What is applied anthropology and how can it be applied to almost every facet of society? The answer is obvious when we look at what the field of anthropology encompasses. Anthropology, as defined by the American Anthropological Association is, “the study of humans, past and present.” In the United States, anthropologists are educated in one of the four areas, sociocultural anthropology, biological/physical anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics. Active within these four subfields is Applied Anthropology, which is the application of the method and theory of an anthropological subfield to the analysis and solution of real world situations and practical problems. Anthropology’s field is the wide is the wide array of human social experience.
Perhaps the most ubiquitous subset in anthropology is the socio-cultural subfield of sociocultural anthropology. This branch analyzes social patterns and customs across cultures. Focusing in particular on how people from different cultures live and their respective societal organization. Sociocultural anthropologists observe societies as a whole entity but break it down into smaller subsections including nationality, race, sexuality, gender and class then look at how these sections work in conjunction to create the entire society. These are the anthropologists which come to my mind when I conjure up a mental image of anthropology, the researcher who “goes-native” immersing themself into a society to gain firsthand knowledge of a distant culture. They learn how a society handles their everyday problems and what is of importance. Some of the areas which this branch of anthropology is concerned with are health, education, agriculture and work.
The application of anthropology in the sociocult...
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Kedia, Satish, and Willigen J. Van (2005). Applied Anthropology: Domains of Application. Westport, Conn: Praeger. pp. 16, 150.
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