An Overview of Anthropology and Its Branches

Anthropology is an interesting area of study that covers all the various aspects of human life including cultural, biological, and economical. The subject is sub divided into several other sub branches such as cultural, forensic, linguistic, medical, and more. The term ‘Anthropology’ has been derived from two Greek words – anthropos and logy. Anthropos means man, and logy means ‘the science of’. Thus, it involves the study of the human species at any given time, at any part of the planet. There are also many anthropologists who are dedicated to study the fossils to solve the mysteries of human evolution, and at the same time understand their effect on contemporary societies. While the different subjects such as economics and biology focus on precise facets of human life, anthropology is the only field that deals with all the aspects of human existence. In this article, we will discuss about the various sub branches of this branch of science.

Cultural Anthropology: Culture is a significant tool for human existence. It is a potpourri of morals, traditions, knowledge, arts and customs that make up the society. This culture is passed over the generations through the words and symbols. The cultural anthropologists try to their best comprehend the sense behind the cultural norms. They believe that none of the tradition or cultural practice is wrong, as each of them is a highly relevant practice of the time.

Linguistic Anthropology: Language is the most important agent used in the transmission of culture. It denotes the accomplishments made by the human species which has provided it an edge over the animals. Anthropologists, in their effort to understand the evolution and origin of a language and oral traditions, gain important insights into the culture of a particular community. They realize the prehistoric links that exists between the various societies, and investigate the meaning of verbal concepts. Mark Hauser

Archeology is yet another sub-branch that deals with the study of the tangible remains of any culture. Thankfully, human beings are known to leave some clues behind them that speak of the kid of life they lived. These remains are available not only in the form of written scripts, but also materials such as house foundations, stone tool, pot shreds, burials etc. Paintings also often portray the practices that were prevalent in a society.

Biological Anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, refers to the study of tracing the biological origins, genetic diversity, and evolutionary changes. In this sub-branch, anthropologists usually study the primate behavior and the anatomical variations between human beings and primates. It analyses the journey of mankind from apes to being humans.



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