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Introduction to Anthropology

Discuss about the anthropology.

The topic of anthropology is very wide in terms of researches and studies done on it. This is the study of humans who live all across the world, the history of those humans and their behavior as to how they adapt with the atmosphere which surrounds them and how they socialize with each other (Prasojo, 2013). This study is basically linked with the biological features which make people as humans. The studies about the humans include physiology, genetics, evolution, nutrition history and social aspects like language and culture etc.  In the anthropology of age, the understanding and disclosing is studied of the age and ageing complexity (Moore & Romney, 2002). In the gender anthropology, there comes the study of all genders like men, women and children. The anthropology related to the culture involves observation of the participant called fieldwork as this needs anthropologist to spend time in taking the surveys and the interviews to study the culture. All these three topics gender, age and culture are discussed in this report with their rationales and arguments.

Anthropologists who study biological anthropology strictly follow the tradition of studying about the development and the growth on the existence, history and early hominid populations. Also, ageing displays the era of the life cycle where there exists the minimum contribution in the evolution of population.

According to Gillian (2003), the survey was taken related to the biological anthropologists and the human biologists, and also about the ageing process. From that survey, it was found out that over course of hominid evolution, the life span of humans have increased in the most dramatic way (Ice, 2003). If checked on the algometric relations, it is estimated that the minimum lifespan is increased from 53 years from Australopithecines to 122 years for the modern humans. The expectancy of life, though, has been low as compared to the years of Australopithecines. Then the expectancy of life was 25 years or lesser than that till most of the recent centuries came into picture.


In US and in the other developed countries, the life expectancy is almost doubled if the data of the last 46 years of the century is considered like 1990 to 77 in 1997. In today’s world, the life expectancy all across the population has increased from low of 35 years in Botswana to the highest at 83 years in Andorra. Now the researcher’s debate of whether one will continue to see the increase in the life expectancy will continue (Lienard, 2-16).

Anthropology of Age

The percentage of the older adults increases with the increase in the life expectancy and the historical trends.  In today’s world, half of the world which is developed, ages above 60 years. The projections which are on the moderate level suggest that by the year 2030, one of the every third person will be over the age of 60 in developed countries. While in the developing countries, the lower expectancy and also the percentage of the adults who are at the older side is comparatively low. The people who are above 60 years of age are greater and they are growing faster as compared to the developed countries. Approximately 59% of the population which is elderly lives in the developing countries. If the data across the globe is taken out, about 8 lakhs people turn 65/month. The population of Japan is increases if the age of 65 and above people is considered. It has increased from 7% to 14% in the past 26 years and if talked about the Asian people, they are also expected to see increases in the coming near years. All this is happening rapidly (Bernardi, 2007).

In the anthropology of gender, the research offers the complicated gaze on the questions like difference and the exclusion of the population and significance in terms of the culture processes of marking the people under the humankinds.

According to the research of Sholeh Shahrokhi (1998), the anthropology early began to question the existence and the dependency of the historical accounts of savage world by the European explorers. In the late 19th Century, the armchair anthropologists were nicknamed as they used to travel as lot towards the countries which were not western societies. They were also questioned the systematic genocidal histories which occurred in the early contemporary political powers into the colonies. Then there they were names the “new world”- that was the discovery of the US in the 19th Century. The outcome of this was that it was clearly evident that for anthropology, face to f ace encounter with the primitive was very much necessary and needed. Hence, the fieldwork and ethnography was born (West et al., 2012).

After the complete century of no stability and industries, the opinion of the middle class was supported by new jobs and the speedy urbanization of life all across the world happened and swiftly became the incorporated dominant cultures in the west. Now this idea of the lifestyle brought a naïve and new values about home, family and gender division of labor and population too. The men of the modern world then got the vision of taking part in the new industries which developed them with the stable income and then the men became the breadwinners at home while women were always expected to take care of the homes and children. The women of the modern world always sought of the stability in the married life and then they would take the command of the homes and take charge at home to take care of the children. When 20th Century completely turned around, the focus went on the individual and modern education system which is amalgamated with the appearance of the adolescence as the new category of being social and this was all interlinked with the anthropological test of the family with the gender.

Anthropology of Gender


According to Banner (2003), Ruth Benedict who was a student of Franz Boas rooted the gender in the studies. Ruth actually found her won capabilities of changing the conditions in her own life and that would later result in the changing conditions of society. She was able to read the literature as it was her background and hence, she could read the culture of human diversity rather than seeking out the readable themes on the importance of values and beliefs (Mcelhinny et al., 2003).

According to Ogato (2013), the equality of the gender and empowerment of women is at the center of the development efforts in less developed countries. In other few words, with no gender equality and empowerment of women, the policy measures are very hard to make them possible for less developed countries like Ethiopia for realizing poverty reduction objectives, millennium development aims and development objectives that are sustainable. Additionally, the economic, political, economic and social empowerment policy measures are equally significant for dealing with the gender inequalities that currently exist and low women status in less developed countries and so in Ethiopia (Ogato, 2013).

In the conclusion about the anthropology of the gender, one can say that 20th Century was the actual time when people understood that they should build homes and a man should go out and women should sit back at home and take care of the children. Prior to that, there was not gender related works as there was no urbanization and even colonization existed. Also, if Ethiopia or less developed countries are considered, there is still gender equality required. While in today’s life, gender equality in the developed countries has developed a lot and Women are also given the equal rights as men. There is also Feminist anthropology in which there is study done on the women and their rights too (Klofft, 2014).

The starting of the culture was done in t he European culture and it was formulated in the terms of the cultivation of the capacities of man. It was in the time of 1650 – 1800 when the rise of the era of social, economic and intellectual changes started to occur. These changes marked the rise of the middle class self confident man in the middle ages. Before that the old society of the clergy, aristocracy and some common people began to alter when the cities actually began to grow and started becoming wealthy via their own activities of the citizenry. Till then, Europe life was getting dominated by the Roman Catholic Church who claimed and followed kindness in terms of respect to God Salvation. About the culture, Johann, who was the German Philosopher, had views which proved to be influential (Inhorn & Carmeli, 2008).

Observation of Culture through Fieldwork

According to Johann Gottfried Herder (1803), he tried to compare the cross cultures, the values of different cultures, methods of loving the life, different practices and organization which existed in the societies. He was actually committed to a new idea of liberty and the methods of workings of the reason and tried to link the human unity and the diversity of humans. He claimed that each historical era and also the civilization had a one of a kind character. He was opposite to the thesis that every civilization is the predecessor of the next and the higher one. His reason was that it was not practically possible to work with the linear conceptions about the changes in the history and progress with the comparisons of the people. He validates the diversity and the incommensurability of the civilizations at each level of the life of humans. Yet all this is not linked with the idea of the assigning of the characters to particular people and era of histories. On the other hand, the certainty of the various times and the locations with respect to constant movement and transformation of the opinions, values, practices and the institutions is not consistent with the intrinsic knowledge of people (Geertz, 1973).

Geertz and Wolf used the power and political behavior to understand the cultures of different times. The definition that he gave in 1871 was the most quoted and powerful concepts which became famous. He studies the culture of the era when the World War II ended (Eller, 2015).

According to Geertz (2006), culture was an ordered system of the elements and symbols with respect of which public define the world and show their expressions. He also said that the meanings of the symbols are rooted in the social framework in the world. The culture and the social feature of life of humans are the factors which are mutually interdependent on each other. Also, he said that the analysis if the culture is the art of decoding the meaning of the symbols (Schoenmakers, 2012).

Conclusion

Within the anthropology of the age, gender and the culture, there can be a conclusion drawn that in today’s world the urbanization has increased a lot and there are lots and lots of people who live on the planet earth. In terms of age, a conclusion can be drawn that in the developed countries, the age factor has grown and it is still developing in the countries that are less developed. Culture is one of the important things that people still carry and follow according to their traditions. Herder had different views that culture is not followed from the prior era but Geertz had the most practical thoughts on this that these are symbols and culture helps people in decoding  those symbols for communicating with other people. Similarly, in terms of gender too, equality and grown in the developed countries in between men and women while prior to that gender discrimination existed.

References

Bernardi, L., 2007. An introduction to Anthropological Demography. [Online] Available at: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2007-031.pdf [Accessed 18 July 2018].

Eller, D., 2015. Cultural Anthropology 101. ResearchGate.

Geertz, C., 1973. The Interpretation of Cultures. Basic Books.

Ice, G.H., 2003. Biological Anthropology of Aging – Past, Present and Future. Coll. Antropol, 27(1), pp.1-6.

Inhorn, M. & Carmeli, D.B., 2008. Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Culture Change. Annual Review of Anthropology, 37.

Klofft, C.P., 2014. A RATIONAL DEFENSE OF A THEOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY OF GENDER. [Online] Available at: file:///C:/Users/Nidhi%20Vyas_JPR/Downloads/523-535-Klofft.pdf [Accessed 18 July 2018].

Lienard, P., 2-16. Age Grouping and Social Complexity. Current Anthropology, 57(13).

Mcelhinny, B. et al., 2003. Gender, publication and citation in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology:The construction of a scholarly canon. Language in Society, 32, pp.299-328.

Moore, C.C. & Romney, K.A., 2002. Cultural, Gender, and Individual Differences in Perceptual and Semantic Structures of BasicColors in Chinese and English. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 2(1).

Ogato, G.S., 2013. The quest for gender equality and women’s empowerment in least developed countries: Policy and strategy implications for achieving millennium development goals in Ethiopia. International Journal of Sociology and, 5(9), pp.358-72.

Prasojo, Z.H., 2013. Introduction of Anthropology. Borneo Journal of Religious Studies, 2(2).

Schoenmakers, H., 2012. The Power of Culture. [Online] Available at: https://www.rug.nl/research/globalisation-studies-groningen/publications/researchreports/reports/powerofculture.pdf [Accessed 18 July 2018].

West, J.D. et al., 2012. The role of gender in scholarly authorship. [Online] Available at: https://www.stthomas.edu/media/centerforfacultydevelopment/pdf/TheRoleofGenderinScholarlyAuthorship.pdf [Accessed 18 July 2018].

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