Anthropology is a subject which studies humans and their societies, both past and present. Furthermore, anthropology investigates societies which exist all around the world in order to learn the cultural diversity which exists within the human race.
Anthropologists are interested in understanding the biological and social differences which are present across different cultural groups. Furthermore, anthropologists also investigate how different human abilities such as linguistics, have progressed across the world, in different civilizations.
Generally, anthropology is split into four main areas which are: sociocultural anthropology, archaeological anthropology, biological (or physical) anthropology and linguistic anthropology.¹ All of these four areas vary in terms of their main research focus:
- Sociocultural anthropology: Involves analyzing the main differences and similarities between various societies, with a focus on understanding the social characteristics which exists within different groups (such as race, sex and ethnicity).
- Archaeological anthropology: This involves using material remains to study past societies and their cultures.
- Biological (or physical) anthropology: Biological anthropologists study how humans are able to survive different environments, how different cultures develop, the behaviour of different cultures and how diseases travel within communities, among other things.
- Linguistic anthropology: This form of anthropology specifically studies the different features of languages and tries to identify how language influences societal structure within different cultures.
1. American Anthropological Association. What is Anthropology? Retrieved May 2, 2014, from http://www.aaanet.org/about/whatisanthropology.cfm