Reasons Why Anthropology is an Important Science to Study Humans

Anthropology is – Talking about anthropology, maybe what comes to your mind is the science in lectures. Until now this science has become one of the college majors that has a lot of devotees.

But maybe you are also curious about anthropology itself. Relax, you don’t need to be confused, because in this article there is already a complete explanation related to anthropology itself.

So that you are not so confused anymore, here is a complete explanation about anthropology.

Definition of Anthropology

Before discussing further about anthropology. It would be better if we also know about the meaning itself.

Etymologically, anthropology comes from the Greek, namely Anthropos which means human and logos which means discourse, reason, reason which can also be called science. Simply put, anthropology is a science that studies human beings.

Meanwhile, according to the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, is a science which discusses human beings, especially about their origins, various physical forms and colors, customs and beliefs in the past.

Quoted from the Encyclopedia Britannica, is a humanitarian science that studies humans in various aspects. Starting from biology, the history of Homo sapiens, so that the characteristics of society and culture can distinguish humans from other animal species.

Quoted from Cambridge, it is a study that studies human beings, culture and society as well as their physical development.

Definition of Anthropology According to Some Experts

After knowing the meaning etymologically. So the next explanation is still an understanding based on the opinions of several experts. For more details, here are some opinions of experts on anthropology.

1. William A. Haviland

William A. Haviland explained that anthropology is a study of humans that seeks to make generalizations that can provide benefits related to humans and their behavior. This is also meant to be able to get a very complete understanding related to human diversity itself.

2. Koentjaraningrat

Koentjaraningrat, who is also the Father of Indonesian Anthropology, explained that anthropology is a science that studies human beings in general, various colors, human physical forms and the resulting culture.

3. David E. Hunter

David E. Hunter explained that Anthropology is a science that was born from a broader and unlimited curiosity related to human life itself.

4. Frank Robert Vivelo

Frank Robert Vivelo has an explanation about anthropology is a science that studies humans based on culture, biology (human origins, evolution to human existence today).

Those are some definitions of anthropology from several expert opinions. When viewed from every opinion that exists, anthropology has a meaning as a science that studies humans.



Scope of Anthropology

As explained, anthropology is a science that studies humans. There are several scopes of anthropology in terms of learning. Now for a more detailed explanation, the following is a review of the scope of anthropology.

1. Physical Anthropology

Physical anthropology is the first scope of anthropology. This scope has a scope that is focused on humans as biological organisms. Where later this concept will track or look for human development based on evolution while simultaneously investigating its biological variants in various types or species.

Therefore, within the scope of physical anthropology, you can also study fossils and observe various kinds of primates that have lived on earth. Anthropologists will try to find human ancestors so they know when, how and why humans could become the creatures that exist today.

2. Cultural Anthropology

Next is the scope of cultural anthropology, where the emphasis of cultural anthropology on learning is about human culture or the way of human life in society. According to the anthropologist Haviland, cultural anthropology still has several branches within it, namely archeology, anthropology, linguistics and ethnology.

Cultural anthropology can be a study of social practices, expressive forms as well as language use. From the various kinds of findings that exist, it will be continued with creating meaning and testing before being used by the community.

Anthropological Functions

The existence of anthropology also has several important functions in it. If you don’t know what functions anthropology can provide, here is a complete explanation.

  1. Anthropology has a function as a method to be able to see humans as individuals and groups of people.
  2. Examine human life in society. Besides that, anthropology also has a function to see the world and other cultures that we have never seen before.
  3. Anthropology also has a function to make it easier to understand the norms, beliefs, traditions and values ​​adopted by certain communities.
  4. Anthropology also has a function so that humans can be more critical, responsive and think rationally in dealing with every social phenomenon in a society that is so complex.
  5. Helping to compile ethnography that can create theories related to the origins of beliefs, family, marriage, state behavior and so on.
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The Benefits of Anthropology

Not only has a function in it, but anthropology also has several important benefits. Below are some of the benefits of anthropology.

  1. Anthropology helps a person to be able to study patterns of human behavior in social life. Individuals can better understand human behavior, both universally and within an ethnic group.
  2. Anthropology can help a person to better understand the position and role he has to play.
  3. The science of anthropology can help a person to be able to have more broad insight into human association so that it can increase a high sense of tolerance.
  4. Anthropology can make someone to know the problems that are happening in society.

Those are some of the functions and goals of anthropology. In conclusion, the existence of anthropology can make it easier for you to be able to learn the ins and outs of human life, including the problems that are happening right now.



Anthropological Science Approach

In anthropology to the five methods of approach. Each approach in anthropology will be interconnected with one another. The following are some of the approaches in anthropology.

1. Holistic Approach

You could say that a holistic approach in anthropology has a comprehensive meaning. The overall intention here is an anthropological approach that can examine a socio-cultural problem in human life as a whole.

This anthropological approach can be developed for small rural communities which will facilitate the coverage process. In addition, this method is also used in a field research for a fairly long span of time.

2. Micro Approach

Next is the micro approach in anthropology. Where this micro approach is a consequence of the previous anthropological approach. Where later an anthropologist must carry out a more detailed or more detailed learning process about the problem to get a set of data that is so detailed and concrete related to certain socio-cultural problems.

Later the concrete data can be used as a guide or guide to analyze if similar problems occur in other cases. Because of the micro approach, an anthropologist can get a general understanding to be able to be more detailed about the social problems that are interrelated.

According to a British anthropologist named R. Firth, the micro-anthropological approach to socio-cultural problems has a distinctive characteristic of anthropology itself. He also explained that anthropology is a micro sociology or micro sociology.

3. Semiotic Approach

Next is the semiotic anthropological approach. Where this approach emphasizes understanding of crocodiles in accordance with the interactions carried out by researchers based on the basic views of the research subjects or what can be called the native’s point of view.

In this approach there is also an analysis that is thick description which is so emphasized. Although the approach in anthropology is different. However, anthropologists conduct research using qualitative methods and participatory observation.

4. Comparative Approach

The comparative approach also exists in anthropology. Where the comparative approach has become a method often used in anthropology since the beginning of history. This is because anthropology always faces the diversity of colors and forms of society and culture that exist within it.

Currently, many approaches to comparative science have been developed. One of them is the cross-cultural comparison method or the cross-cultural method.

Where the workings of this comparison method can use one or more socio-cultural issues that are considered similar in a sizable sample of ethnic cultures that are already widespread.

5. Behavioristic Approach

Finally, there is the behavioristic approach in anthropology. Where later this approach can also be said to be similar to the comparative method. The workings of the behavioristic approach are using a combination of psychoanalysis, learning theory and crocodile anthropology.

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The five points above are approaches in anthropology. As explained at the beginning if each of these approaches will be connected between one approach and another.

Objects of Anthropology

In anthropology there are several objects to be studied. Some of them are human beings, be it individuals or groups, citizens, ethnic groups, cultures and also the perpetrators.

The existence of anthropology can also answer every question about oneself and the nature of human life.



Anthropology Branch

In anthropology, it can be further dissected into two branches. The two branches of anthropology are biological anthropology and cultural anthropology. Both biological anthropology and cultural anthropology also have several types in them. So, for more details, you can read the explanation below.

1. Biological Anthropology

Biological anthropology is a branch of anthropology which studies matters relating to the biological side of humans. Some people say that the branch of cultural anthropology is also commonly called physical anthropology.

In physical anthropology more emphasis on knowledge related to comparative anatomy.

In this comparison or comparison will include the relationship between human species and also higher primates. An example is the chimpanzee with the gorilla. Then the relationship between humans and their ancestors such as Homo Erectus with Australopithecus Africanus. But for now the comparative anatomy of races is decreasing because the field of human genetics is getting more modern.

  • Paleoanthropology: is a science that seeks to find out about the origins of the evolutionary process in humans. The process will be carried out by examining the remains of human bodies that have helped.
  • Physical anthropology: part of anthropology that seeks to resolve an understanding that will relate to the history of human existence on this earth.

2. Cultural Anthropology

Humans are the only creatures that have culture. So that it can be interpreted that there are no humans who do not have culture. The existence of reason possessed by humans can help control nature.

This can happen because humans do not rely on their instincts. The success of humans in controlling nature is the cause of a culture. The culture that has been learned by humans and not inherited biologically. Cultural anthropology has the task of being able to examine human culture that exists throughout the world.

  • Prehistory: In anthropology, prehistory is the period before the presence of historical heritage in the form of language or writing. So that it can be concluded that the boundary between history and pre-history is when there are historical relics in the form of writing. Then for people who lived in the past and did not know the name of writing, it could be called the pre-literacy era.
  • Ethnolinguistics: In anthropology, ethnolinguistics explains that humans who have culture are those who have the ability to speak and also speak.
    However, an archaeologist named Prof. Teuku Jacob doubts that pithecanthropus erectus is a creature that already has culture. This is not without reason, there is evidence of fossil discoveries of pithecanthropus erectus that do not have articulation areas.
    The area of ​​articulation in the mouth is an area capable of forming a language. So that pithecanthropus erectus cannot be interpreted as a human who already has culture.
    Ethnolinguistic and linguistic anthropology is a study of human language. Linguistics is also referred to as the description of a language and the history of language. Linguistic studies can know better about the opinions of other people related to humans and about the world around them.
  • Ethnology: in anthropology, ecology studies about understanding the basis of human culture. The method used is by studying the culture that exists in human life from so many ethnic groups. These ethnic groups can be spread all over the world, both from the past and from the present.
    In ethology there are two languages, namely diachronic or technological and synchronic anthropology or social anthropology.
    Diachronic is a flow that emphasizes more on diachronic fields. Then the diachronic field is a flow that has a continuous nature according to the passage of time. Diachronic goal is to seek understanding of the history of the development of a country.
    Meanwhile, synchronic is a flow that emphasizes the synchronic field. Synchronic has eels concurrent at one time. The purpose of this synchronic existence is to find a principle of equality in a society that is so diverse.

That is a review of anthropology, starting from the definition of anthropology, benefits, goals to the scope and branches of anthropology.