Anthropology and Social Work Essay

Anthropology and Social Work Essay

Length: 2689 words (7.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Anthropology and Social Work

Anthropologists like myself try to figure out
why present day humans are the way they are.
Meredith F. Small Female Choices

Who are we? How old is the human species? Where did we come from? What do we believe and why? Is our own culture the epitome of civilization? What is reality? How have we arrived at a position where destroying the earth doesn't bother us very much? These, and many, many more are the questions that drive anthropologists to study human beings and our interactions. In fact, the presence of a driving question is the seed that creates anthropologists, as we will soon see.

Anthropology is the study of humanity. As one might suspect, given the scope of the questions in the previous paragraph, anthropology is a broad field with many subfields (or methods) of gathering information. Let's look at some of these areas of study, the methodology for each discipline, and a few of the specialists and their research.

According to James Spradley (1979) in The Ethnographic Interview, ethnology is "the study of culture" (pg. iii). On the surface, this would seem the simplest of tasks. However most of us are unaware that we are wearing Kant's irremovable glasses' when it comes to viewing other cultures­our own personal biases and beliefs are fully intact. This ethnocentric viewpoint (defined by John Bodley as "the tendency to evaluate other cultures in reference to one's own presumably superior culture"2) is the biggest stumbling block to understanding other cultures and recognizing their own inherent value. The aim of the good ethnographer is to take off the glasses of ethnocentrism as often as possible and learn from other people what their world is like.

In order to ...

... middle of paper ...

...1989). Yuqui: Forest nomads in a changing world. Orlando: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Public Broadcasting Service (Producer). Millennium series: Inventing reality [Videotape].

Rosenthal,E. (1991, December). The forgotten female. Discover 22­27.

RuppelShell,E. (1991, December). Flesh & bone. Discover 37­42.

Small, M. F. (1993). Female choices: Sexual behavior of female primates. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Spradley, J.P. (1979). The ethnographic interview. Orlando: Hartcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Struever, S. & Holton, F. A. (1979). Koster: Americans in search of their prehistoric past. Garden City: Anchor Press/ Doubleday.

Stuart, G. E. & McMananon, F. P. (1996). Archaeology & you. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society.

Zastrow, C. (1996). Introduction to social work and social welfare (6th ed.). Pacific Grove: BrookslCole Publishing.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Theory Of Sociology And Its Structure And Problems Essay

- Sociology is defined as the study of society, and its structure and problems. The concept of sociology supports many of the welfare systems that are in place in the UK today. As a subject, it deals with topics such as gender, race and class, and how these relates to society as a whole. Students will deal with big questions, like, crime and punishment and class structure, and carry out research on everything from human rights to social change. Sociology is a scientific study of human behaviour, how it was created, organised and developed and what it may be like in the future....   [tags: Sociology, Anthropology, Social work, Psychology]

Powerful Essays
927 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Cultural Anthropology : Culture And Religion

- Cultural anthropology has taught me a lot in such a short time. This class has been very eye opening to me and has made me think more about the different cultures around me and just how important it is to learn about them. One of the things I have learned is how religion is related to culture. Culture is behaviors of a community such as the food they make, the music they listen to, and the rituals they take part in. This can be very similar to religion because a culture is based off of their religious beliefs....   [tags: Culture, Anthropology, Sociology]

Powerful Essays
784 words (2.2 pages)

The Implications Of Social Work Essay

- Implications for Social Work Because of my culture, it has allowed for me to be more understanding of those that are different from me. The recognition of what it is to be different from what normal American culture may look like has brought forth a new and deeper level of empathy without even realizing. Growing up in a diverse area where my group of friends came from a wide variety of backgrounds has helped me to see the similarities we share as well as getting more acquainted and understanding of why certain groups do the things that they do....   [tags: Culture, Sociology, The Culture, Anthropology]

Powerful Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

Cultural Anthropology : Sociology, Intervention, And Policy Development ( Gwynne Pp )

- ... Throughout the readings in class, intervention has come up in a lot of them such as in the article by Feng. According to Gwynne intervention is “the explicit, hands on attempt to foster positive social, economic, or political change through direct action” (pp.8). Feng talks about how the Chinese government is trying to increase tourism, with the help of Phoenix Ancient Town Tourism (PATT), in regards of helping their economy. Feng had visited the Fenghuang County in 2002 before the tourism boom and mentioned that it was peaceful and the “perfect getaway place where people could experience a slow and laid back traditional lifestyle” (Feng pp....   [tags: Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural anthropology]

Powerful Essays
1613 words (4.6 pages)

History, Anthropology, And Cultural Anthropology Essay

- Anthropology encompasses four main aspects in the field: archaeology, linguistics, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. All four areas must collect data and find a way to interpret the data collected. Data is then interpreted with the use of theories. The data would be useless to any anthropologist without any meaning. Theory helps an anthropologist choose what data to collect and how to interpret the results. Authors McGee and Warms assert that theory “helps us think about who and what we are as human beings,” (2)....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Sociology]

Powerful Essays
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Contemporary Theories On Religious Anthropology Essay

- In the third chapter of the Scupin book, contemporary theories on Religious Anthropology are discussed. Unlike both the Rational and Antirationalist of the past, contemporary theorist attempted to gain a more empirical understanding of religion. Leading the fight against the 19th century unilinear evolutionists was Franz Boss. Boss focused his studies with the Kwakiutl tribe in Canada, and he focused on the importance of field work. He was outspokenly critical of past anthropologists claiming that their “arm chair” tendencies lead to falsified data and forged conclusions....   [tags: Anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Culture]

Powerful Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Anthropology and Gender Essay

- Though women have played an integral part in the history of the discipline of anthropology, it was not until the early 1970’s that the field of anthropology and gender, or feminist anthropology emerged. Sex and gender roles have always been a vital part of any ethnographic study, but the contributors of this theory began to address the androcentric nature of anthropology itself. The substantial gap in information concerning the study of women was perceived as a male bias, a prejudice made more apparent because what little women-centered fieldwork was done received insufficient attention from the academic community....   [tags: Feminist Anthropology ]

Powerful Essays
1582 words (4.5 pages)

Applied Anthropology: Domains of Application Essay

- 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....   [tags: Physical Anthropology]

Powerful Essays
1518 words (4.3 pages)

The Role of Medical Anthropology Essay

- This paper seeks to show the inter-relationship of bio- medical professionals such as doctors and nurses in comparison with medical anthropologists and try to show their relevancy in the healthcare system and their collaboration in inter-professionalism. Medical anthropology is an advancing sub-discipline of anthropology. Medical anthropology is intended to provide a framework, which should enable students to identify and analyze social, cultural, behavioural and environmental factors in relation to health and disease/illness in any given society....   [tags: Medical Anthropology]

Powerful Essays
940 words (2.7 pages)

What Is Anthropology? How Is It Done? Essay

- What Is Anthropology. How Is It Done. People enter the field of anthropology for a variety of reasons. Some people enter the field by accident. This means that they did not intend on becoming an anthropologist. Some people were interested in the field from the start. One person married a social anthropologist; and, after living with a group of people for two years wrote an ethnography about the people. The first story is about Adrienne Zihlman. She is a paleoanthropologist. She collects all kinds of bones; so, she can "contrive and test ideas about the origins of humans by studying the remains of living things" (Shell 1991:37)....   [tags: Anthropology Essays]

Powerful Essays
2372 words (6.8 pages)