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How have anthropologists responded to colonialism in different historical moments - Essay Example

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Anthropology Name: Course: Tutor: Date: Anthropology The knowledge of colonialism eliminates the existing boundaries that divide history and anthropology; and gives insight on boundaries cutting through colonial past and post colonial present. Therefore, through an anthropological perspective, which is reflexive, one is able to understand how ethnography is formed, used and supportive practices within it about travel…
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How have anthropologists responded to colonialism in different historical moments
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Download file to see previous pages In some cases, anthropology is into smaller units namely linguistic, bodily, archaeology and cultural anthropology. Therefore, anthropology seeks to understand the various facets of culture within a given society therefore reflects on the tools, techniques, values, beliefs, economic mechanisms, social institutions and struggles of prestige within any given societal setting (Pritchard, 1969, p.30). With a wider spec, applied anthropological study helps in solving modern problems. Anthropologists not only use colonialism as a historical object of observation but also as a technique of control, which emerged from colonial dialect. Anthropology categorizes colonialism in dissimilar ways. The anthropology of colonialism categorically seeks to determine contemporary anthropology in relation to the colonial background under which it emerged. Ethno history on the other hand, seeks to draw boundaries between history and anthropology, neo-Marxism and feminism for instance fuel economic interest of change and consequently in colonialism among the peasant societies in relation to their mode of production and form of economy. Anthropology of colonialism’s notions, through culture and method, has always turned out to have specific colonial functions or uses (Asad, 1973, p.5). Evans-Pritchard, in his book, “The Nuer”, indicates that society surrounding the Nuer people happens through groups and cattle. The Nuer is a pastoralist community residing along the upper part of the Nile. Their social structure was drawn from individualistic perspectives and lacked laws and leaders. Social order in society was maintained based on societal values and tribe orientation within a lineage system (Pritchard, 1940, p.9). From a scholarly perspective however, “The Nuer” is an intensive ethnographic study coined by Evans-Pritchard about the unusual and interesting people. To this people, economic relationships are of social nature hence everything that the people of this ethnic setting do, is bound by the factor that they belong to one community and they are therefore bound by their relation by productive system. Evans Pritchard, through his book therefore emphasizes on the lack of laws, government, political organizations and authority in the social systems of the Nuer hence a paradox in their political structure. He denotes that classification among these people is only in their relation to other political setups and it arises because of tribal hostility and aggression. This therefore means that, the availability of tension brings about sense of form. Because of this, social life therefore balances wrongs and individuals within the society. Through Evans-Pritchard’s writings, it is clearly indicating that through anthropologies colonialism should actually be analyzed as a culture, which has an origin from colonial control, which is set on a historical background, in this case, therefore, culture and history supplement each other in the manner in which they relate. In order to understand this interesting relationship, one ought to know the classifications and functions of culture through the history of colonial governments. Through the understanding of Evans-Pritchard’s work, we can deduce that anthropologists and historians in most instances agree that we all ought to be sensitive to contexts. The Nuer, therefore, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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