Anthropology is a study of human beings, their customs, traditions and system of belief; in other words, it’s a study of human life and culture. Anthropology regards human beings as both ”“ cultural and biological organisms. It studies human beings in their present state same as in their development in the past. Anthropology is usually divided into several subfields. Physical or biological Anthropology studies human evolution, primates and forensic Anthropology. This branch of archeology is mostly centered on the way the human appearance and operation has changed through the history of the mankind. Another subfield of Anthropology is called archeology. It’s mainly preoccupied with the study of social and cultural events of the past. Its main method is excavation of artifacts and ecofacts and their study. So, it centers on events and phenomena. Linguistic Anthropology studies the development and functioning of language during different historical period. Folklore and ethnography can be regarded as the part of linguistic Anthropology or as separate branches of Anthropology. This branch of science studies also the interconnection between culture and language. Sociocultural Anthropology studies social and cultural aspects of this science. The notion of culture is very important for Anthropology as it deals very close with it. In general, under culture we understand everything obtained in the process of socialization. There are plenty definitions of culture and, depending on the definition we choose, we can approach different aspects of Anthropology.Â Due to close interconnection with culture, it’s impossible to be called a cultured person without any knowledge of Anthropology.Â The knowledge of Anthropology is very important for living in multicultural society. Anthropology also gives necessary knowledge about the development of the society.
Anthropology can be helpful for everyone who is interested in the fundamental ontological questions about the origins of human race, its evolution and future perspectives. There are people who consider that the study of the past isn’t helpful and takes us away from the present moment. I disagree with such an opinion, as I believe that only through the detailed study of the past we can understand our present. Linguistic Anthropology can give explanations to the appearance of language in general and language diversity in particular. It can also answer the question about the origins of human communication and the structure of human language.Â So, learning the subject is crucially important for everybody who deals with language and it’s hard to imagine a profession, which doesn’t require at least basic language skills.
What is notable about Anthropology is that it can give a better understanding of the inner nature of each personality through the study of human history in general.
The world changes and the concept of Anthropology changes too. The temps of development are so rapid that sometimes it’s hard to follow them. Every day a couple of new sciences appear. At the same time a number of sciences declines and become unnecessary. With the development of technological progress and world tendency to globalization the question about the relevance of Anthropology arises. There is an opinion that this science is going to decline and there are several arguments to support this thesis. First of all there are less and less unexplored areas on the Earth where archeological investigations are possible. Pessimists believe that all great discoveries have already been made and the minor quality of undiscovered can bring nothing new to human knowledge. It’s also hard to imagine the work of ethnographies or folklorists in the remote areas as the development of communication and transport system have practically swept away all the boundaries. I can’t agree with those who don’t believe in the future of Anthropology. I agree with Mary Womack, who states that “it’s important that we know the full range of human possibilities. Otherwise, we might come to think that the way we live at any given point in time is the only way to live” (Womack, p. 7). Since Anthropology had to deal with the study of evolutionary processes and other processes of changes, it’s ready to meet new changeable conditions of the world like no other science. For centuries Anthropology studies different cultures and their interaction. It treated them as the one whole subject of research. Mankind has reached this point of development only now and the process called globalization unites different cultures and societies.Â Hopefully, in the 21st century Anthropology will enter its new era. If in the nineteenth century it was only formed a subject of study and in the twentieth century it was centered on the study of separate social groups, in the twenty first century it must come to a new level and become cross-cultural and international science.
Division into different branches is comparatively new for Anthropology. If we regard it as a one science, we will find out that Anthropology combines three the most important branches of human existence in one whole. It studies human language, thoughts and culture, their interconnection and dependence. Anthropology gives a unique opportunity to trace not only how the individuals grew through their personal development but also describes the role surrounding has played in this development (Bohannan, 1992).Â Â Looking for different aspects of human evolution, culture and languages, Anthropology discovers things which are truly universal and don’t depend on race, ethnicity, place of living, gender, etc. “A key aim of Anthropology is to understand the common constraints within which human beings operate as well as the differences which are evident between particular societies and cultures.”(Peacock, 1986, p. 78).
These discoveries are very important in the epoch of integration when scientists of different things are looking for the things that could unite all the people.
So, Anthropology is still alive and it develops with the flow of time to meet the changing requirements of the changing surrounding. This science grows and opens new perspectives for study and research. Some fields of Anthropology exist in close connection with other sciences, such as biology, history, linguistics, cultural studies, etc. it’s hard to find another science, which would fully center on the human race in general and human individual in particular. The scale of research is so deep and many-sided that the data obtained can answer the most demanding needs and answer the most sophisticated questions.