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ANTH 100 Chapter Notes -Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Biological Anthropology, Social Anthropology

Course Code
ANTH 100
Mc Guire

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Anthropology 100 Textbook Notes
Chapter 1 – What is Anthropology?
What is Anthropology
anthropologists want to learn about as many different human ways of life as they can
defined as the study of human nature, human society and the human past
aims to describe in the broadest possible sense what it means to be human
emphasizes the ways that all these aspects of life intersect with one another in complex
anthropology is a discipline interested in comparison
also field-based discipline as data colection is on sites
evolution is the core of the anthropological perspective
biological evolution documents change over time in the life processes of human beings
cultural evolution concerns change over time in learned beliefs and behaviors
The Concept of Culture
emergence of culture had largest impact on human nature
defined as sets of learned behaviors and ideas that human beings acquire as members of
the concept of culture is central to explanations of why human beings are what they are
anthropologists emphasize human beings are biocultural organisms
this means our brain and nervous system is the outcome of developmental processes to
which out genes and cellular chemistry contribute
survival as biological organisms depends upon learned ways of thinking and acting
The Cross-Disciplinary Discipline
Biological Anthropology
Johann Blumenbach often called the father of physical anthropology
today biological anth no longer focuses on classifying people into races and instead
pays attention to patterns of variation within the human species as a whole
some iological anthroplogists work in fields of primatology, paleoanthropology and
human skeletal biology
Cultural Anthropology
sometimes called “sociocultural anthropology”, “social anthropology” or
tend to specialize is one domain of human cultural activity
investigated the patterns of material life found in different human groups
cultural anthropologists collect their data during fieldwork
Linguistic Anthropology
study the way lagunage differences frequently correlate with differences in gender,
race, class or ethnic identity
try to understand language in relation to the broader historical or biological contexts
considered a separate subfield of anthropology
cultural anthropology of the human past involving the analysis of material remains
discover about human history particularly before the development of writing
use dating techniques to establish the age of artifacts
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