What Is Anthropology? How Is It Done? Essay

What Is Anthropology? How Is It Done? Essay

Length: 2372 words (6.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

What Is Anthropology? How Is It Done?


People enter the field of anthropology for a variety of reasons. Some people enter the field by accident. This means that they did not intend on becoming an anthropologist. Some people were interested in the field from the start. One person married a social anthropologist; and, after living with a group of people for two years wrote an ethnography about the people.

The first story is about Adrienne Zihlman. She is a paleoanthropologist. She collects all kinds of bones; so, she can "contrive and test ideas about the origins of humans by studying the remains of living things" (Shell 1991:37). Zihlman went to Miami University of Ohio, where she decided to major in anthropology after reading Margaret Mead's book, "Coming of Age in Samoa" (Shell 1991:38). Since Miami University didn't have an anthropology department, she transferred to the University of Colorado (Shell 1991:38). After graduating in 1962, she went to do graduate work at Berkeley (Shell 1991:38). This is where she decided to focus herself on finding out how our ancestors began to walk (Shell 1991:38).

Zihlman has ideas about how we came to be that are contradictory to what most people believe (Shell 1991:37). Zihlman says that tasks completed by females, like food gathering and infant care, were as equally likely as hunting by males, to have been the cause for bipedalism and social relationships (Shell 1991:37­38). When she started her doctoral research, she had the belief that two­legged walking came to be to allow more efficient movement on long hunting trips (Shell 1991:38). Zihlman completed her thesis in 1967 and started thinking that there was something wrong with the male dominated theories about the past (S...


... middle of paper ...


...rchaeology", Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 1., Henry Holt & Company, New York, 1996, Pgs. 74.

Durrenberger, E. Paul, "Ethnography", Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 2, Henry Holt & Company, New York, 1996, Pgs. 416­419.

Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock, Guests of the Sheik, Doubleday, New York, 1965, Pgs. ix­5.

Lee, Richard B., The Dobe Ju/'hoansi, Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Philadelphia, 1993, Pgs. iii & 2.

Reimer, Toni­Tripp, "Nursing", Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 3, Henry Holt & Company, New York, 1996, Pgs. 877,879­880).

Rosenthal, Elisabeth, "The Forgotten Female", Discover, December 1991, Pgs.23­27.

Shell, Ellen Ruppel, "Flesh & Bone", Discover, December 1991, Pgs. 37­42.

Winick, Charles, Dictionary of Anthropology, Philosophical Library, New York, 1956, Pgs.398,436.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

History, Anthropology, And Cultural Anthropology Essay

- Anthropology encompasses four main aspects in the field: archaeology, linguistics, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. All four areas must collect data and find a way to interpret the data collected. Data is then interpreted with the use of theories. The data would be useless to any anthropologist without any meaning. Theory helps an anthropologist choose what data to collect and how to interpret the results. Authors McGee and Warms assert that theory “helps us think about who and what we are as human beings,” (2)....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Sociology]

Research Papers
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Urbanization & Applied Anthropology Essay

- Urbanization is the process of life for many and the desired way of life for many others. Human beings both inhabit urban and rural areas today all over the world. Many people may be disappointed with the development of an increasing number of urban areas. Many peoples once rural areas are now swallowed up directly as cities sprawl outward. The effects of urbanization both positive and negative get examined in the following paragraphs. In addition, who is most effected by urbanization and who plays a role in preventing and/or properly planning development will also be revealed....   [tags: Anthropology ]

Research Papers
1818 words (5.2 pages)

Contemporary Theories On Religious Anthropology Essay

- In the third chapter of the Scupin book, contemporary theories on Religious Anthropology are discussed. Unlike both the Rational and Antirationalist of the past, contemporary theorist attempted to gain a more empirical understanding of religion. Leading the fight against the 19th century unilinear evolutionists was Franz Boss. Boss focused his studies with the Kwakiutl tribe in Canada, and he focused on the importance of field work. He was outspokenly critical of past anthropologists claiming that their “arm chair” tendencies lead to falsified data and forged conclusions....   [tags: Anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Culture]

Research Papers
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Anthropology and Gender Essay

- Though women have played an integral part in the history of the discipline of anthropology, it was not until the early 1970’s that the field of anthropology and gender, or feminist anthropology emerged. Sex and gender roles have always been a vital part of any ethnographic study, but the contributors of this theory began to address the androcentric nature of anthropology itself. The substantial gap in information concerning the study of women was perceived as a male bias, a prejudice made more apparent because what little women-centered fieldwork was done received insufficient attention from the academic community....   [tags: Feminist Anthropology ]

Research Papers
1582 words (4.5 pages)

Applied Anthropology: Domains of Application Essay

- Applied Anthropology is difficult to fully implement into a being’s existence. When using applied anthropology, many factors must be taken into account such as the Darwin approach, theological approach, or any other specialized field of anthropology. All can have an effect on human culture and relationships, but all have their benefits and harms that can behoove or dismay a human individual in their field of study. The study of humanity is unfortunately as fallible as humanity itself, and to gage what applied anthropology actually is—we must understand the harms and benefits of the many different approaches....   [tags: Physical Anthropology]

Research Papers
1505 words (4.3 pages)

Applied Anthropology: Domains of Application Essay

- What is applied anthropology and how can it be applied to almost every facet of society. The answer is obvious when we look at what the field of anthropology encompasses. Anthropology, as defined by the American Anthropological Association is, “the study of humans, past and present.” In the United States, anthropologists are educated in one of the four areas, sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Active within these four subfields is Applied Anthropology, which is the application of the method and theory of an anthropological subfield to the analysis and solution of real world situations and practical problems....   [tags: Physical Anthropology]

Research Papers
1518 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Anthropology - Lucy in Hadar

- Anthropology - Lucy in Hadar In a search to find our ancestors, several anthropologists have found evidence to support their conclusions. In the films about Don Johanson's discovery of Lucy in Hadar, one may be very intrigued by the first film but very disturbed by the second film. I was very intrigued by the findings of the Australopithecines. The idea that Lucy, the skeleton found in Hadar, Africa, was closely related to the human species was amazing. Lucy was bipedal and her brain was smaller than that of modern humans....   [tags: Anthropology]

Free Essays
557 words (1.6 pages)

Anthropology: Examining the Physical and Cultural Characteristics of Humankind

- Anthropology: Examining the Physical and Cultural Characteristics of Humankind This course has provided interesting field studies of cultures that are drastically different than what I would consider “everyday life.” Anthropology examines not only who we are as a people, but also, importantly, who we were as a people. The studies of past cultures is a good place to start to answer questions about societies and cultures today, and to bridge together the gap between the past and present, and maybe even predict where we are headed in the future....   [tags: Anthropology]

Research Papers
503 words (1.4 pages)

Anthropology Today Essay

- Anthropology Today In society today, the discipline of anthropology has made a tremendous shift from the practices it employed years ago. Anthropologists of today have a very different focus from their predecessors, who would focus on relating problems of distant peoples to the Western world. In more modern times, their goal has become much more local, in focusing on human problems and issues within the societies they live. This paper will identify the roles anthropologists today play, such as where they perform the bulk of their work, and what it is they do in both problem solving, as well as policy making....   [tags: Anthropology]

Research Papers
1735 words (5 pages)

What Is Anthropology? How Is It Done? Essay

- What Is Anthropology. How Is It Done. People enter the field of anthropology for a variety of reasons. Some people enter the field by accident. This means that they did not intend on becoming an anthropologist. Some people were interested in the field from the start. One person married a social anthropologist; and, after living with a group of people for two years wrote an ethnography about the people. The first story is about Adrienne Zihlman. She is a paleoanthropologist. She collects all kinds of bones; so, she can "contrive and test ideas about the origins of humans by studying the remains of living things" (Shell 1991:37)....   [tags: Anthropology Essays]

Research Papers
2372 words (6.8 pages)