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AN101 (59)
Chapter 1

AN101 - Chapter 1 Textbook Summary

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Amali Philips

Chapter Summary 1. What is anthropology? 
 Anthropology is the detailed study of humanity in different times and places. Anthropologists attempt to engender knowledge about diverse peoples and their behaviour, their differences and commonalties. Traditionally, myths and legends provided the answers to these questions. Anthropology offers another approach to answering the questions people ask about themselves. In employing a scientific approach, anthropologists seek to produce a reasonably objective understanding of human diversity and those aspects of life that all humans have in common. 2. What do anthropologists do? 
 The five major branches of anthropology are biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, applied anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. Biological anthropology focuses on humans as biological organisms, tracing the evolutionary development of humans and studying biological variation within the species today. Archaeologists study material objects from past cultures in order to explain human behaviour. Linguistic anthropologists, who study human languages, may deal with descriptions of languages, with histories of languages, or with how languages are used in particular social settings. Applied anthropologists put to practical use the knowledge and expertise of anthropology, whether relating to land claims or human resource management. Sociocultural anthropologists study contemporary human groups. Ethnographers go into the field to observe and describe human behaviour; ethnologists conduct comparative studies of particular facets of a culture; and ethnohistorians study cultures of the rece
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