ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Anthropologist - What is Anthropology?

Updated on December 30, 2011

What is Anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans - their culture (way of life), where they came from, comparing and contrasting different cultures, societies and languages. Anthropology is interesting because it studies where did we came from as Homo Sapiens plus what characteristics defines the human being.

Anthropology gives an explanation and describe how we behave using different approaches - biology, archeology, linguistics and social anthropology. One of the subject matter of anthropology is providing answers to the question what aspect in our past affect the way of life and our social organizations?Anthropology is under social sciences or liberal arts. In some universities, physical anthropology and cultural anthropology can be found in the same department but separated usually by rooms. An anthropologist is the one who specializes or studies anthropology. You can get a college and a graduate degree in Anthropology.

The Anthropologist

An anthropologist is the one who studies the above mentioned concerns or field of study within anthropology. Since we will know (look at the discussions below) later on that there are four main divisions of anthropology, an anthropologist could be studying any or a combination of it.

The Anthropology Song

What Makes Anthropology Interesting?

What makes anthropology interesting is the capacity to understand culture and make you more “understand” other culture. That makes one respect other culture and avoid the greatest sin in anthropology - being ethnocentric - the belief that ones culture is the more superior than others. It make a person accepting, so to speak.

Aside from this, when one knows the basic understanding and appreciation of culture study you will appreciate other people more. Even just sitting down at a café and observing how people do their things is an example of methods in anthropology.

This image was that of  Tui Manu'a Elisala -- "the last sovereign of Manu'a Islands in the American Samoa" from wikipedia
This image was that of Tui Manu'a Elisala -- "the last sovereign of Manu'a Islands in the American Samoa" from wikipedia

The Method of Research in Anthropology

  • Fieldwork - is the method of data gathering in which one goes to the field and conduct a research or investigation. This is called “participatory observation” - this can be done either by living in the community or joining the people you are observing and jotting down your everyday experiences. There is ethical consideration involve here. This is also termed as ethnography, case report or field study which main aim is to get an empirical data in a certain place.
  • Another way of doing fieldwork is just observing what the people are doing in a certain setting, for example sitting down at a café and observe the activities of the people going there - what did they order, how long they stayed, social status of people going there etc. Then you can write or jot down your observation.
  • For some aspect of anthropology, like biological anthropology they usually apply their knowledge learn in carbon dating when they go to an excavation site etc. They also use biological theories

Interview - Another methods in data gathering used in anthropology is the in depth interview of people who are in a specific culture or their account of their lives.

The different branches of anthropology

There are four various fields in anthropology : biological, social or cultural, linguistics and archeology. Social or cultural anthropology uses the structuralist approach in which behavior is explained in structures of society, while the rest use more positivist ways of research using or borrowing some methods of scientific researches. Forensic anthropology is widely used in investigative works.

  • Cultural Anthropology or sometimes referred to as Social Anthropology is the field of anthropology which deals with human culture. It is the study of behavior of humans across history and in a society. The methods used in social anthropology is fieldwork or participant observation. Kinship, social organization are some subjects of social anthropology.
  • Biological Anthropology : is the field of study in which the main concern is the race and differentiation of humans by geographical area. It largely used the methods pf biology by studying differentiation in race. They are also studying human ecology - which uses the human evolution theories to study the differentiation among humans. It is also related to social biology.
  • Archeology - is the field of study which studies the remnants of civilizations and thus such they cam tell the way of life of culture of people way back then. They divide the time starting from the Paleolithic era. In short archeology investigates the remnants and objects of humans which define their way of life.
  • Linguistics Anthropology is simply the study of human linguistics across times and society concentrating on verbal and non verbal ways of communications to ascertain what is the relationship between culture and language.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)