Essay, Research Paper: Anthropologists


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Anthropologists trace the origin and evolutionary development of the human race
through the study of changing physical characteristics and cultural and social
institutions. Anthropological data, including that acquired by archeological
techniques, may be applied to solving problems in human relations such as race
and ethnic relations and education. People have always been interested in their
past history. Although anthropology dates back to Aristotle, it is a commonly
accepted fact that it became an established science during the Victorian era or
the era of exploration. Anthropology has developed slowly since then with little
real development until the 1930's when the use of applied anthropological
research began to be stresssed by a number of various governments. Prior to the
19th century, anthropologists relied primarily on facts gathered from travelers'
reports and documents received from other nonprofessional observers. During the
early years of this century Scandinavian archaeologists developed a new approach
to artifacts. C.J. Thomsen classified the material on the basis of three
successive technological ages of stone, bronze, and iron. Then by the 20th
century, much stress has been placed on actual exploration by trained
anthropologists. Anthropologists constitute the smallest group of social
scientists, yet they cover teh widest range of subject matter. Cultural
anthropology, the area in which the greatest number of anthropologists
specialize, deals with human behavior, both past and present, as well as the
beliefs people hold in relation to religion, language, and many other areas. To
study this effectively, cultural anthropologists often work with smaller, less
complex, and perhaps more easily understood societies including teh tribal
societis of Asia. Physical anthropologists are concerned primarily with the
biology of human groups. They study the differences between the members of past
and present human societies and are particularly interested in the geographical
distribution of human physical characteristics.

Cover, Lois. Anthropology For Our Times. New York: Oxford Book Company, 1971.
Hopke, William. The Encyclopedia of Careers. Illinois: J.G. Ferguson Publishing
Company, 1984. Grolier Encyclopedia. Computer software. Grolier Electronic
Publications, Inc., 1993. IBM, 128k, CD-ROM.

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