Cultural anthropology

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Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans.wikipedia
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Anthropology

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Cultural anthropology is a branch of anthropology focused on the study of cultural variation among humans. Cultural relativism is a principle that was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas and later popularized by his students.
Social anthropology studies patterns of behaviour and cultural anthropology studies cultural meaning, including norms and values.

Social anthropology

social anthropologistsocialsocial anthropologists
It is in contrast to social anthropology, which perceives cultural variation as a subset of the anthropological constant.
Social anthropology is the dominant constituent of anthropology throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and much of Europe (France in particular), where it is distinguished from cultural anthropology.

Participant observation

participant observerparticipant-observationparticipant-observer
Cultural anthropology has a rich methodology, including participant observation (often called fieldwork because it requires the anthropologist spending an extended period of time at the research location), interviews, and surveys.
It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly cultural anthropology, European ethnology, sociology, communication studies, human geography and social psychology.

Trans-cultural diffusion

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Some, like Grafton Elliot Smith, argued that different groups must have learned from one another somehow, however indirectly; in other words, they argued that cultural traits spread from one place to another, or "diffused".
In cultural anthropology and cultural geography, cultural diffusion, as conceptualized by Leo Frobenius in his 1897/98 publication Der westafrikanische Kulturkreis, is the spread of cultural items—such as ideas, styles, religions, technologies, languages—between individuals, whether within a single culture or from one culture to another.

Ethnology

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In addressing this question, ethnologists in the 19th century divided into two schools of thought.
Ethnology (from the, ethnos meaning "nation") is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationships between them (compare cultural, social, or sociocultural anthropology).

Edward Burnett Tylor

Edward TylorE. B. TylorEdward B. Tylor
One of the earliest articulations of the anthropological meaning of the term "culture" came from Sir Edward Tylor who writes on the first page of his 1871 book: "Culture, or civilization, taken in its broad, ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."
Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (2 October 1832 – 2 January 1917) was an English anthropologist, the founder of cultural anthropology.

Feminist anthropology

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Research in kinship studies often crosses over into different anthropological subfields including medical, feminist, and public anthropology.
Feminist anthropology is a four-field approach to anthropology (archeological, biological, cultural, linguistic) that seeks to transform research findings, anthropological hiring practices, and the scholarly production of knowledge, using insights from feminist theory.

Culture

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One of the earliest articulations of the anthropological meaning of the term "culture" came from Sir Edward Tylor who writes on the first page of his 1871 book: "Culture, or civilization, taken in its broad, ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society."
Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture.

Margaret Mead

Dr. Margaret MeadMead, MargaretMead
This was most obvious in the 'Culture and Personality' studies carried out by younger Boasians such as Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict.
Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s.

Psychological anthropology

Culture and Personalitycognitive and psychological anthropologycognitive anthropology
Structuralism also influenced a number of developments in 1960s and 1970s, including cognitive anthropology and componential analysis.
Psychological anthropology is an interdisciplinary subfield of anthropology that studies the interaction of cultural and mental processes.

Ronald Daus

Analyses of large human concentrations in big cities, in multidisciplinary studies by Ronald Daus, show how new methods may be applied to the understanding of man living in a global world and how it was caused by the action of extra-European nations, so highlighting the role of Ethics in modern anthropology.
Focusing on «extra-European cities, predominantly in the Southern hemisphere», introducing new study objects in the traditional science of Romania, innovating in cultural anthropology, ethnology and sociology in the areas of popular culture, urban human settlements and architecture, Daus is responsible for «new approaches to excel old theories», contributing for a better understanding of contemporary world».

Ethnography

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Although 19th-century ethnologists saw "diffusion" and "independent invention" as mutually exclusive and competing theories, most ethnographers quickly reached a consensus that both processes occur, and that both can plausibly account for cross-cultural similarities.
Cultural anthropology and social anthropology were developed around ethnographic research and their canonical texts, which are mostly ethnographies: e.g. Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922) by Bronisław Malinowski, Ethnologische Excursion in Johore (1875) by Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) by Margaret Mead, The Nuer (1940) by E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Naven (1936, 1958) by Gregory Bateson, or "The Lele of the Kasai" (1963) by Mary Douglas.

Structural functionalism

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Cultural anthropology also consistently uses functionalism.

Victor Turner

Victor Witter TurnerAwardThe Forest of Symbols
Prominent British symbolic anthropologists include Victor Turner and Mary Douglas.
Victor Witter Turner (28 May 1920 – 18 December 1983) was a British cultural anthropologist best known for his work on symbols, rituals, and rites of passage.

Cognitive anthropology

cognitive anthropologist
Cognitive anthropology is an approach within cultural anthropology and biological anthropology in which scholars seek to explain patterns of shared knowledge, cultural innovation, and transmission over time and space using the methods and theories of the cognitive sciences (especially experimental psychology and cognitive psychology) often through close collaboration with historians, ethnographers, archaeologists, linguists, musicologists and other specialists engaged in the description and interpretation of cultural forms.

Multimodal anthropology

Multimodal anthropology is an emerging subfield of social cultural anthropology that encompasses anthropological research and knowledge production across multiple traditional and new media platforms and practices including film, video, photography, theatre, design, podcast, mobile apps, interactive games, web-based social networking, immersive 360 video and augmented reality.

Transpersonal anthropology

Transpersonal anthropology is a subdiscipline of cultural anthropology and transpersonal studies.

Medical anthropology

medical anthropologistmedical anthropologistsCertificate in Medical Anthropology
Research in kinship studies often crosses over into different anthropological subfields including medical, feminist, and public anthropology.
It is one of the most highly developed areas of anthropology and applied anthropology, and is a subfield of social and cultural anthropology that examines the ways in which culture and society are organized around or influenced by issues of health, health care and related issues.

A. L. Kroeber

Alfred L. KroeberAlfred KroeberAlfred Louis Kroeber
His first generation of students included Alfred Kroeber, Robert Lowie, Edward Sapir and Ruth Benedict, who each produced richly detailed studies of indigenous North American cultures.
Alfred Louis Kroeber (June 11, 1876 – October 5, 1960) was an American cultural anthropologist.

Anthropology of media

mass mediaMedia anthropology
Anthropology of media (also anthropology of mass media, media anthropology) is an area of study within social or cultural anthropology that emphasizes ethnographic studies as a means of understanding producers, audiences, and other cultural and social aspects of mass media.

Franz Boas

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Cultural relativism is a principle that was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas and later popularized by his students.
At both Columbia and the AAA, Boas encouraged the "four-field" concept of anthropology; he personally contributed to physical anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, as well as cultural anthropology.

Ralph Linton

Boas had planned for Ruth Benedict to succeed him as chair of Columbia's anthropology department, but she was sidelined by Ralph Linton, and Mead was limited to her offices at the AMNH.
While in the Pacific, his focus shifted from archaeology to cultural anthropology, although he would retain a keen interest in material culture and 'primitive' art throughout his life.

Anthropology of religion

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European "social anthropologists" focused on observed social behaviors and on "social structure", that is, on relationships among social roles (for example, husband and wife, or parent and child) and social institutions (for example, religion, economy, and politics).
In the 19th century, cultural anthropology was dominated by an interest in cultural evolution; most anthropologists assumed that there was a simple distinction between "primitive" and "modern" religion and tried to provide accounts of how the former evolved into the latter.

Sociology

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Others, such as Claude Lévi-Strauss (who was influenced both by American cultural anthropology and by French Durkheimian sociology), have argued that apparently similar patterns of development reflect fundamental similarities in the structure of human thought (see structuralism).
While early theorists such as Durkheim and Mauss were influential in cultural anthropology, sociologists of culture are generally distinguished by their concern for modern (rather than primitive or ancient) society.

Race (human categorization)

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Boas believed that the sweep of cultures, to be found in connection with any sub-species, is so vast and pervasive that there cannot be a relationship between culture and race.
As anthropologists and other evolutionary scientists have shifted away from the language of race to the term population to talk about genetic differences, historians, cultural anthropologists and other social scientists re-conceptualized the term "race" as a cultural category or social construct, i.e., a way among many possible ways in which a society chooses to divide its members into categories.