Anthropology: the Exploration of Human Diversity Essay Sample

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It is the coverage of physical anthropology and archaeology, which serves to make Kottak one of the most balanced introductions to the four fields of anthropology. This text offers an introduction to the five subdisciplines of anthropology: cultural, physical, archaeological, anthropological linguistics and applied anthropology. To reflect the role of anthropology in today’s world, Professor Kottak has revised both the content and the organization of the text in a way which gives the students a balanced introduction to anthropology and its relevance. The special theme of this edition is “Preserving Cultural Diversity in the Face of Globalization”. Two new chapters – “Ethnicity and Ethnic Relations” and “Cultural Exchange and Survival” – explore the significance of the demise of the Soviet Union and world-wide ethnic conflicts, as well as multiculturalism in the US and Canada, and cultural survival globally. “In-the-news” boxes describe recent discoveries on relevant topics that are attracting public attention. Kottak emphasizes why anthropology should matter to students and how students can use anthropology to better understand themselves.

“Bringing It All Together” essays found on the online learning center demonstrate the integrated and comparative nature of anthropology. New “Through the Eyes of Others” essays offer the perspectives of foreign students and recent graduates who present their own cultures of origin in contrast with contemporary American culture. Thought-provoking questions now begin each chapter to highlight key themes and spark discussions and critical thinking. Contemporary anthropological research is often, formally or unformally, team research. Forces of change are too pervasive and complex to be understood fully by a “Tone ethnographer”- a researcher who starts from scratch and works alone for a limited period of time and who view his or her field site as relatively isolated. Several agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, support the research in the various subfields of anthropology. A grant proposal should answer several key questions: What’s the topic/problem?

What’s the research plan? What’s going to be tested and how? Why is the research important? Where and when it will happen? Is the person proposing it qualified to do it? How will he or she do it? In writing grant proposals, in conducting a resarech and in other professional contexts, ethical issues will inevitably arise. Anthropologists recognize ethical obligations to their scholarly field to the wider society and culture as well as to the human species, other species and the environment. Tradionally, anthropologists worked in small scale societies sociologist in modern nation. Different field techniques emerged for the study of different types of societies . Sociologists and other social scientist who work in complex societies use survey research to sample variation. There are several contrasts between survey research and ethnography. With more literate sociologists employ questionnaires which the research subjects fill out Anthropologists are more likely to use interview schedules, which the ethnographer fills in during a personal interview.

Anthropologist do their field work in communities and study the totality of social life. Sociologist study samples to make inferences about a larger population. Sociologist are often interested in causal relationships between a limited number of variables. Anthropologists are more typically concerned with the interconnectedness of all aspects of social life. Anthropologists use modified ethnographic techniques to study modern nations. The diversity of social life and subcultural variation in modern nations and cities requires social survey procedures. However, anthropologists add the intimacy and firsthand investigation characteristic of ethnography. Community studies in regions of modern nations provide firsthand in depth accounts of cultural variation and on regional, historical and economic forces and trends. Anthropologists may use ethnographic procedures to study urban life but they also make greater use of statistical techniques and analysis of the mass media in their research in complex societies.

Ethnographers strive to establish rapport a friendly relationship based on personal contact with the people they study. Kinship and descent are vital social building blocks in nonindustrial cultures. Without writing, genealogical information may be preserved in material culture, such as totem pole being raised in Metlakatla, Alaska. Ethnographers typically enter the field with a specific topic to investigate. Using varied research methods, including interviews with key cultural consultants, they collect data about variables deemed relevant to that topic such as rice production, the mainstay of the economy in West Java, Indonesia. Sociologists and political scientists typically do survey research. Social surveys involve sampling, structured interviews or questionnaires, and statistical analysis. Survey research is also used in political polling and market research. Particularly since the 1950’s, Anthropologists have investigated contemporary lifestyles. Including urban problems and social contrasts in North America.

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