Cultural Anthropology: Exploring Human Societies and Traditions

Subject: Psychology
Type: Definition Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1274
Topics: Human Nature, Anthropology, Human Development

Part 1

Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, came up with the Darwinism theory. The theory is credited with helping people to understand the process of evolution. Charles Darwin explained evolution as any change in the allele’s frequency within a population from one generation to another. However, scientists argue that Darwin’s definition of evolution was in a micro-evolutionary context. Scientists have come up with their definition of evolution by terming evolution as, “change in properties of groups of organism over a period of generations” (Gamlin, 2009). This definition of evolution embraces everything from the smallest changes in proportions of different gene forms within a population to alteration that was led by the earliest organisms which include dinosaurs and humans. Research has been going on to determine and understand evolution, and this has led to important developments in many industrial and scientific fields.

Part 2

Physical anthropology is a branch of anthropology that deals with diversity, origin, and the evolution of people. Physical anthropologists have worked on; non-human primate and human evolution, biological bases of the behavior of humans, and the human variation citing the significance of the variation. Physical anthropologists endeavor on studying the past population of fossils, and therefore their research shed light on the nature of human anatomy transformation and their behavior in the course of evolution (Strickberger, 2005). However, non-human primates have provided the anthropologists with a wide framework of the study. The anthropologists have used biomechanical analysis and comparative morphology to provide clues on evolution and functional significance of skeletal and muscular complexities that may have been as a result of adaptation.

Part 3

Physical anthropologists have used the chimpanzee genome project in their bid to understand evolution. Chimpanzees are seen to be the closest living relatives of the modern humans, and therefore the chimpanzee genome is believed to hold information about human’s recent biology and history. The chimpanzee genome is believed to have produced major insights into the understanding of the mechanism of evolution when coupled with the human genome. The initial objective of chimpanzee genome sequencing project was to give a draft sequence for a chimpanzee that was male (Gamlin, 2009). Physical anthropologists have used this sequence in comparison with the human genome to see the relationship between the chimpanzee and the humans. The chimpanzee project has produced huge collections of nucleotides between and within central and western chimpanzee populations. The nucleotides have provided a genetic backdrop, which has enabled the study of human population evolution. For comparisons purposes, it important to use animals that belong to the same species. Analyzing the anatomy of chimpanzees is important because there is some comparison with humans. The composition of genes is the most important factor in studying human genome.

Part 4

Cultural anthropology is a major division of anthropology, which deals with the study of culture. Cultural anthropology uses concepts and data’s of ethnology, archaeology, ethnography, linguistics, and folklore in analyzing and describing people’s diversity in the world. There is a huge relation between cultural anthropology and linguistics. On a practical level, cultural anthropologists are required to serve linguistic apprenticeship because cultural anthropology has often been used in the concepts of linguistics and also studying the systems of communication in the society (Strickberger, 2005). There is a strong link between evolution and history, which is important because cultural anthropology was initially based on an evolution point of view. Cultural anthropology has participated in the reconstruction of the cultural history of societies that lacks historical records and written documents. Cultural anthropology has made suggestions that the new technique of historian’s research is based on the criticism and analysis of oral tradition.

Part 5

Biological anthropology- anthropologists use this in order to study biological evolution and variations as they seek to explain and document the partnering of variations that are biological among the human population, provide comparative perspectives on the uniqueness of humans by placing the human species in context of living primates, and trace the evolution of humans through time in the fossil records.

Social-cultural anthropology- in this subdivision anthropologists mainly deal with the political economy, kinship, and other social dimensions. The anthropologists conduct their research in many ways, but the most appropriate discipline is field work which is solely based on participant observation. Social-cultural anthropology requires anthropologists to live with the community they are studying to understand their ways and customs as they aim to understand how the society works (Gamlin, 2009). With the deep knowledge that the anthropologists gain about the locals, it is possible for them to make comparisons across different societies and end up drawing broader hypotheses about the human life.

Part 6

Language, communication, and culture have a served a unique hallmark in the human species. Although most of the species communicate in limited ways, only humans can construct a full narrative of the events that are occurring and live under a certain cultural norm. Studies by anthropologist have shown that the language control of humans has led to social coordination and tool making which. This has enabled humans to achieve domination over nature and all creatures. Linguistic and cultural anthropologists see language to be among the key areas of evolutionary events in humans and tool making during the stone-age period. Accumulated evidence has increasingly supported the language technological hypotheses. Technological pedagogy hypothesis proposes that language and cultural demonstrations could provide sufficient evidence on evolution using vocal communication (Gamlin, 2009). This hypothesis views pedagogy as the key factor in cognitive and hominin brain evolution. However, linguistic anthropologists are yet to fully understand the contribution of language to evolution as studies are yet to reveal the on the lower Paleolithic tool making.

Part 7

Physical archaeology is also known as biological anthropology because it deals with human and other primates’ evolution, adaptation, and variability. By the using the evolutionary perspective physical form is examined and how the humans can reproduce and survive. Physical anthropology is a subfield of anthropology. Physical anthropology gained its full momentum as a field of specialty through the work of Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin provided a conceptual framework and information that allowed for more formal ways of studying the primate and human development.

Cultural anthropology can also be termed as archaeology since it involves the study of human cultures. Therefore, cultural anthropology is fully determined on the course of human development and the culture (Gamlin, 2009). Things tell how people develop verbal and written communication, and how they lived. However, cultural anthropology is a subfield of anthropology that came to rise with the European exploration that led to the finding of ancient and spectacular natures

Part 8

Evolution is the change in the species characteristics over several generals, and it heavily relies on the process of natural selection. The theory of human evolution is based on the idea that all species are related, but they gradually change over a period. Therefore, by the presence of genetic variations the primates’ physical characteristics are affected. Some of the characteristics may include advantage over other species, and individuals and these advantages are passed to the next offspring. According to most anthropological theories, evolution occurs so that living organisms can adapt to new environment. Evolution offers a chance to most animals to survive harsh conditions and in the process their genetic composition changes to adapt to these new conditions so that in future the animals will not have problems. In evolution, the genetic composition is affected, and the change is pat from one offspring to another. Evolution does not affect animals only, but plants are also affected depending on the environment.

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  1. Strickberger, Monroe W. Evolution. Jones and Bartlett, 2005.
  2. Gamlin, Linda. Evolution. New York, 2009.
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