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The study of humankind in all times and places

Holistic perspective

A fundamental principle of anthropology: that the various parts of human culture and biology must be viewed in the broadest possible context in order to understand their interconnections and interdependence.


The belief that the ways of one's own culture are the only proper ones

Culture bound

looking at the world and reality based on the assumptions and values of one's own culture

Applied anthropology

The use of anthropological knowledge and methods to solve practical problems, often for a specific client

Medical Anthropolgoy

A specialization in anthropology that combines theoretical and applied approaches from cultural and biological anthropology with the study of human health and disease

Physical anthropology

The systematic study of humans as biological organisms; also known as biological anthropology

Molecular anthropology

A branch of biological anthropology that uses genetic and biochemical techniques to test hypotheses about human evolution, adaption, and variation.


the study of the origins and predecessors of the present human species; the study of human evolution


Focusing on the interaction of biology and culture


the study of living and fossil primates

Forensic anthropology

Applied sub-field of physical anthropology that specializes in the identification of human skeletal remains for legal purposes

Cultural anthropology

Also known as social or social -cultural anthropology. the study of customary patterns in human behavior, thought, and feelings. It focuses on humans as culture-producing and culture-reproducing creatures.


A society's shared and socially transmitted ideas, values, and perceptions, which are used to make sense of experience and generate behavior and are reflected in that behavior.


A detailed description of a particular culture primarily based on fieldwork


The term anthropologists use for on-location research

Participant oversvation

In ethnography, the technique of learning a people's culture through social participation and personal observation within the community being studied, as well as interviews and discussion with the individual members of the group over and extended period of time.


The study and analysis of different cultures from a comparative or historical point of view, utilizing ethnographic accounts and developing anthropological theories that help explain why certain important differences or similarities occur among groups.

Linguistic antrhopology

The study of human languages-looking at their structure, history, and relation to social and cultural contexts.


An extended communication on a particular subject


The study of human cultures through the recovery and analysis of material remains and experimental data.


The archeological study of human remains, emphasizing on the preservation of cultural and social processes in the skeleton

Cultural resource management

A branch of archaeology tied to government policies for the protection of cultural resources and involving surveying and/or excavating archaeological and historical remains threatened by construction or development


based on observations of the world rather than on intuition or faith


A tentative explanation of the relationships between certain phenomena


In science, an explanation of natural phenomena, supported by a reliable body of data


An assertion of opinion or belief formally handed down by an authority as true and indisputable

informed consent

Formal recorded agreement to participate in research; federal mandated for all research in the United states and Europe.


Worldwide interconnectedness, evidence in global movements of natural resources, trade goods, human labor, finance capital, information, and infectious disease.

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