Anthropological Concepts: Sex & Gender

Anthropology studies the topic of Gender. But, what is Gender? Isn’t that just if you are a male or a female? Well, yes and no.   First, there is a difference between the terms “sex” and “gender.” Sex is biological and has to do with genetics. Sex is the shape and functioning of our bodies. Sex refers to what …

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What is Cultural Knowledge?

So, in a previous blog post you learned about culture, and how culture is learned, symbolic, shared, integrated, and adaptive. Now, I’d like to introduce another concept related to culture, called cultural knowledge. Cultural knowledge includes the mental parts of culture, such as beliefs, rules, and attitudes. Cultural knowledge has 5 elements, norms, values, symbols, constructions …

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Do Different Cultures Have Things in Common?

Cultures around the world are all different. But, do different cultures have things in common? Are there some things that ALL cultures have? YES! These are called cultural universals.  If cultures are so different, then why do cultural universals exist? This is because all cultures of the world face the same problems. For example, they need …

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What Equipment Does a Cultural Anthropologist Use?

Today’s topic: What equipment does a Cultural Anthropologist use? In a previous blog post, you learned how Cultural Anthropologists do research on other cultures. You also learned about the ethical principles Anthropologists need to follow while doing research. But what equipment do Anthropologists use in their research? This blog post will describe some things that Cultural Anthropologists often …

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Anthropology Online: Anthropology of Current World Issues

Do you want to take a FREE course in Anthropology online? Check out the Anthropology of Current World Issues class on this website:  https://www.edx.org/course/anthropology-of-current-world-issues-2 This is a self-paced introductory course in Anthropology, and it starts on July 28, 2019! The course is 9 weeks long, and only takes about 2-4 hours of your time each week. …

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Anthropology Online: American Museum of Natural History

Are you interested in Anthropology, and want to see some real artifacts? You can view thousands and thousands of ethnographic and archaeological items online! There are many places to view Anthropological items online, and future blog posts will describe each one, under the title “Anthropology Online.” The focus in this post is on the American …

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7 Rules Every Anthropologist Must Follow

In the last blog post, you learned how Cultural Anthropologists do research. Anthropologists can’t just research people whenever and wherever and however they want. There are professional guidelines for Anthropologists. Here are 7 rules every Anthropologist must follow (at least in the United States). 1. Do No Harm Just as doctors take an oath to do …

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How Do Anthropologists Study Culture?

So, in previous blog posts, you learned that Cultural Anthropologists study culture. But how do they do that? There are 3 ways that Cultural Anthropologists study cultures: they study living cultures they study past cultures they compare cultures #1: Cultural Anthropologists Study Living Cultures Some Anthropologists study living cultures. This is called ethnographic fieldwork. In this kind of research, …

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What is Culture?

So, you learned in a previous blog post that Cultural Anthropologists study culture. But what exactly is culture, anyway? There is a famous definition of culture from an Anthropologist named E. B. Tylor. This is the definition of culture usually found in Anthropology textbooks: Culture is “that complex whole that which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, …

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Understanding Other Cultures. Image of a red building.

Understanding Other Cultures: Part 2

So, in the last blog post, you learned how looking at the whole situation is helpful when studying other cultures. (If you missed that post, just click here to read it.)  Here’s how Anthropologists understand other cultures: 1. Holistic perspective (Anthropologists look at the whole situation) 2. Comparative perspective (Anthropologists compare different cultures) 3. Cultural relativism perspective (Anthropologists don’t think …

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