From art and music to architecture and literature, from philosophy and religion to laws and economicswe live among cultural artifacts that have deep roots.
In the 19th century, anthropology also attained clear identity as a discipline. Strictly defined as the science of humankind, it could be seen as superseding other specialized disciplines such as economics and political science.
In practice and from the beginning, however, anthropology concerned itself… Overview Throughout its existence as an academic discipline, anthropology has been located at the intersection of natural science and humanities.
The biological evolution of Homo sapiens and the evolution of the capacity for culture that distinguishes humans from all other species are indistinguishable from one another. While the evolution of the human species is a biological development like the processes that gave rise to the other species, the historical appearance of the capacity for culture initiates a qualitative departure from other forms of adaptationbased on an extraordinarily variable creativity not directly linked to survival and ecological adaptation.
The historical patterns and processes associated with culture as a medium for growth and change, and the diversification and convergence of cultures through history, are thus major foci of anthropological research.
By the middle of the 20th century, many American universities also included 5 psychological anthropology, emphasizing the relationships among culture, social structure, and the human being as a person. The concept of culture as the entire way of life or system of meaning for a human community was a specialized idea shared mainly by anthropologists until the latter half of the 20th century.
However, it had become a commonplace by the beginning of the 21st century. The study of anthropology as an academic subject had expanded steadily through those 50 years, and the number of professional anthropologists had increased with it. The range and specificity of anthropological research and the involvement of anthropologists in work outside of academic life have also grown, leading to the existence of many specialized fields within the discipline.
Field research was established as the hallmark of all the branches of anthropology. These finely detailed studies of everyday life of people in a broad range of social, cultural, historical, and material circumstances were among the major accomplishments of anthropologists in the second half of the 20th century.
Beginning in the s, and especially in the post-World War II period, anthropology was established in a number of countries outside western Europe and North America.
The world scope of anthropology, together with the dramatic expansion of social and cultural phenomena that transcend national and cultural boundaries, has led to a shift in anthropological work in North America and Europe.
Research by Western anthropologists is increasingly focused on their own societies, and there have been some studies of Western societies by non-Western anthropologists.
Nicholas History of anthropology The modern discourse of anthropology crystallized in the s, fired by advances in biology, philology, and prehistoric archaeology.
In The Origin of SpeciesCharles Darwin affirmed that all forms of life share a common ancestry. Fossils began to be reliably associated with particular geologic strata, and fossils of recent human ancestors were discovered, most famously the first Neanderthal specimen, unearthed in In Darwin published The Descent of Manwhich argued that human beings shared a recent common ancestor with the great African apes.
He identified the defining characteristic of the human species as their relatively large brain size and deduced that the evolutionary advantage of the human species was intelligence, which yielded language and technology.
The pioneering anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor concluded that as intelligence increased, so civilization advanced. All past and present societies could be arranged in an evolutionary sequence.
They bore witness to early stages of human developmentwhile the industrial societies of northern Europe and the United States represented the pinnacle of human achievement.
It was assumed that technological progress was constant and that it was matched by developments in the understanding of the world and in social forms. Tylor advanced the view that all religions had a common origin, in the belief in spirits.
The original religious rite was sacrificewhich was a way of feeding these spirits. Modern religions retained some of these primitive features, but as human beings became more intelligent, and so more rational, primitive superstitions were gradually refined and would eventually be abandoned.
James George Frazer posited a progressive and universal progress from faith in magic through to belief in religion and, finally, to the understanding of science. John Ferguson McLennanLewis Henry Morganand other writers argued that there was a parallel development of social institutions.
The first humans were promiscuous like, it was thought, the African apesbut at some stage blood ties were recognized between mother and children and incest between mother and son was forbidden.
In time more restrictive forms of mating were introduced and paternity was recognized. Blood ties began to be distinguished from territorial relationships, and distinctive political structures developed beyond the family circle.
At last monogamous marriage evolved. Paralleling these developments, technological advances produced increasing wealth, and arrangements guaranteeing property ownership and regulating inheritance became more significant. Eventually the modern institutions of private property and territorially based political systems developed, together with the nuclear family.
Its scientific roots were in geography and philologyand it was concerned with the study of cultural traditions and with adaptations to local ecological constraints rather than with universal human histories.
This more particularistic and historical approach was spread to the United States at the end of the 19th century by the German-trained scholar Franz Boas. Rather than graduating through a fixed series of intellectualmoraland technological stages, societies or cultures changed unpredictably, as a consequence of migration and borrowing.
Fieldwork The first generation of anthropologists had tended to rely on others—locally based missionaries, colonial administrators, and so on—to collect ethnographic information, often guided by questionnaires that were issued by metropolitan theorists.
In the late 19th century, several ethnographic expeditions were organized, often by museums.urbanagricultureinitiative.com: Rugged Individualism Reconsidered: Essays in Psychological Anthropology () by Francis L. K. Hsu and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books available now at great prices.
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