Essay on Anthropology And Its Impact On Society

Essay on Anthropology And Its Impact On Society

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Anthropology, ‘a discipline with a rich and distinguished history of studying the everyday life of other cultures’, cited ou e214 intro tounit 4 analysing ‘social relationships’ kehily p163, corresponding to ‘family, religion, political and economic lives and how society works’. Anthropology was initially lectured in 1884 at Oxford, overlapping with geography and archaeology, heavily influenced by evolution. The majority of anthropology was studied at a distance, people studied were never encountered. However, in the late nineteenth century, data began to be personally collected as a consequence of expeditions, wherein anthropologists had direct contact with the minority world, formerly merely lectured upon. Malinowski, a Polish scholar, whom travelled to the Trobriand Islands in 1914, staying for four years, as far as possible becoming a part of their society, p165 adopted the term ‘participant observation’ to characterize the fieldwork conducted, which consisted of ‘participating’ in ‘daily lives’ to enable the collection of qualitative data. P167. This fieldwork continues to prevail within anthropology.
W.H.Rivers and Franz Boas pioneers of fieldwork during the late nineteenth century, leading anthropological expeditions.W.H.Rivers a psychologist and anthropologist led an expedition to the Torres Strait in Papau New Guinea in 1898, collecting data about colour vision of the islanders, even though colour blindness and myopia was less prelevant on the island than in Europe, there was no word to describe blue . Rivers went on to work with soldiers suffering fron shell shock after the Great War. p164Franz Boas considered as ‘the founding father of American anthropology’ p165, travelled to Baffin Island in 1883, collecting quali...


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...ral reaserch. P227 using a multidisciplinary approach, taking children and childhood seriously, worthy of study in their own right, not just as passive subjects, analysing the everyday mundane activities understanding of children and childhood continues to change.
In conclusion anthropology has enhanced understanding of childhood, pioneers in the field from the late nineteenth century,when data began to be personally collected as a consequence of expeditions, becoming a part of the society being studied, learning different languages, rituals and cultures, just as Malinowski did, challenging theories that childhood is biological, as G Stanley Hall claimed, has enabled the feild of anthropology to expand and develop. However anthropology alone can not bring about total understanding of all aspects of childhood, alongside other disciplines it can further understanding.

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