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Cultural Anthropology

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Yet powerful questions which can reveal the ideas, notions, beliefs, perceptions and outlook about life of the people dwelling in a particular society. This is very important for an areas which is under long term study and is valid for measuring changing that have occurred in that area over time.Cultural Anthropologists mostly do rely on field based research for ethnographic writings. They continue to hover in the libraries, local churches and schools and even investigate the grave yards, trying to decode the ancient transcripts to dig historical information about the particular civilization which is under study. This is why cultural anthropologists are being criticized more as collectors than systematizers.Cultural anthropologists make use of immense ethnographic data by analyzing, collating, classifying and interpreting it. During their field research, the anthropologists are joined by the local areas researchers. At times, these research studies provide anthropologist a chance to do experiments with the changing cultures and modernization, as they try to find how an old culture evolved into a new one.As ethnographic methods of research are modernized, anthropologists started to focus more on the phenomenological approach of field work, paying less attention to aspects like culture, values and ethnics. They wanted to find more about the cultural elements in the society rather than just the doings of people.For example Clifford Geertz used this technique in this field works. He studied a group of people amongst whom winking was a communicative gesture. He first tried finding what winking exactly means, as it may associate with many meanings. Then he found that in which context the winking gesture was used and whether the meaning of this gesture remains the same through out the region.This way, anthropologists can use and determine which gestures (instead of verbal communication only) are used through out the regions and what do they mean. Clifford moved out of the typical way of doing ethnographic research and concentrated on “webs” rather than outlines of cultures.Today, the trend of analyzing and research done in anthropology is fast growing and has become the backbone of multi-sited ethnography. Anthropologists are showing less interest in comparing cultures instead, are generalizing the human behaviors and nature or discovering universal laws of cultural developments. They, than understand the particular culture in that culture’s
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preview essay on Cultural Anthropology
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Ph.D.
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