Essay on The Origns of The Species by Charles Darwin

Essay on The Origns of The Species by Charles Darwin

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The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines cultural anthropology as the anthropology that deals with “human culture [especially] with respect to social structure, language, law, politics, religion, magic, art, and technology” (1998:282). Anthropology, when broken down, simply means the study of man (anthropos: man and ology: study). The word culture comes from the Latin word “colere,” which means to cultivate, or to worship. When you understand the meaning of the word, it provides you with a better understanding of what the word represents. Culture is something people create and then “worship” as a way to feel like a part of something. Cultural anthropology aims to study cultures and how they came to form.
WHAT IS CULTURE AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
Anthropology was born in the 1850’s and grew stronger with Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) and his expansion on evolutionism, which is “the theory that all of life and the universe have developed by growth and change” (Winick 1984:196-197). According to Langness, anthropologists who followed this theory were known as evolutionists, which meant that they “believed in a theory of evolutionary stages through which they thought peoples and cultures must pass on their way to becoming ‘civilized’” (1974:293). Some anthropologists combined Darwin’s ideas with determinism, which is the idea that everything has already been determined by G-d, and they are collectively known as “early evolutionists.” Early evolutionists placed people in one of three categories: savagery (blacks), barbarianism (brown) and civilization (white). This categorization sums up the Age of Scientific Racism, a time when anthropologists used “scientific methods” to justify racism, quite well. When ...


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...87, American Anthropological Association, edited by Walter Goldschmidt.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. 1998. 10th ed. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Robbins, Richard H. 2009. Cultural Anthropology: A Problem-Based Approach. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Sanday, Peggy Reeves. 1990. Fraternity Gang Rape: Sex. Brotherhood, and Privilege on Campus. New York: New York University Press.

Tylor, Edward Burnett. [1871] 1903. Primitive Culture: Researches into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy, Religion, Language, Art and Custom, 2 vols. London: John Murray.

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2008. The Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy. Quebec City: 2008.

Winick, Charles. 1984. Dictionary of Anthropology. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Allanheld

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