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The Cultural Anthropology - Essay Example

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Anthropologists aim to explore the life patterns of ordinary people; and the roots of their cultural, religious and political life. The essay "The Cultural Anthropology" analyzes in what ways does an anthropological approach differ from those used by other social sciences…
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The Cultural Anthropology
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The Cultural Anthropology

Download file to see previous pages... It is partly due to the very reality that physical anthropology studies physical changes humans have experienced with the passage of time, while cultural anthropology examines the alterations humans have observed in their social life by adopting different changes according to their needs in order to survive under the always transforming conditions and circumstances all around them for the future years to come. Although sharing several commonalities with biology, physics, and environmental sciences, cultural anthropology also seeks close proximity with history, sociology and political science in nature, scope, and approach. Somehow, approach to analyze historical events focuses upon estimating the life patterns of the ruling class, including the kings and queens, their rise and fall, involvement in wars and expeditions and causes, incidents, effects and impacts of their rule and ultimate downfall at the hands of their fate or opponents. Historical events are estimated with the help of the available records including the coins, written documents, chronicles, biographies and the literature of the era under analysis. Somehow, it does not mean that the historians neglect the activities of the masses and common people altogether. On the contrary, these cultural aspects are also taken into account by the historians, though the particular focus remains in the examination of the activities attributed to the royalty and elite stratum of that society. Cultural anthropological approach concentrates upon fossil remains and archaeological records in order to estimate the nature and magnitude of transformations humans have witnessed during the course of time. It is of the opinion that human societies have reached the present state of affairs after making a long and continuous struggle for their survival by adopting imperative alterations in almost all parts of their present physical form. They witnessed tremendous growth and remarkable advancements in all fields including modes of expressions and communication i.e. language, as well as in religious practices, economic developments, technological revolution, socio-political advancements and much more. It also discusses the cultural traits and patterns of collective behavioral life including folklore, dance, music, faith, marriage and sex and much more. It is by dint of the astonishing advancements made by man that humans are leading comparatively more comfortable and luxurious life in comparison with their ancestors. Another major divergence while studying both history and cultural anthropology, it becomes evident that the former evaluates the politics, legal framework, conspiracies and intrigues, and internal conflicts and revolts and external threats as well faced by the rulers; on the contrary, the latter draws out social norms, cultural values, religious cults, traditions, customs, conventions, taboo, folklore and belief system observed by the people. Hence, cultural anthropology lays stress upon language and dresses, sexual behavior and gender identity, magic and marriage systems, economic activities and means of earning, and collective behavior of the individuals in their social, economic, political and cultural activities. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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