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1.4: Chapter One Review

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    Test your knowledge

    1. What are the four sub-disciplines of anthropology and how do they relate to the holistic nature of the field?
    2. How are cultural anthropology and archaeology similar? How are they different?
    3. How do anthropologists collect data?
    4. Apply what you have learned about anthropologists to answer the following question. How can anthropologists use or be informed by the scientific method since most anthropologists do not generally conduct “traditional” experiments?


    • anthropology The study of humankind.
    • anthropological approach A method of research using the scientific method, fieldwork, and a holistic perspective.
    • applied anthropology The application of the anthropological data, perspectives, theory, and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems
    • archaeology The study of past human behavior through the systematic recovery and analysis of material remains.
    • biological anthropology The study of human origins, evolution, and variation.
    • cultural anthropology The study of similarities and differences among living societies and cultural groups.
    • cultural relativism The idea that we should seek to understand another person’s beliefs and behaviors from the perspective of their culture rather than our own.
    • culture A set of beliefs, practices, and symbols that are learned and shared. Together, they form an all-encompassing and integrated whole that binds people together and shapes their worldview and lifeways.
    • fieldwork Collection of data in “the real world” in both current and past sites of human activity.
    • historical linguistics The study of how language changes over time.
    • holistic perspective The understanding that all of the various aspects of human biology and culture are necessarily interrelated.
    • linguistic anthropology The study of the relationship between language, thought, and culture.
    • looter An individual who plunders archaeological sites to find artifacts of commercial value.
    • material culture Objects produced or modified by humans such as tools, art, buildings, clothing, etc.
    • participant observation A research technique in which the anthropologist observes and participates in the events and activities of the culture being studied.
    • scientific method A process by which scientists ask questions, collect data, test hypotheses, and gain knowledge about the natural world.
    • sociolinguistics The study of the social aspects of language.
    • structural linguistics The study of the patterns in structure, sound, and grammar. Also called descriptive linguistics.

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