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Anthropology: The Basics by Peter Metcalf

By Peter Metcalf

The final advisor for the coed encountering anthropology for the 1st time, Anthropology: The Basics explains and explores key anthropological strategies including:
<UL> • what's anthropology?
• how will we distinguish cultural variations from actual ones?
• what's tradition, anyway?
• how do anthropologists learn culture?
• what are the major theories and ways used today?
• How has the self-discipline replaced over time?
This student-friendly textual content presents an summary of the elemental rules of anthropology and is a useful advisor for an individual desirous to examine extra approximately this attention-grabbing subject.

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Out of this research came an amazing result: all currently existing human populations are descended from one small population that existed about 50,000 years ago. ” Misunderstanding cultural difference What this result shows is that human beings are even more closely related to each other than we had imagined before. In evolutionary terms, 50,000 years is the mere blinking of an eye, and the physical variety of our species is superficial. All of us have the inherent capacities to acquire any cultural repertoire at all, and that confirms what we see about us.

They are the chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, fellow members of the category that Linnaeus called Hominoidea. Their existence on the edges of the known world confused medieval observers, who thought that they were another kind of monstrosity, a variety of hairy men. ” In parts of Borneo where headhunting was once practiced, orangutan heads could substitute for human ones. Obviously the great apes, as they are called, are fascinating to anthropologists because they provide an opportunity to see what is uniquely human in comparison with them.

Everyone assumes that anthropologists are saying that racism is wicked, when in fact we are saying it is meaningless. Against such resistance, it is the duty of anthropologists to expose the illusion of race at every possible opportunity. If you are convinced by the arguments in this chapter, it is now your duty as well. FURTHER READING Regarding the Lugbara of Kenya, my source is John Middleton, who wrote many articles and books about them. The best known is Lugbara Religion (1960). The material about medieval European notions of “Homo monstrosus” comes from a fascinating article with that title, written by Anne de Waal Malefijt (1968).

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