Mythic Field: Cultural Anthropology
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CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Cultural anthropology is hallmarked by the concept of culture itself. While many definitions of “culture” have been offered and discussed in the academic literature for 100 years, a simple, yet complete definition of culture is “the knowledge people use to live their lives and the way in which they do so” (Handwerker 2002). The National Park Service uses an equally simple definition of culture in its guidelines for cultural resource management: “a system of behaviors (including economic, religious, and social), beliefs (values, ideologies), and social arrangements.”Cultural anthropology is distinguished by the research methods employed in the study of human cultures. First among a wide suite of qualitative and quantitative methods is “participant observation,” a practice of living and participating within a community and gaining a deep understanding of the cultural system by active first-hand experience and participation in daily life...
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Cultural anthropology is hallmarked by the concept of culture itself. While many definitions of “culture” have been offered and discussed in the academic literature for 100 years, a simple, yet complete definition of culture is “the knowledge people use to live their lives and the way in which they do so” (Handwerker 2002). The National Park Service uses an equally simple definition of culture in its guidelines for cultural resource management: “a system of behaviors (including economic, religious, and social), beliefs (values, ideologies), and social arrangements.”Cultural anthropology is distinguished by the research methods employed in the study of human cultures. First among a wide suite of qualitative and quantitative methods is “participant observation,” a practice of living and participating within a community and gaining a deep understanding of the cultural system by active first-hand experience and participation in daily life...
Etymologically, anthropology is the science of humans. In fact, however, it is only one of the sciences of humans, bringing together those disciplines the common aims of which are to describe human beings and explain them on the basis of the biological and cultural characteristics of the populations among which they are distributed and to emphasize, through time, the differences and variations of these populations. The concept of race, on the one hand, and that of culture, on the other, have received special attention; and although their meaning is still subject to debate, these terms are doubtless the most common of those in the anthropologist’s vocabulary...
‘Social’ and ‘cultural’ anthropology overlap to a considerable extent. There is no hard-and-fast distinction between them, although there are differences of emphasis. Very broadly, the term ‘cultural anthropology’ relates to an approach – particularly prominent in the US and associated with the work of pioneers such as Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict – which stresses the coherence of cultures, including their rules of behaviour, language, material creations and ideas about the world – and the need to understand each in its own terms. ‘Social anthropology’ on the other hand has mainly developed within Britain since the early years of the 20th century. Historically, it has been heavily influenced by intellectual traditions coming from continental Europe, especially from France. Its tendency is to emphasise social institutions and their interrelationships...
Cultural Anthropology (known as Social Anthropology in Great Britain) is one of the four branches of general anthropology, the primary focus being the study of human culture. In this context, culture can deal with a host of subjects, such as, but not limited to, religion, mythology, art, music, government systems, social structures and hierarchies, family dynamics, traditions and customs, as well as cuisine, economy, and relationship to the environment...
Cultural Anthropology (known as Social Anthropology in Great Britain) is one of the four branches of general anthropology, the primary focus being the study of human culture. In this context, culture can deal with a host of subjects, such as, but not limited to, religion, mythology, art, music, government systems, social structures and hierarchies, family dynamics, traditions and customs, as well as cuisine, economy, and relationship to the environment...
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