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Anthropology-Scope and Value

Anthropology is usually classified as a social science along with disciplines such as sociology, economics, political science and psychology but it has much in common with natural sciences like biology and geology as also with religion and art in the field of humanities. The diverse field of anthropology has broader scope than other social sciences. Anthropologists are interested in all human beings and their different aspects such as skin color, kinship system, religious beliefs, technologies and other aspects of life.

In physical anthropology ,investigation of the evolution of the human species, physical variations among different human groups and anatomy of monkeys, apes and humans are studied.Primatology is a line of specialization within anthropology and it specializes in the evolution,anatomy,adaptation and social behaviour of primates which constitutes the taxonomic order including humans.Anthropogists studying the variation in the human beings seek to measure and explain the similarities and differences among the people of the world.

Archaeology studies the human past on the basis of examination of the material remains of the past in order to understand human life has changed over centuries. Cultural anthropology also known as ethnology involves the study of historically recent and contemporary human cultures and societies. They study a wide range of subjects of which some main are -

  1. Study and preparation of reports about the ways of life of particular human societies.
  2. Comparison of diverse cultures to understand their common features and influences operating on the cultures.
  3. Understanding the mutual relationship and influence of the various aspects of like economics, family life, religion and art etc.

Ethnology helps people to understand and appreciate cultural differences in the increasing multi-cultural world. The ethnologists move into the community to study, live in close contact with the people and communicate with them in the local language to gain firsthand knowledge.

Anthropological linguistics involves description and analysis of sound patterns, words, meanings and sentence structures of human languages. Cultural anthropologists try to understand how language and culture influence each other.

Medical anthropologists investigate interaction among human health, nutrition, social environment and cultural beliefs and practices. Development anthropology is a field in which anthropologists apply their expertise to the study of human problem.

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