Anthropology Final Essay Questions

Describe anthropology and each of the four sub-fields.
Anthropology is the scientific study of humans, past and present, that draws and builds upon knowledge from the social sciences and life sciences, as well as the humanities.
Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans and is in contrast to social anthropology which perceives cultural variation as a subset of the anthropological constant.
Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary study of how language influences social life. It is a branch of anthropology that originated from the endeavor to document endangered languages, and has grown over the past 100 years to encompass almost any aspect of language structure and use.
Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, and cultural landscapes. Because archaeology employs a wide range of different procedures, it can be considered to be both a social science and a humanity.
Biological anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, is a scientific discipline in which research is concerned with the

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biological and behavioral variation of human beings, other non-human primates, and extinct hominid ancestors of the human species.

Define and give examples of ethnography and ethnology and explain how the two are interrelated using specific cultures as examples.
Ethnography is an aspect of cultural anthropology involved with observing and documenting peoples’ ways of life.
Ethnology is an aspect of cultural anthropology involved with building theories about cultural behaviors and forms.

Define and apply ethnocentrism and cultural relativism to two different examples. Explain each of the two examples from each of the two perspectives using specific cultures as examples.
Ethnocentrism is the widespread human tendency to perceive the ways of doing things in one’s own culture as normal and natural and that of others as strange, inferior, and possibly even unnatural or inhuman.
Cultural relativism is an approach in anthropology that stresses the importance of analyzing cultures in each culture’s own terms rather than in terms of the anthropologist’s culture.

Define and illustrate each pre-industrial method of production and each method of economic distribution typically associated with it using specific cultures as examples.

Define and illustrate each of the four sociopolitical systems using specific cultures as examples.

Define and illustrate how anthropology can study religion objectively using specific cultures as examples.

Discuss how marriage and/or family and/or kinship and/or gender patterns reinforce and carry economic, sociopolitical, or religious matter.

Discuss why race as a biological concept has been dismissed and the evidence that race is a socially constructed idea.
There is no biological evidence of race.

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