Social anthropology is the study of human society and cultures.
According to M.N Srinivas, “social anthropology is a comparative study of human societies. Ideally, it includes all societies, primitive, civilized and historic”.
The main branches of social anthropology are
Ethnography ( it studies the human race)
Economic anthropology (it studies the economic administration of primitive and civilized human societies and of different levels of evolution in them)
Political anthropology ( it studies all types of political administration, laws and government)
Symbology and linguistics( the study of symbols and the current languages of different societies)
Thought and Art.
EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT
Anthropology traces its initial emergences back to the Greek civilization especially to the writings of Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. Socrates, Aristotle and others were considered social thinkers who also influenced the study of societies in the early periods.
The early rise of empires and civilizations such as the rise and fall of Egypt, old Ghana empire and the ruins of Zimbabwe enabled anthropologists find out reasons for their rise and fall, thus in the 14th century.
Due to the Industrial revolution in the 15th century, led to unemployment in the European world which encouraged European explorers and missionaries look for vast lands for investment, wealth and Christianity in Africa emerging the birth of slave trade.
The 16th and 17th century led to the colonization of the African nations by the Europeans. This intensified slave trade in Africa. The triangular trade emerged whereby slaves were exchanged for materials such gun powder, cloth, perfume and others and were sent to the Americas to work on plantation and the raw materials were processed to finished and sent back to Africa. Also in this century was the period of enlightenment where the people began reasoning for themselves.
In the period of 18th and 19th century, colonization had been massively adopted by the Europeans and the French known as partition of Africa and French assimilation respectively. This is where countries were demarcated according the control of the colonial masters.
According to Slolkin in his book ‘Readings in early anthropology’ agreed that real professional interest in anthropology did not appear until nineteenth century. People and their way of life became an interest of anthropologists as a discipline. Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ boosted scientists interest in different fields. He showed that life was process through evolution.
Interest in anthropology arose swiftly from 20th century to date where social anthropologists are now studying poverty, climate change, health, globalization and others about the world, its benefits, problems and solutions.
In conclusion, social anthropology has helped people understand each others culture and to appreciate them eliminating discrimination to embrace peace and harmony among themselves.
‘Social anthropology’ (2011) Kerala, India. University of Calicut, school of distance education.
Anthropology is the study of how man gives meaning to society.
According to Jacobs and Stern, “Anthropology is the scientific study of the physical, social, cultural development and behaviour of human beings since their appearance on this earth.
According to Kroeber, anthropology is the science of groups of men, their behaviour and production.
According to Michael Brian Schiffer, anthropology is the only discipline about the entire human experience on this planet.
There are now four major subfields of anthropology
It specialises in evolution,genetics and health.It includes human evolution and its adaptation to the environment.
It studies human societies and elements of cultural life. It has also studied the human beliefs with a structured stage of civilization.
It is a concentration of cultural anthropology that focuses on language in society. Its main focus is to better understand culture of different people.
It examines people and cultures of the past. It involves excavation and interpretation of artifacts which helps to know a particular history of a particular group of people.
IS THERE ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANTHROPOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION STUDIES?
Anthropology has a relationship with communication studies because it is about discovering and understanding people’s lives and worlds through their perspectives and it involves having conservations with those people to understand the differences with others and the world .
Social Anthropology (2011) Kerala, India. University of Calicut, school of distance education