. This is known as primatology  Primatology is the study of primates. o Studies gorillas, gibbons and orang-utans  Some groups of physical anthropologist studies the physical characteristics such as: o Body size o Skin tone o Blood type o Physical anthropology  Physical anthropologist are interested in how humans adapt to environmental conditions such as cold weather, high altitudes etc.  Physical anthropology research has provided patterns of human violence.  Genetics was a key source for physical anthropologist to research on human disease and evolution Archaeology (pg. 4)  Archaeology is the systemic study of humanity in the past, not only of human behaviour and technology but also of every aspect of human culture  Artifacts provides clues to past societies  They spend hours sorting through middens (dumps, waste) to figure out: o Where past societies ate their meals o What tools they used at in their homes and work o Their beliefs 1 Chapter 1: Introduction to Anthropology  Ethnoarchaeology is the study of artifacts and modern people who knows the significance of those artifacts  Ethnoarchaeological research involves studying chicha production and how indigenous people were providing inputs of labour, raw materials and the different technologies used to brew chicha  Chicha is the production/consumption of ancient beer and it’s a tradition that has been carried out in modern brewing Linguistic Anthropology (pg. 6)  Linguistic is the study of languages  So what is Linguistic Anthropology? o Studies the relationship between languages and culture o Sees how languages is used within society o How the brain acquires and uses language o Studies connections of languages and social behaviour in different cultures  AKA sociolinguistics  Linguistic Anthropology can be broken down into 2 sections o Structural Linguistics o Historical Linguistics  Structural Linguistic sees how languages work o Structural Linguists compare grammatical patterns or other linguistic elements.  They use it to compare how they copy one another and differ from one another  Historical Linguistic compares the modern language and links it to historical languages o Used to trace how society migrated to different areas through time Cultural Anthropology or Ethnology (pg. 7)  Cultural Anthropology or Ethnology examines various societies and cultures throughout the world  Cultural Anthropologist uses a technique called participant observation in their fieldwork o Participant observation allows the cultural anthropologist to learn the language and culture of the group being studied by participating in their activities  The report after the cultural anthropologist does the fieldwork is called ethnography.  Ethnog
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