The Characteristics of Anthropology

The field of anthropology is the study of humanity, such as human behavior, human societies and the origins of humans. The two main sub-fields of anthropology are cultural or social anthropology, which explains the study of human cultures, together with physical or biological anthropology, which studies the development and also ancestry of modern humans. Anthropology, a specifically holistic and comparative discipline, is the scientific and humanistic study of human species, of human biology and even cultural diversity together with its immediate ancestors. It truly is the extrapolation of human diversity (similarities and differences) in time and space. Anthropology visits the origin of and changes in human biology and culture. Anthropology highlights comparing human groups to understand the range of normal variation in human behavior and biology, thereby perceives what it is to be human.

Anthropology makes an effort to provide a general worldview; characterized by its holistic ideal, a belief that a concept of human nature requires drawing together and relating information from all aspects of the human condition. The participation of anthropology is in integrating the various concepts from many areas into a thoughtful understanding of that most complex animal, Homo sapiens. In short, Anthropology is devoted to the broad, “holistic” study of humankind, to the understanding and even explanation of human beings in all of their diverse aspects at all times and places. Characteristics of Anthropology is

1. Anthropology is “Holistic”. ‘Holism’ refers to the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present, future; biology, sociology, language and culture. It is also the study of human’s immediate ancestors (person from whom one is descended).

2. Anthropology is also “Comparative” and “Cross-Cultural”. It is a comparative field that examines all societies- ancient and modern; simple and complex. It thoughtfully compares data from different populations and time periods. But, the other social sciences tend to focus on a single society whereas the anthropology provides a unique cross-cultural perspective by constantly comparing the customs of one society with people like some.

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