The fields of anthropology encompass linguistic anthropology, which deals with the communication technique in human beings, cultural anthropology whose primary focus is gaining knowledge of the culture of different corporations of people within the society, and organic anthropology, which deals with non-cultural aspects as these of monkeys. The final field of archeology offers with the prehistory and early history of different societies.
Society is described as a group of people who share a frequent territory, culture, as well as interactions whereas culture, is defined as the shared beliefs of values, languages, and behaviors in the society. An instance of a society is that of the African Americans and the people from the family of the knights. An example of culture is the belief of the African Americans on individualism and the mode in which they speak the English language.
A subculture is defined as a small group of people having their culture but still fall under the general umbrella of their main culture. Alcoholic Anonymous is a group of individuals who are recovering from alcohol addiction. Either way, they are still deemed as alcoholics. African Americans who are fans of hip-hop are believed to belonging to a subculture.
Holistic is an adjective used to describe something with different parts or sections, but reference can only be made to it as one. Anthropology is deemed as holistic because it combines different sections which are all aimed at studying the human nature and the way of living.
Emic is a term used to refer to the result of research obtained from within a social group while etic is used to refer to the result obtained from outside, majorly an observer’s point of view. The two terms are necessary for an anthropology researcher because emic will give accurate information from the target groups whereas etic will enable the observer to be able to deduce a proper analysis of the way of living of the group.
Participant observation is vital in anthropology research because it increases interaction between the researcher and the sample. Through it, it becomes easy for the researcher to learn about the way of living of the target society thus meeting the objectives of the research. The type of data considered relevant for an anthropologist is primarily qualitative data, which deals with the way of living of a group of people, it ranges from the language spoken by the group, their history, and the general aspects of culture. The information is documented and forms part of history.
A superstructure of cultural materialism deals with religion, literature, rituals, music, and religion. The structure component covers family organizations and gender roles, the political economy and the patterns in the political models. The Infra-structure category deals with birth and death rates, population sizes, culture, and technology. The components divide the aspect of life making it easier to study the humans.
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is a term in linguistic that states that those in another language cannot understand certain thoughts of an individual from a different origin. Spanish kid will think differently from an American White if he or she feels like attending to a call of nature. Similarly, expressing the feeling of hunger varies across languages, and it is determined by the native language.
Cultural relativism is a concept that gives a lot of respect for the uniqueness of the cultures of people within a society. It asserts that each culture has its values and no individual is expected to make any judgment about this unique character. Anthropologists researching different societies are supposed to operate within the bounds of cultural relativism.
In as much as the researchers are scheduled to desist from judging the values within different societies during their research period, certain ethical issues are being experienced. Certain practices and values in various cultures go beyond the expected levels. Some of these cultures are demeaning to a certain group of people. A good example is female circumcision. When an individual is researching about a given culture, and he or she comes across the group practicing FGM, relativism is put aside to save the female from the act. Another example that raises ethical concern is in the communities that practice homicide and kill infants. Anthropologists have come across such situations that go against the human rights and have not spoken. It is vital for them to voice their opinion and unfold what is at stake.
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