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NT Anthropology Essay Example

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NT Anthropology

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A historical angle and as a subject that delves into the lifestyles of various peoples from all over the world, the earliest reference to this subject may be found in the writings of Herodotus, the 5th century Greek Historian. Herodotus has given accurate and insightful details of the life of the peoples who lived in the Greek colonies around the Mediterranean and North Africa. These descriptions of the indigenous populations can be considered as the first ethnographic anthropological studies to have been documented.It was during the 19th century when men began to question themselves about their evolution and adaptation to different geographical and political cultures that anthropology came into the limelight. This was the time during the rapid industrialization in North America and Europe, that saw mass migrations of populations from rural to urban areas which were aided or supported by advanced communication and transport facilities. Industrialized nations were indulging in a frenzied spree of colonization, which led scholars of social sciences to work towards the understanding of these new changes taking place in all spheres of the society. With industrialization came the new socialist ideology, which had been earlier propounded by thinkers such as Rousseau and Henri de Saint Simon (1760-1825), and could be seen in the works of the Neo-Hegelians in Germany.Charles Darwin with his revolutionary theory of natural selection in 1859 set scholars thinking about the reasons behind the success of certain species in the chain of evolution. This theory spawned biological as well as cultural debates on the primacy of man in the given environment. The leading anthropologists at the dawn of this discipline were mostly British, who studied the different cultures of their colonies, or Americans, who had a highly mixed society. These practitioners of anthropology propounded the “psychic unity of mankind”. They followed the principles of Social Darwinism, propagated by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) and believed in the “psychic unity of mankind”. This theory laid emphasis on the fact that humans everywhere had the same potential and that the differences inherited from our ancestors were almost negligible.On the other hand, psychologists on the Continent followed in the footsteps of Kant and Hegel. They based their studies on society as an autonomous being, which needed to be examined on its own terms and not in relation to the methods employed by

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Thomas Hylland Eriksen & Finn Sivert Nielsen. A History of Anthropology. Chapter 2. Victorians, Germans and a Frenchman

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preview essay on NT Anthropology
  • Pages: 15 (3750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Unsorted
  • Level: Masters
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