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Anthropology Master - Essay Example

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Anthropology, the study of all aspects of human life and culture. It examines such topics as how people live, what they think, what they produce, and how they interact with their environments. The comparative study of social and cultural systems is commonly referred to as ethnology or cultural anthropology…
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Anthropology Master Essay
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"Anthropology Master"

Download file to see previous pages Understanding these kinds of societies and their cultures can help us make more sense of how people cope with life in today's culturally diverse and complex world.
Human societies often include millions or billions of people who share a common culture. Two interrelated anthropological concepts, society and culture, are crucial to understanding what makes humans unique. Culture distinguishes one human group from others. It also distinguishes humans from other animals. A people's culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. The society can be small, such as tribal community or large such as modern nation with millions of members. The social groups may be families, communities, economic ethnic groups, political or other types of formal and informal groups..
But human societies often include millions or billions of people who share a common culture. Culture refers to the ways of life learned and shared by people in social groups. Culture differs from the simpler, inborn types of thinking and behavior that govern the lives of many animals. The people in a human society generally share common cultural patterns, so anthropologists may refer to particular societies as cultures, making the two terms somewhat interchangeable. In anthropology culture denotes a people's heritage of customs and belief. It has a powerful effect on a persons daily life as it influences his mode of thinking, feeling and acting. It shapes us but we also shape culture. Since no human society exists in compete isolation, different societies also exchange and share culture. In fact, all societies have some interactions with others, both out of curiosity and because even highly self-sufficient societies sometimes need assistance from their neighbors. Today, for instance, many people around the world use similar kinds of technology, such as cars, telephones, and televisions. Commercial trade and communication technologies, such as computer networks, have created a form of global culture. Therefore, it has become increasingly difficult to find culture that is shared within only a single society. Cultural exchange can provide many benefits for all societies. Different societies can exchange ideas, people, manufactured goods, and natural resources.
From the time an individual is born, he or she is socialized by the members first of his or her family, and later of the other groups which he or she joins. The habits, values attitudes, aspirations, of the society are incorporated into the individual's personality.


Anthropology examines human culture from so many perspectives. Culture has evolved, and continues to evolve, by comparing cultural traits among different groups of people, both past and living. Patterns of similarity and increasing complexity over time can be seen in such cultural traits as forms of language or types of tools. These patterns indicate when and where cultural innovation has occurred and how ideas and people have moved around the world..
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