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Introduction to Social Anthropology - Essay Example

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The Importance of Anthropology Introduction It is not unexpected that numerous anthropologists have been cautious of efforts to expose anthropology to undue hype. They refuse to witness their painstaking efforts used wrongly in a manner which gives minor recognition to their selves, to their shared venture, or the populations or individuals they investigate…
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Introduction to Social Anthropology
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"Introduction to Social Anthropology"

Download file to see previous pages Anthropology investigates humankind as it arises in all recognised corners of the world (Llobera 2003). Its task is basically to explain or portray. However, without surpassing boundaries of its range, it can and should shift from the specific to the general. Why is Anthropology Important? Anthropology has a number of branches and each branch presents a particular component of the study of our roots and evolution as a life form (Wallman 1992). For example, linguistic anthropology studies language. It is a widely known fact that there are many languages all over the world. To understand further the connections between these various languages and the variations that exist in terminology and word use is one of the tasks that anthropologists perform (Moore & Sanders 2006). Anthropology is also vital from the perspective of inquiry into traditions and rituals and the human nature within various tribal groups and groups of people. Several traditions that are prohibited in some societies might be viewed as acceptable in others (Moore & Sanders 2006). It is this reconciliation of the disparity between people’s inherent perspective of their own culture and the cultures of others is the basis for the relevance of anthropology. ...
Despite of the unclear nature of the importance of anthropology to development, arguments were presented all over the 1990s speaking up for the moral relevance of anthropology (Moran 1996, 328): [I]t is morally necessary for anthropology to become centrally engaged in today’s critical issues- poverty, powerlessness, environmental degradation, and national, class, caste, gender, ethnic, religious, and racial oppressions—and that anthropology has important contributions yet to make about the kinds of formations that will characterise human social life in the twenty-first century. As stated by Bennett (1996), in his discussion of the emergence of applied anthropology, “anything that deprives people of their needs or desires should be changed or reformed” (as cited in Gow 2002, 299). He further explains his argument by mentioning the work of the ‘great articulator of applied ideology in the 1950-60s’, Laura Thompson (Gow 2002, 299): In essence it [applied anthropology] symbolises both the desire and desirability of human beings to fulfil themselves individually and collectively to the maximum of their physical-emotional-intellectual powers, and to do both as single personalities and in relation to other personalities. It is exactly this focus on the political and moral that has kept on troubling anthropologists in the mid-1990s. D’Andrade (1995) worried that anthropology is shifting from a field rooted in an objective perspective of the world to one founded on a moral perspective of the world, the main objective of such is “to identify what is good and what is bad and to allocate reward and punishment” (as cited in Moore & Sanders 2006, 513). Scheper-Hughes, reacting to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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