Introduction to Anthropology
I. Introduction to anthropology.
A. What is anthropology?
B. What is the human condition?
II. How is anthropology different from other disciplines that
A. It is different in its scope
1. The goal of anthropology is to
describe and explain similarities and
differences in biology and
culture of all humans (and their ancestors and closest living
relatives) in all places and all times
a. What is biology?
- refers to those aspects of the human
condition influenced by genes and genetic makeup.
b. What is culture?
- Culture is the learned, shared
knowledge of meanings by which we interpret experience and generate
- Culture shapes our worldview.
c. To what does the term "biocultural" refer?
- refers to the interaction of human
culture and human biology: our biology makes our culture possible and
our culture influences the direction of our biological evolution
d. Given its biocultural nature, how do anthropologists perceive the
- as an integrated system made of
biological and cultural parts that interact and affect each other.
B. It is different in its unique
1. Holistic approach
2. Relativistic Approach
b. Cultural relativism: The idea that the culture of others should not
be judged through comparison with one’s own culture, but that the
beliefs or behaviors of others should always be viewed within the
cultural context of which they are a part.
3. Four-field approach
a. Cultural Anthropology: study of
human culture and behavior
b. Linguistic Anthropology: study of human speech and language
c. Archaeology: study of human behavior and culture through recovery,
analysis and interpretation of material culture (artifacts, features,
d. Physical Anthropology: study of human biology within an evolutionary
framework, including evolutionary change through time and variation
between and within modern populations
4. Scientific Approach
a. What is science?
b. What are the basic assumptions on which science depends?
c. What is the scientific method?
d. Why is the scientific method so important?
III. The Scientific Method
A. What are the steps of the scientific
1. Make observations
2. Form hypothesis
3. Test hypothesis / Collect data
4. Use data to evaluate hypothesis
5. Revise hypothesis if necessary
6. Publication and Replication
B. Misconceptions regarding the scientific method
C. What is a theory?
IV. Science and Religion