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Disciplines within Social Sciences with history

A. Anthropology
Is the scientific study of the origins of humans, how we have
changed over the years, and how we relate to each other, both
within our own culture and with people from other cultures.
Anthropology is Arts and Science.
The term originates from two words in Greek: Anthropos meaning
man as in human being logos meaning study.


Society and Culture

Culture and society are intricately related. A culture consists of the

objects of a society, whereas a society consists of the people who share
a common culture. When the terms culture and society first acquired their
current meanings, most people in the world worked and lived in small
groups in the same locale


Most anthropologists also believe that an evolution is the natural process

by which new and more complex organisms develop over time.

There are four main subdivisions (areas) in the study of Anthropology:

Physical Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology
Linguistic Anthropology

Physical Anthropology

Biological anthropology, also known as physical

anthropology, is a scientific discipline concerned
with the biological and behavioral aspects of
human beings, their related non-human primates and their extinct
hominine ancestors. Physical anthropologists focus on the
evolution of human anatomy and physiology, rather than


Archaeology is the study of the ancient and

recent human past through material remains. It is
a subfield of anthropology, the study of all human
Archaeology offers a unique perspective on
human history and culture.

Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology is a branch

of anthropology focused on the study of cultural
variation among humans and is in contrast
to social anthropology which perceives cultural
variation as a subset of the anthropological
constant. Cultural anthropologists study such
topics as how people make their living, how
people interact with each other, what beliefs
people hold, and what institution organize people
in the society

Linguistic Anthropology
It seeks to understand human language, written and non-
written, spoken and non-verbal. The study of how
languages change over time is termed historical
linguistics. Explores how language shapes
communication, forms social identity and group
membership, organizes large-scale cultural beliefs and
ideologies, and develops a common cultural representation of natural and social

Beginnings of Modern Anthropology

Evolutionary Theory

The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated

in Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, is the
process by which organisms change over time as a result of
changes Charles Robert Darwin, in heritable physical or
an English naturalist and behavioral traits. Changes that allow an
geologist, best known for
organism his contributions to the to better adapt to its environment will help it
science of evolution.
survive and have more offspring.

Anthropological Evolutionary Theories

Edward Burnett Tylor (2 October 1832 2 January 1917)

was an English anthropologists, the founder of cultural

Tylor is representative of cultural evolutionism. In his

works Primitive Culture and Anthropology, he defined the
context of the scientific study of anthropology, based on the
evolutionary theories of Charles Lyell. He believed that there was a functional
basis for the development of society and religion, which he determined was



Franz Boas

Born: 9-Jul-1858, Birthplace: Minden, Germany, Died: 22-Dec-


Studied and widely collected information on race,

linguistics, art, dance, and archaeology.
From these studies he developed his theory of relativism,
debunking the prevailing beliefs that Western Civilization is superior to
less complex societies.

Margaret Mead
Born: December 16, 1901, Birthplace: Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, Died: November 15, 1978

Proposed that culture and gender roles play just as

strong a role as biology in influencing adolescent
Much of her research was completed via
participation/observation in Samoa and New Guinea
Published Coming of Age in Samoa
Presented the idea that the individual experience of developmental
stages could be shaped by cultural demands and expectations


Emile Durkheim

One of the fathers of sociology, utilized scientific

methods to approach the study of society and
social groups. His work influenced the school of
anthropology known as functionalism. Durkheim
believed that individuals should be considered
within the context of the society in which they

Claude Levi-Strauss

French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss

based his understanding of culture on studies of
peoples languages and recurring patterns of
thought and behavior. His cultural theories are
associated with the anthropological movement
known as structuralism.


In the 1970s many anthropologists,

including American ethnologist Clifford Geertz and
British ethnologists Victor Turner, moved away from
ecological and economic explanations of peoples Clifford Geertz
cultures. Instead, these anthropologists looked for the
meanings of particular cultural symbols and rituals
within cultures themselves, an approach known as
symbolic anthropology

Victor Turner

Is the social science which studies the production, distribution, exchange,
and consumption of goods and services.
The study of human choice behavior and how it effects the production,
distribution, and consumption of scarce resources. Economics studies
how people seek to satisfy needs and wants through incentives, choices,
and allocation of scarce resources.