Human beings have at all times been an element of revered research and study. From character to behaviour, nature and status to other features, the study of humans has never been comprehensively carried out at any time. For this reason, we tend to look into this topic, what is anthropology and why study anthropology in 2022?
Anthropology is an interesting area of study because it has not been studied completely and comprehensibly. Those who venture into anthropology have discovered a great career path. The already established anthropologists are presented with excellent job opportunities and this makes it one of the top courses to study.
If you do not know what anthropology is all about or you wish to know more about anthropology, then read through. In this post, we will x-ray everything you need to know about anthropology. We will also answer your underlying questions such as, what is anthropology. Who is an anthropologist? What do anthropologists do? How to become an anthropologist? Why you should study anthropology etc. Stay tuned!
What Is Anthropology?
It is a branch of science that deals with the study of humanity. It is the scientific/social study of human beings – human species, human behaviour, human anatomy and physiology (human biology), way of life (culture), societies, languages and so on.
Anthropology as a field of study is considered a combination of natural and social sciences because their (natural and social sciences) influences are seen in anthropology. The collection of information in anthropology is carried out through different methods. This is to ensure that no stone is left unturned. In research by Margareth Mead, emphasis on some of these methods is seen.
What Are The Branches Of Anthropology?
Anthropology is majorly divided into five major fields/branches, namely;
- The Social and
- The Cultural
- Linguistic and
#1. Sociocultural Anthropology
Social and cultural anthropology have no distinction as they go hand in hand. To study a people’s culture, you have to understand the people. This is why both cultural and social anthropology interlock each other when studied. Sociocultural anthropology is a groundbreaking study of the economic and political organization of a people.
Social anthropology deals with the patterns of behaviour of human beings. It is more related to sociology and history. It studies or gives more insight into the social structures associated with other people and their populations. That is to say that, it helps in the development of the understanding of other peoples’ societies, and their populations (that is minorities, subgroups, dissidents, families etc.). It is the study of the relationships exhibited among a group of people.
This branch of anthropology studies the culture of a given set of people. It looks into how a group of people make meaning to their environment and neighbourhood. Cultural anthropology deals with philosophy, arts and literature. It looks into the effects of one’s culture on his/her experience.
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#2. Biological Anthropology
The study of humans and the other animals in their biological, evolutionary and demographic dimensions have been dealt with extensively by employing biological anthropology. It is a research area that looks into the biological and social factors responsible for the various changes in the human species. It emphasizes those factors that contribute to the biological and social effects of human evolution, as well as those of other primates. Also the factors responsible for changes in genetics as well as physical appearance.
#3. Archaeological Anthropology
Archaeology is the study of past human existence by excavating and analyzing what remains of it. It deals with analyzing the human past with what remains of it (bones, hairs etc.). The use of the remains is to deduce the patterns of past human behaviour and cultures. This field of anthropology is employed to get information about dead people when their culture has come into extinction. It is employed to study their past, how they lived, behaved or associated with other people.
#4. Linguistic Anthropology
This is quite different from anthropological linguistics. Linguistic anthropology is a study of the process of human communications. The verbal and non-verbal means of communication, the differences in language within a given area (geographical location or space) and at a particular time.
It studies the social use of language and how culture relates to a people’s language. Linguistic anthropology is that branch of anthropology that uses language methods to solve anthropological problems.
Ethnography is the method used to look into the interaction of society and culture. In as much as an ethnographer may draw knowledge from already written texts or videos from existing works of other ethnographers, it majorly involves on the spot observation by the participant. (ethnographer). This is because first-hand experience and view are considered important in ethnography.
What Are The Similarities Between Ethnography And Anthropology?
Anthropology and ethnography are two fields that work hand in hand and complement each other. They are rather similar than dissimilar because they both focus on the study of man and his history. Their major striking similarities are as follows:
- They both work together to give useful information thereby creating a deeper understanding of man, his society and behaviours in the society.
- Both anthropology and ethnography are social sciences. Hence, they use social science study methods to carry out a study. This methods also pay attention to the object of study – protecting it and defending it.
What Is The Difference Between Ethnography And Anthropology?
The distinction/difference between ethnography and anthropology has been a case study for many researchers. One of them is Tim Ingold. In his work, he stated that while anthropology constructs general theories of human experience, applicable in general and novel settings, ethnography deals with fidelity.
In as much as both anthropology and ethnography study humanity and human existence, their major differences are as follows:
- Ethnography pays specific attention to a minority (i.e., restricted social groups; for example, a tribe or a clan) while anthropology deals with the majority. Anthropology studies comprehensively man and his societies at large.
- Anthropology pays attention to man, and analyses how man behaves towards abiotic factors of this environment (social, geographic and historical). Ethnology pays attention to the cultures and traditions of a people.
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Who Is An Anthropologist?
Just as Anthropology is a branch of science that deals with the study of humanity or the scientific study of human beings. An anthropologist is a person who engages in the practice and study of anthropology.
The anthropologist takes a variety of approaches to comprehend the various aspects of human experience. That is a holistic understanding of human beings. He looks into human genetics and compares human beings with other primates to see the similarities between these species.
What Do Anthropologists Do? What Is The Work Of An Anthropologist?
I guess one of the questions that prompted your search for this post is your enquiry into what do anthropologists do? If this is yes, then another way to ask this question is, what is the work of an anthropologist? Now having explained what anthropology is all about and thrown more light into who is an anthropologist or who an anthropologist is, let us shield more light on what an anthropologist does.
The works of anthropologists centre on the origins, cultures, customs and connections of human beings with one another. These studies are carried out through research, data collection and evaluation.
The responsibilities of an anthropologist can be summarized as follows:
- An anthropologist organizes cultural research
- He gathers information about a given set of people through oral/written interviews, observations, storytelling and documentaries.
- The anthropologist keeps and manages the field records as well as shares research findings.
- He improvises a means of data analysis, material sampling where there are no preexisting ones and uses them to discover the culture of a given set of people, their organization and origin
- The anthropologist gives necessary pieces of advice to governments and organisations on the effects of their programs, policies and innovations on a given society and culture.
What Skills Are Required For Anthropology?
To become an anthropologist, there are some inevitable skills that you must possess. These skills will equip you to function effectively and deliver your set out goals in time. Some of the most common skills required as an Anthropologist are as follows:
- Critical Thinking Skills
- Analytical Skills
- Good Communication Skills (Written and Verbal)
- Ability To Understand Cultural Diversity
- Physical Stamina (Physical Fitness)
#1. Critical Thinking Skills
The work of an anthropologist requires the ability to study and analyze difficult interconnected data. At the same time make necessary scientific guesses/manipulations about these data. Therefore an anthropologist must be able to think critically to make sound conclusions and solve critical issues.
#2. Analytical Skills
This is another important skill an anthropologist must possess to function effectively. The ability to understand the scientific methods of data collection and sampling is essential because the work of an anthropologist involves data collection and sampling.
#3. Good Communication Skills (Written and Verbal)
In anthropology, there is a need for report writing. You will be required to write about research findings and publish academic papers as journal works. The paper publications follow a specific pattern and flow of ideas before they are accepted for publication. In this way, a good command of written English is essential to communicate your ideas.
On the other hand, anthropologists are at times required to make a paper presentation about their works. This requires sound verbal/oral communication skills to pass the information about research findings across. In summary, an anthropologist should have good listening, writing and speaking skills.
#4. Ability To Understand Cultural Diversity
This is another skill an anthropologist must possess. An anthropologist deals with the study of different people and cultures, therefore, he needs to understand that as people are different, so is their culture different. He should be able to understand what is unique to a given set of people to effectively carry out his research work. Hence he has to be culturally sensitive and get accustomed to a wide range of beliefs, rituals, values and religions.
#5. Physical Stamina (Physical Fitness)
This is one of the most common skills required as an Anthropologist. During on-field research, he needs to keep standing for very long hours or even walk several miles. Therefore he must be able to withstand fatigue to take on these long walks and stand. A level of physical stamina is required for archaeologists/anthropologists during excavations as lots of lifting, bending, digging and walking are involved.
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Why You Should Study Anthropology Degree in 2022
For students who wish to study development, behaviour and societal structures, Anthropology is the go for. For those asking why you should study anthropology degree in 2022. Here are a few reasons why you should get an anthropology degree.
It Presents You With An Opportunity To Travel The World
If you desire an opportunity to travel and explore the world, studying anthropology is a sure bet to get that. It doesn’t matter your field of specialization, you are guaranteed of travelling to places. You can go to places as extension works to teach people about the best practices to maintain a friendly ecosystem.
You can as well travel to explore and examine the cultures of other people especially African tribes where you can learn about them. Studying anthropology also presents you with the opportunity to explore game reserves and learn about other primates.
Anthropology Presents You With A Wide Range of Jobs With Great Pay
Studying anthropology is a means of acquiring necessary skills that are essential in today’s living. Some of these skills include the ones mentioned under what skills are required for anthropology. They are critical thinking, cultural awareness and advanced research skills. These skills are what equip anthropology graduates before employers of labour. As an anthropologist, you have the chance to work in any of the fields associated with archaeology and anthropology. Here are some of the most popular anthropology jobs and the basic salaries in the United States.
|Anthropology Jobs||Basic Salaries (Estimated Average Salaries)|
|Human Resources Specialist||$52,000|
|Professor (College Tutor)||$88,000|
|Government Affairs Manager||$75,000|
NB: The following data is from PayScale and were gotten at the first time of this publication. They are subject to changes.
It Presents You The Opportunity To Choose From Other Subdisciplines
An anthropology degree presents you with an opportunity to choose from numerous subdisciplines. This is because anthropology is a very vast field and offers other options for specialization. Most of the fields of anthropology can be chosen at the undergraduate level whereas others are specifically for postgraduate studies.
Opportunity To Explore World-Class Universities During Studies.
This is similar to the number one on the list of why you should study anthropology degree. Getting this degree can facilitate your need of visiting top universities in the world. Most universities that offer anthropology degrees are on a global scale. To get the best of your career, you may choose to study at the best universities in the world.
Access To Hands-On Experiences And Fieldwork
The opportunity to carry out research and fieldwork is one of the reasons to study anthropology or get an anthropology degree. The study involves on-the-field training combined with classroom training, this way you get the ideas and knowledge necessary for professional practise as an anthropologist.
The on the field experiences come in different forms and these experiences are what matter during the search for job openings. You may be involved in archaeological experiments that may involve unearthing human remains. This could be a life-changing incident in your career as an anthropologist.
It Eliminates Doubts And Satisfies Your Curiosity About Human Race
One good thing about studying this program is the unwavering opportunity to understand human beings and the factors that make up a human being. As an anthropologist, you have an insight into the future through history and hence make necessary adjustments for the future. You can as well, carry out your research to ascertain through facts and figures about human existence and eliminate fallacy.
This post is a full documentary on the field of anthropology. So many areas and aspects have been treated and should serve the readers’ intent. We have covered What anthropology is, the Branches, Similarities Between Ethnography And Anthropology and the Difference Between Ethnography And Anthropology. Also covered in this post is, Who Is An Anthropologist? What Do Anthropologists Do? What Is The Work Of An Anthropologist? The Required skills. You can as well read Why You Should Study Anthropology Degree in 2022.
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