Sociocultural Anthropology

Taking into consideration anthropology as a science, it is obvious that this is a study of human beings in their past and present. In order to understand cultural diversity all over the world anthropologists have to study, compare and contrast social, physical, and other features typical for people located on a definite territory and conducting a definite lifestyle. Historically the study of anthropology concludes the following areas: sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Sociocultural anthropology, in particular, deals with social patterns and practices within the culture and is comparing and contrasting them. The main focus is laid upon the way people organize their life, manage their duties, perform their functions and govern their lives in general:

A hallmark of sociocultural anthropology is its concern with similarities and differences, both within and among societies, and its attention to race, sexuality, class, gender, and nationality (Givens, 2010).

In addition, the topics of observation in sociocultural anthropology include notions of health, work, ecology, environment, education, agriculture and development as well as social change. In contrast, biological anthropology, as a branch of science, studies how people do adapt to diverse environments; it also deals directly with biological and cultural processes, studies their work and interrelation in order to understand behaviour, development, and process of aging followed by death. Moreover, biological anthropologists are interested greatly in human biological origins as well as their evolution. In order to understand all processes causing evolutionary changes, it is required to research other primates specifications, biology and genetics of living populations and prehistoric people as well. Concerning archaeology as a branch of anthropology, it is obvious that archaeology is also involved directly in the process of study of peoples and their culture through the years; however, its main specific feature consists in study of material remains. Thus, archaeologists research artifacts and evidence of prehistoric life through landscapes and architecture. In particular, materials for study usually include pottery remains, both human and animal bones, signs of grouping and interactions within the group and the environment in general:

Like other areas of anthropology, archaeology is a comparative discipline; it assumes basic human continuities over time and place, but also recognizes that every society is the product of its own particular history and that within every society there are commonalities as well as variation (Givens, 2010).

Due to the fact that people are social creatures, there is no doubt that they cannot but live without language as a way of communication. Obviously, the first linguistic patterns of prehistoric people differed greatly from those we have and widely use nowadays; however, despite the nature of language (verbal/non-verbal) it still remains a key function and requirement for people wherever they are. In scientific words, linguistic anthropology appears to be a comparative study of language; particularly the ways how it reflects and what influence it has in a social life of people:

It explores the many ways in which language practices define patterns of communication, formulate categories of social identity and group membership, …
Posted by: Shaquana Strahl

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