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the comparative study of human societies and cultures


In anthropology an approach that considers culture, history, language, and biology essential to a complete understanding of human society


A group of people who depend on one another for survival or well being as well as the relationships among such people, including their status and roles


The learned behaviors and symbols that allow people to live in groups. The primary means by which humans adapt to their enviornments. The way of life characteristic of a particular human society

cultural anthropology

the study of human thought, meaning, and behavior that is learned rather than genetically transmitted and that is typical of groups of people


description of the cultural past based on written records, interviews, and archaeology

linguistic anthropology

a branch of linguistics concerned with understanding language and its relation to culture

historical linguistics

study relationships among languages to better understand the histories and migrations of those who speak them


the subdiscipline of anthropology that focuses on the reconstruction of past cultures based on their material remains


societies for which we have no usable written records


any object made or modified by human beings. Generally used to refer to objects made by past culture


artifacts that cannot easily be moved such as ruins

urban archaeology

the archaeological investigation of current day cities

cultural resource management

the protection and management of archaeological. archival, and architectural resources

biological anthropology

the subdiscipline of anthropology that studies people from a biological perspective focusing primarily on aspects of humankind that are genetically inherited. It includes osteology, nutrition, demography, epidemology, and primatology


the subdiscipline of anthropology concerned with tracing the evolution of human kind in the fossil record

human variation

the subdiscipline of anthropology concerned with mapping and explaining physical differences among modern human groups


member of a biological order of mammals that includes human beings apes& monkeys as well as prosimians

applied anthropology

the application of anthropology to the solution of human problems

indigenous peoples

groups of people who have occupied a region for a long time and are recognized by other groups as its original inhabitants. often minorities with little influence

medical anthropology

the study of illness and health across cultures. The application an ethnogrpahic perspectives to the provision of health care services

forensic anthropology

the application of biological anthro to the identification of skelatilized or badly decomposed human remains


judging other cultures from the perspective of ones own culture. The notion that ones own culture is better than any other


a situation where social or moral norms are confused or entirely absent: often caused by rapid social change


the belief that some human populations are superior to others because of inherited, genetically transmitted characteristics

biopsychological equality

the notion that all human beings have the same biological and mental capabilities

cultural relativism

the notion that a chulture should not be judged or evaluated according to the values of another culture. They must be analyzed with reference to their own histories and culture traits understood in terms of the cultural whole

emic perspective

examining society using concepts, categories, and distinctions that are meaningful to members of that culture

etic perspective

examining society using concept categories and rules derivied from science, and outsiders perspective, which produces analyzes that members of the society being studied may not find meaningful

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