Social anthropology

What are the linguistic origins of anthropology? 2) Define Anthology? The word anthropology came from the word antopos and logos. Antopos means mankind while logos mean study; there fore anthropology is the study of mankind. However anthropology is a lot broader and the focus is on every aspect of the human being, E.g. cultural, Physical, social, linguistic, archaeology, etc. 3) What do you understand by fieldwork and participant observation?

Field work is to travel to the destination or place you wish to find out about in order to obtain first hand information on the subject matter. Field work allows you to gain experience for yourself rather than reading off secondary school, while participant observation is a research method that allows the researcher to be present in the research. They are two parts of participant observation; covert and overt.

Covert is when you are under cover and nobody but you is aware of the research; while overt is when you are observing and some one around you is aware of the study that you are carrying out. However another type of participant observation is half covert and overt. This means that you can carry out a research that some people know about it and some people do not. E.g. doing a study in a primary school and only the principle knows about it.

4) The roots of anthropology and early writers in cultures were Herodotus (c. 484-424 BC) and Strabo (64-32 BC). Their both looked at foreign people from an objective point of view e.g. their language, customs, etc. they both believed that they can only be certain about any alleged fact if they experience it for themselves. Herodotus and Strabo were not the only one that believed this, David Hume also agreed with this. He said that being able to obtain first hand experience was valid knowledge.

However Immanuel Kant disagreed and argued that human beings are roughly the same all over the world, and that we all have a certain way of thinking. However the foundation of Anthropology leads back to Henry Morgan and Henry Maine. Henry Morgan theory of evolution; was a big influence in the society. He characterised societies in to three phases. Savagery, barbarism and civilisation. During savagery, humans are hunting and gathering.

Barbarism is the agricultural stage while civilisation is the stage of literacy, and the level that every society should be or should be aiming for. Morgan’s theory was the excuse that gave Europeans in the early twentieth centaury to take over weaker colonies and countries because they were at the state of civilisation so they had to take over so they too can reach the level of literacy, the level of civilisation. So we can see that Morgan had an influence on the way people thought; however he was greatly criticise by sociologist like Karl Marx and anthropologist like Franz boas, and many more. Both Maine and Morgan developed theories on primitive society.

5) Henry Morgan theory of evolution; was a big influence in the society

7) Objectivity understands a situation with out passing a personal judgement. All anthropologists should be very objective because it allows the anthropologists to learn new things in a different way from the eyes of others. Objectivity is to be able to be opened minded and a good anthropologist should be able to understand a society from their point of view and adapt to their way. Being able to think outside the box without using your experience or upbringing to determine weather the culture or belief of another is justified able or correct, makes one a better anthropologist.

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