Anthropology refers to the study of mankind better known as homosapiens or wise primate. It involves the history, pre-history before written records, language, cultural and social aspects of human existence along with distribution of people all over the planet. Anthropology consists of four major fields that include Biological anthropology encompasses the review of human aspects that are not cultural. Cultural anthropology that entails the reviewing of non-cultural aspects of human kind. Linguistic anthropology that includes studying of forms of communication and lastly archaeology entails the recovery of early history of societies of their cultures that is done through excavation, dating and scrutinizing the material remains the ancient people.
One subfield of cultural anthropology is ethnology. This is the study of different human diversities. All human beings are generally categorized into various groups considered as races. Ethnology aims to expound more on the nature, differentiation and formation of the different ethnic groups (Toone and Brian, 42). An inbreeding group of human beings that share a common gene pool are considered as Mendelian populations. Two specialities include ethnographers that provide detailed descriptions and analysis after observing and interacting with a certain ethnic group for a year or more. Ethnohistorian whereby they make use of written documents to evaluate the past and changes over time.
According to the anthropologists, culture is stated as incorporation of certain attributes such as morals, awareness, beliefs, art, law, and customs as well as capabilities and habits learnt by man as a society member. In contrast, popular culture refers to various practises beliefs and objects that are constantly prevailing in the society at a particular point in time. The culture integrates feelings and activities that are within the mainstream of a certain culture and is also considered as being trivial so as to gain consensual recognition in mainstream.
Some of the major aspects of human life studied by cultural anthropologists include family that entailed gathering information on the ways that humankind formed and maintained relationships with each other in addition to definition of social organization. Other aspects studied by anthropologists include religious beliefs, political and economic systems plus the ways that humankind feed and clothe themselves. The cultural anthropologists are able to develop insights into the behaviour patterns of human and ways in which communities address concerns that relate to education, power, justice and health. The study of the different aspects of human life assist in identifying the various differences and similarities in methods human beings approach issues.
Ethnocentricity is the process in which one views his/her own as the most important and use the elements of their culture in measuring all the other cultures. Individuals that are considered to be ethnocentric tend to view their own as superior and morally upright as compared to other cultures and tend to believe that other cultures are inferior. Anthropologists use cultural relativism in studying the role of values and nature in a culture without contrasting and judging to their own. Among the differences likely to be noticed by U.S visitors to Brazil is the comfort in discussing one’s body and physical proximity. Brazilians tend to be more comfortable being closer to each other in terms touching, holding hands as well as smelling each other. The adults and children usually refer to each other using nicknames in reference to the body size, skin color and also body shape.
Toone, Brian. “Anthropology Abstracts.” The Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science 89.1 (2018): 42-44.