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Cultural Anthropology - Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences - Utrecht University

But the contrast is forced. These two social sciences often meet. Thus, the study of colonial societies borrows as much from sociology as from cultural anthropology. And it has already been remarked how cultural anthropology intervenes more and more frequently in urban and industrial fields classically the domain of sociology. There have also been fruitful exchanges with other disciplines quite distinct from cultural anthropology.

In political science the discussion of the concept of the state and of its origin has been nourished by cultural anthropology. Cultural anthropology has brought to psychology new bases on which to reflect on concepts of personality and the formation of personality. It has permitted psychology to develop a system of cross-cultural psychiatry, or so-called ethnopsychiatry.


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Conversely, the psychological sciences, particularly psychoanalysis, have offered cultural anthropology new hypotheses for an interpretation of the concept of culture. The link with history has long been a vital one because cultural anthropology was originally based on an evolutionist point of view and because it has striven to reconstruct the cultural history of societies about which, for lack of written documents, no historical record could be determined.

Cultural anthropology has more recently suggested to historians new techniques of research based on the analysis and criticism of oral tradition. Finally, cultural anthropology has close links with human geography. Both of them place great importance on man either as he uses space or acts to transform the natural environment. It is not without significance that some early anthropologists were originally geographers.

Cultural anthropology.

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Definition and scope Etymologically, anthropology is the science of humans. Start Your Free Trial Today.

How Cultural Anthropology Differs From Sociology

Load Next Page. More About. Discover Anthropology - Social and Cultural Anthropology. The family lives in various homes or huts that are set up around a courtyard. The head of the household is usually the oldest brother that lives there. He is chosen by the elders. He is called either Father or Housefather and everyone in the household obeys him. The anthropological study of culture can be organized along two persistent and basic themes: Diversity and Change.

It is the differences between all cultures and sub-cultures of the worlds regions. Culture generally changes for one of two reasons: selective transmission or to meet changing needs. This means that when a village or culture is met with new challenges for example a loss of a food source, they must change the way they live.


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And an anthropologist would look at that and study their ways to learn from them. Related cultural beliefs and practices show up repeatedly in different areas of social life. At its most basic level, the difference between Culture and culture is in the way they are defined. Culture with a capital C refers to the ability of the human species to absorb and imitate patterned and symbolic ideas that ultimately further their survival.

Cultural Anthropology/Introduction

Culture is a trait all humans have, whereas culture with a lower case c refers to a particular learned way of life and set of patterns an individual person has picked up, representing one variation amongst many different cultures. The concept of Culture vs. But there are drawbacks to this mentality, as it assumes first that culture is a static thing that it can be preserved, unchanged by the changing people and times it runs into.

It also assumes that the people accept at face value and do not wish to change their patterns or ways of life.

This relates to the Culture vs.