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Gary Larson's "Anthropologists! Anthropologists!" Cartoon

Closely study The Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson. Based on what you've read in the text and the websites, discuss how the cartoon relates to anthropology.

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Solution Preview

Here are some points that come to mind when I study this cartoon by Gary Larson.

The cartoon is a humorous depiction that speaks to the history of what the general public thinks of when the term anthropology is used. In short, it is my perception that many individuals believe that an anthropologist is simply an ethnographer that seeks to learn as much about "primitive" cultures as possible. The idea that an anthropologist is concerned only with cultural anthropology is unfair, as the discipline of anthropology also includes biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology and archaeology.

Moreover, I believe that the general public enjoys the romanticized idea of a Western anthropologist encountering a tribe that has been previously isolated from all other human contact. If a group of people were truly isolated from other humans, then their culture can be seen as "pure" or undisturbed by outside influence. From this line of thinking, it is easy to ascribe value to the work of the anthropologist, as recording all facets of this untouched culture are extremely ...

Solution Summary

This solution, consisting of over 650 words, discusses Gary Larson's classic "Anthropologists! Anthropologists!" cartoon. The perspective of both the anthropologists and the studied subjects are considered.