Anthropology Essay

3925 Words Apr 22nd, 2013 16 Pages
Holistic (multifaceted): approach to the study of human beings.
Refers to an approach that studies many aspects of a multifaceted system.
Cross-cultural: discovering general patterns about cultural traits
Two broad classification of anthropology
Biological (Physical)
Seeks the emergence of humans & their later evolution (called human paleontology) and how & why contemporary human populations vary biologically (human variation)
Study the fossils of human, prehumans & related animals
Human genetics, population biology & epidemiology
Cultural
How & why cultures vary or are similar in the past & present
Archaeology: study of past cultures
Anthropological linguistics: study of language
Ethnology: study of
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Use & Disuse of organs & body parts
Fluids & forces directed toward need
Interactions between organisms & environment
Charles Lyell
Uniformitarianism: suggested that the earth is constantly being shaped by natural forces that have operated over a vast stretch of time.
Beliefs that explanations for past events should be sought in ordinary forces that continue to work today
Tomas Malthus
Competition for resources & food
Focus on human populations
More offspring born than can survive to age of reproduction
Charles Darwin
Natural Selection:
We descended from monkeys
Variation in nature/nature selects specific traits
The origin of specifics (1859)
Is the main process that increases the frequency of adaptive traits through time.
Unilinear Evolutionist
Compile accounts of cultures written primarily by explorers, settlers, missionaries, traders and other Western observers;
Compare all cultures to determine which were the simplest, the next most simple, to the most complex;
Lewis Henry Morgan
Progressive cultural evolution
Ancient Society postulated several sequences in the evolution of human

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