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All About Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humans, past and present, that draws and builds upon knowledge from the social sciences and biological sciences, as well as the humanities and the natural sciences.
Since the work of Franz Boas and Bronisław Malinowski in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, social anthropology in Great Britain and cultural anthropology the US has been distinguished from ethnology and from other social sciences by its emphasis on cross-cultural comparisons, long-term in-depth examination of context, and the importance it places on participant-observation or experiential immersion in the area of research
Cultural anthropology in particular has emphasized cultural relativism, holism, and the use of findings to frame cultural critiques
This has been particularly prominent in the United States, from Boas's arguments against 19th-century racial ideology, through Margaret Mead's advocacy for gender equality and *** liberation, to current criticisms of post-colonial oppression and promotion of multiculturalism
Ethnography is one of its primary research designs as well as the text that is generated from anthropological fieldwork.
While in Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, the British tradition of Social Anthropology tends to dominate, in the United States anthropology is traditionally divided into the four field approach developed by Franz Boas in the early 20th century: biological or physical anthropology; social, cultural, or sociocultural anthropology; archaeology; and anthropological linguistics
These fields frequently overlap, but tend to use different methodologies and techniques.
In those European countries that did not have overseas colonies, where ethnology (a term coined and defined by Adam F
Kollár in 1783) was more widespread, social anthropology is now defined as the study of social organization in non-state societies and is sometimes referred to as sociocultural anthropology in the parts of the world that were influenced by the European tradition.