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Pre Exam Essay 1 Sanchez-Teran Ruben

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Ruben Sanchez-Teran
Dr. Neal Endacott
ANTH110 Exploring Biological Anthropology
October 18, 2019
A Summary Description of Anthropology
This essay will address, in summary, a description of the scientific discipline known as
anthropology and it’s four subfields. Anthropology can be described simply as a study of
humanity. Yet, it encompasses the study of past and present humans, hominids, and primates to
include the use of language, culture, material remains, and behavior of primates “in all periods
and parts of the world” (Endacott 5, Part I).
Anthropology can be distinguished from other academic disciplines due to its inherent
attributes that integrate practices from other disciplines making it a holistic and multidisciplinary
field. This makes anthropology a holistic academic field; in such a way, that the areas of concern
in the one subfield are called upon in other subfields (Endacott 6, Part I), and that also takes into
consideration cross cultural and comparative studies; for example, Central Washington
University offers Global Comparative Studies I and II (ADMG 410 and 412) which provides
sustainable development, service learning, and experiential education in Peru. The many aspects
of these cultural classes can be compared and applied to anthropology or vice versa.
Furthermore, anthropology takes into consideration ‘all times and places’ for when humans have
left a record of their existence; the connection between biology and culture, or biocultural, and
how each affects the other. Anthropology goes on to ask (and answer) the why questions
attributed to humans as to how did they survive, live, and coexist in their given environment. So,
it is from an evolutionary perspective that anthropology seeks to study and answer questions as
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to the progress of humans and primates by taking into consideration biological and cultural
variables and other environmental survival pressures.
Anthropology is a diversified field that includes four subfields; archaeology, cultural
anthropology, biological anthropology, and linguistic anthropology.
1. Archaeology – This subfield covers Prehistoric Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management,
Historical Archaeology, and other areas of specialization (Endacott 26, Part III). The focus of
archaeology is the study and examination of material remains (artifacts and features) from past
2. Cultural Anthropology – This subfield is also known as Social Anthropology, Socio-Cultural
Anthropology, or Ethnology (Endacott Part II). This subfield considers the way people lived and
how societies operated or operate. This involves understanding living beliefs, values, ideas, and
standards. It’s important to note that standards are learned and not a manifestation of a biological
3. Biological anthropology – “The study of humans as biological organisms, usually in an
evolutionary context” (Endacott 9, Part II). This subfield of Anthropology considers
Primatology, the study of non-human primates; Paleoanthropology, the study of fossil records;
Human Growth, Adaptation, and Variation, the study of humans as they survive in
environmental extremes; Human Osteology, the study of the human skeleton; Paleopathology,
the study of malnutrition, trauma, and diseases in human ancestors; Forensic Anthropology, the
study and investigation of human remains as applied in a legal context; and Molecular
Anthropology which studies human evolution through DNA and its adaptive processes
throughout the human genome.
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4. Linguistic Anthropology – This is study of Ethnolinguistic and Sociolinguistics among human
cultures. Ethnolinguistics looks at the relationship between culture and language; whereas,
Sociolinguistics looks at the relationship of language among several factors in a society that
include geography, economic status, gender, and other.
Anthropology has central concepts which include Cultural Relativism and Avoid Ethnocentrism.
Cultural Relativism involves attempting to understand a culture in the context of that peoples
environment and not where one did not grow up in. Ethnocentrism is to be avoided because it
creates lines of separation between people and cultures; such as, racism (Endacott 3, Part III).
Applied Anthropology involves making a real-time impact in a society. An example of applied
anthropology would be the interaction between people third-world countries receiving some sort
of medical aid or medical study that benefits the people of that region (Carter 10).
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Larsen, Clark S. “Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology”. W.W. Norton &
Company, 2017.
Endacott, Neal. “What Is Anth? and Bioanth Part I Fall 2019”. YouTube, uploaded by Neal
Endacott, 29 Sept. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHhwlIh2Dbs.
Endacott, Neal. “What is anth what is biioanth Part II”. YouTube, uploaded by Neal Endacott, 29
Sept. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlFMq4_ZBLI.
Endacott, Neal. “What is anth what is bioanth Part 3”. YouTube, uploaded by Neal Endacott, 29
Sept. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=glnFgIiNmC8.