High School > Social Sciences > Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of human cultures and how they develop. It is a broad field that considers the past and the present, biology and culture. It has four subfields each with specific objectives.
The first is archaeology. This is the study of human culture through the objects that people have created. Archaeologists dig up things like tools, pottery, and others, giving insights into the lifestyles of people in the past. They also collect bones and teeth to find out the things people ate before as well as what illnesses they suffered from. Archaeologists also go as far as examining remains of plant and animal life to know how ancient people interacted with their natural environments. These and more give a complete picture of how ancient civilizations were like.
Another branch of anthropology is known as cultural anthropology. This aims to understand how different people from various locations live and see the world around them. Cultural anthropologists usually live within the communities they are studying, as they think it to be the best way to learn about their cultures. There, they observe the social norms and practices of the people while themselves practicing the same things. In anthropology, this is known as “participant observation.”
One additional area of study in anthropology is called biological anthropology. This one studies how people adapt to different environments, as well as how they evolved across time. Biology does have an influence on culture, so this is another objective of this subfield.
Last but not least is linguistic anthropology. Language, being essential to any culture, is linked with how different people see the world and interact with one another. This subfield aims to understand how the use of language shapes culture and people’s identities. It also considers that language changes over time, and relates this to the changes in culture.