Defining Anthropology

In the outline that you prepare for Final Project Part A Milestone One, you will begin to define anthropology and its subfields, consider the anthropological perspective, and write down points about how you think history influences current issues. This will help you start thinking from an anthropological perspective early in the term and also help you identify any areas of anthropology that you find difficult to articulate. Be sure to think of some examples you could use in your final submission for Part A.


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For each topic below, write your answers to the questions in full sentences. You should aim to address each critical element listed below in at least two sentences each.


Interview Preparation Outline

Defining Anthropology: What is anthropology? Discuss how the field is the sum of all its parts as you consider people and their complexities. How do all the subfields work together to form the field of anthropology?


Provide a field-specific example to support your definition. For example, consider how a field-specific cultural anthropologist who is looking at the incidence of diabetes in an indigenous group would investigate the cultural factors of diabetes, such as what foods people are eating that lead or protect against diabetes. However, the cultural anthropologists could also consider genetic factors that may make individuals more prone to diabetes or even environmental conditions such as stress that may also be linked to the disease.


Anthropological Perspective: Why do people need an anthropological perspective? What is the importance of the anthropological perspective in each of the situations listed below?

1. Global cultural crises

Biological crises

Environmental crises


Historical Perspective

1. Provide an example of a historical anthropological contribution that has helped legitimize the field in the present day.

Provide an example of a way that cultural groups and individuals use their past to inform their everyday life. How are people the products of their past (or how are they not)? Make connections between cultural groups’ and individuals’ past and their current everyday lives.

Explain how people are (or are not) products of their familial past. Make connections between peoples’ family history and their present identity.

Explain how people are (or are not) products of their communal or regional past. Make connections between peoples’ communal or regional past and their present identity.




Include a list of references you used to answer the questions above. Be sure to write the title, author, page number where you found the information, and publication date for each reference used.


  Title Author Page Number Publication Date
Reference 1        
Reference 2        
Reference 3        
Reference 4    


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