ANTHROPOLOGY AND RESEARCH METHODS
BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment July 2021 & Jan 2022
Q 1 Define Anthropology and its various branches.
Ans:Anthropology: The term “Anthropology” is derived from two Greek words, anthropos meaning human and logos meaning study.
So, in the simplest terms, Anthropology is the study of human beings. An anthropologist tries to study and understand everything that can be related to humans and not limited by time and space.
Thus, Anthropology can be defined as “The study of human populations where we holistically explore the biological, socio-cultural, archaeological and linguistic aspects of human existence.”
An anthropologist must have sufficient knowledge of all these aspects to specialize in one. The basic idea in this definition is that anthropology is an integrative science that tries to understand human in its totality.
It studies cultural and biological diversities for a better understanding of human existence.
Giving a single comprehensive definition of Anthropology is rather difficult as the subject is vast and diversified hence divided into four sub-branches: Physical/ Biological Anthropology, Social-Cultural Anthropology, Archaeological Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Branches of Anthropology:
Physical/Biological Anthropology:-Physical anthropology also known as biological anthropology takes into account the human body, genetics and the status of man among living beings.
This branch of anthropology is mainly focused on human evolution, variation and adaptations.
As the name indicates, it studies the physical characteristics of man, using the general principles of biology and utilizes the findings of anatomy, physiology, embryology, zoology, paleontology and so on.
The scope of physical anthropology is embedded in its various branches i.e. primatology, paleontology, human genetics, growth and development and forensic anthropology..
Socio-cultural anthropology is the second major branch of anthropology, focusing on the comparative study of human culture and society.
The intensive study of customary patterns in human behavior, thought and feelings and organization of social groups are all included in the purview of socio-cultural anthropology
Socio-cultural anthropology is referred by the term ‘social anthropology’ in Great Britain while similar studies are referred by the term ‘cultural anthropology’ in America.
However, it is pertinent to note here that in the nineteenth century the term ‘ethnology’ was in use for similar studies.
Archaeological Anthropology: BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Archaeological anthropology is the science which concerns itself with the recovering and studying the relics of Man’s past.
It studies human cultures through the recovery and analysis of material remains and environmental data. The major time periods that are covered under archaeology include prehistoric, proto-historic and civilization.
Material products scrutinized by archaeologists include tools, pottery, hearths and enclosures that remain as traces of cultural practices in the past, as well as human, plant and animal remains, some of which date back 2.5 million years.
Studying societies and cultures of the remote past also falls into the scope of archaeological anthropology.
Linguistic anthropology, another branch of anthropology deals with the study of human languages. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Anthropologists who specialize in this area are particularly concerned with the relationship between language and cultural behavior.
Linguistic anthropology encompasses the study of the emergence and divergence of languages over time.
Initially, this branch was concerned with the study of origin, evolution and development and salvaging of languages which were on the verge of disappearing.
With time the various facets of language and its effect on social life were also taken into consideration.
Today linguistic anthropology as an interdisciplinary science works in collaboration with anthropological linguistics, ethnolinguistic and socio-linguistics.
Q 2 Describe fieldwork tradition in Anthropology.
Ans: Fieldwork tradition in Anthropology:
Anthropology is popularly known as a “field science”. This is because in its study of humans, both socially and biologically, it depends on authenticating its data from real experiences and knowledge. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
This reality is captured not by suppositions and theories but by gathering first-hand knowledge on it.
This is where fieldwork as an approach of study comes in.
This module will discuss the relevance of fieldwork and its tradition in anthropology and put forward how, it as a methodology since its inception and evolution has played an important role in the anthropological study
Concept of Fieldwork: Fieldwork is central to the inquiry of anthropology. It can be said to have formed the foundation of the discipline.
The famous anthropologist, Margaret Mead notes: “We still have no way to make an anthropologist except by sending him into the field: this contact with living material is our distinguishing mark” Traditionally the word “field” indicates the area where the members of the group to be researched by the investigator, live in.
However today, the “field” may also be the internet, a museum, a school, a library, a hospital, a lab, a market, an urban eating joint, a virtual space etc.
The “field” becomes the readymade laboratory for the researcher.
Fieldwork is an investigation in anthropology where the researcher stays in or visits the place of investigation for long periods of time, not less than a year, receives firsthand experience and collects data. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Powdermaker defines fieldwork as “the study of people and of their culture in their natural habitat.
Anthropological fieldwork has been characterised by the prolonged residence of the investigator, his participation in and observation of the society, and his attempt to understand the inside view of the native people and to achieve the holistic view of a social scientist”.
Others like Luhrmann points out that, “Anthropology is the naturalist’s trade: you sit and watch and learn from the species in its natural environment”
Fieldwork is equally important to the socio-cultural anthropologists, the physical anthropologists and archaeological anthropologists.
It is one methodology they follow in their distinct branches throughout their academic lifetime due to the remarkable awareness it provides.
Anthropologists depend on fieldwork as their ultimate source of gathering valid data. It is because as Srivastava puts it,”compared to the other methods, fieldwork yields a lot of data about the lifestyles of people and the meaning they attribute to their actions.
Fieldwork also teaches the distinction between ‘what people think’, ‘what people say’, ‘what people do, and ‘what people say they ought to have done” Fieldwork is a kind of characteristic custom, a procedure that assists anthropologists in the inquiry of human life.
It offers a huge level of flexibility to the fieldworker as she/he can modify approaches and techniques of investigation and collection of data, create and add newer processes and formulate “on-the-spot strategies to come to grips with unforeseen challenges of fieldwork”
History of Fieldwork in Anthropology Anthropology today may hold a strong position in fieldwork expertise. But this was not always the case.
When anthropology began as a valid discipline, its precursors though very much interested in knowing about how people lived all over the world, were however not too keen to go out and investigate on their own. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
These European scholars of the nineteenth century rather preferred to be dependent on the inquiries made by missionaries, voyagers, traders, administrators, etc. who were based locally in their places of interest, mostly colonies.
Such scholars were generally known as armchair anthropologists.
Q 3 Discuss the relationship of biological Anthropology with allied fields.
Ans: Relationship of biological Anthropology with allied fields:
Anthropology includes a broad range of approaches derived from both natural and social sciences.
The place of social anthropology in relation to other social sciences is discussed here. Social anthropology has close relationship to these social sciences.
Relationship between Social Anthropology and Sociology:
Sociology is a science of society that studies human behavior in groups. Anthropology is a science of man and studies human behavior in social surroundings.
Thus it is clear that the subject matter of sociology and social anthropology is common to a great extent. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Relationship between Social Anthropology and History:
The historians are more interested in particular sequences of past events. Anthropologists are centrally interested in understanding the present conditions of culture or community which they are studying. But the two disciplines have a close relationship.
Relationship between Social Anthropology and Political Science:
Political science developed to investigate particular domain of human behavior. It also works mainly in modern nations.
In small-scale societies where social anthropology grew up, politics generally do not stand out as distinct activities to separate analysis, as they do in modern society.
Relationship between Social Anthropology and Psychology:
Like sociologists and economists, most psychologists do research in their own society. Anthropology again contributes by providing cross-cultural data.
Statements about human psychology cannot be based solely on observations made in one society or a single type of society. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Q 4 Explain the development of Archaeological Anthropology.
Ans:Development of Archaeological Anthropology:-Archaeology deals with the study of antiquarian remains, which are brought together under the phrase archaeological record.
It has three or four major components. First, there are individual objects ranging from stone tools to pots and pans to metal objects to beads, pendants and other ornaments to seals and coins.
The second category consists of a variety of features, structures and monuments such as hearths, house floors, religions, military and commercial structures, and burials and burial monuments.
Then there are some art creations such as painted or incised designs on pottery, terracotta or metal figurines and rock part.
But the archaeological record also includes materials and remains which, although not made by man, are closely associated with archaeological sites, such as soils and sediments, plant and animal remains, ore and slag pieces, and rocks and siliceous stone pieces.
On the landscape we notice these various categories of antiquarian remains are generally found together as clusters. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
These clusters are called sites which may be small or large like the Mohenjodaro and Harappa mounds.
Depending upon the type of human activity that took place on these spots, archaeological sites are again distinguished into various classes such as habitation sites, animal penning stations, factory sites, religious sites, commercial sites and military sites.
Over the last four to five centuries important changes took place from time to time in the aims and methods adopted for dealing with the archaeological record.
They prepared short descriptions of the remains along with sketches and drawings.
These studies were of a random type, motivated by general human urges like curiosity about surroundings, spirit of romanticism and adventure, instinct of pleasure, respect to ancestors, etc.
There was nothing like any commonly accepted methodology. Rather the amateurs felt free to adopt their own methods of commonsense for describing illustrating the ancient remains.
It was only in the second quarter that the element of acquiring knowledge about the past societies through their discarded items not only emerges into the picture but witnessed three or four swift shifts in the perspectives.
Q 5 Write note case study method.
Ans:Case study method:-Anthropologists use ‘case’ in a slightly different way than some legal scholars or psychoanalysts, either of whom might use cases to illustrate their points or theories. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Anthropologists often describe a case first, and then extract a general rule or custom from it, in the manner of inductive reasoning.
Most often, the event is complex, or even a series of events, and we call these social situations, which can be analysed to show that the different conflictive perspectives on them are enjoined in the same social system.
The case study, as a part of ‘situational analysis,’ is a vital approach that is used in anthropological research in the postcolonial world.
In it we use the actions of individuals and groups within these situations to exhibit the morphology of a social structure, which is most often held together by conflict itself.
Each case is taken as evidence of the stages in the unfolding process of social relations between specific persons and groups.
When seen as such, we can dispense with the study of sentiment as accidental eruptions of emotions, or as differences of individual temperament, and bring depth to the study of society by penetrating surface tensions to understand how conflict constructs human experiences and gives shape to these as ‘social dramas’, which are the expressions of cultural life.
A case study is unique within the social sciences for its focus of study on a single entity, which can be a person, group or organization, event, action, or situation.
It is also unique in that, as a focus of research, a case is chosen for specific reasons, rather than randomly, as is usually done when conducting empirical research.
Often, when researchers use the case study method, they focus on a case that is exceptional in some way because it is possible to learn a lot about social relationships and social forces when studying those things that deviate from norms.
In doing so, a researcher is often able, through their study, to test the validity of the social theory, or to create new theories using the grounded theory method.
Q 6 Write short note on ethnographic approach.
Ans:Ethnographic approach: Ethnography is a research method central to knowing the world from the standpoint of its social relations.
It is a qualitative research method predicated on the diversity of culture at home (wherever that may be) and abroad. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Ethnography involves hands-on, on-the-scene learning and it is relevant wherever people are relevant.
Ethnography is the primary method of social and cultural anthropology, but it is integral to the social sciences and humanities generally, and draws its methods from many quarters, including the natural sciences.
For these reasons, ethnographic studies relate to many fields of study and many kinds of personal experience including study abroad and community-based or international internships.
Here are some examples of ethnography:
1.Observing a group of children playing.
2.Observing employees in a corporate office.
3.Observing an indigenous village.
4.Observing a high school classroom.
5.Observing motorcycle riders.
Q7 .What is Emic and Ethic approach?
Ans:Emic and Ethic approach:-Emic and etic are two different approaches when trying to explain social realities observed while conducting fieldwork in anthropology and other social sciences. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
Etic perspective is the perspective of the observer. The researcher. In this approach the researcher is trying to explain the social realities they observe using the theoretical apparatus of social sciences.
Emic perspective is the perspective of the studied social group. In this approach, the perspectives, explanations, logic, meanings, beliefs and worldview of the studied people are used to explain the particular values, beliefs or practices.
This is the way the actual people understand what they do and think.
These approaches may contradict each other in some conclusions but they are not mutually exclusive and good ethnography should include both.
Q 8 Anthropometry.
Ans:Anthropometry:- Anthropometry is the science of obtaining systematic measurements of the human body.
Anthropometry first developed in the 19th century as a method employed by physical anthropologists for the study of human variation and evolution in both living and extinct populations. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
In particular, such anthropometric measurements have been used historically as a means to associate racial, cultural, and psychological attributes with physical properties.
Specifically, anthropomorphic measurements involve the size (e.g., height, weight, surface area, and volume), structure (e.g., sitting vs. standing height, shoulder and hip width, arm/leg length, and neck circumference), and composition (e.g., percentage of body fat, water content, and lean body mass) of humans.
Anthropometry is the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body.
Measurements like eye height, the distance from the floor to a person’s
eyes, can be taken sitting or standing.
Q 9 Excavation.
Ans. Excavation:-Excavation is one of the most commonly known and used techniques of archaeological investigation.
It involves the systematic removal of data from the ground. Excavation provides the most complete evidence for human activity during a particular period and how these activities changed over time.
In archaeology, excavation is the exposure, processing and recording of archaeological remains. An excavation site or “dig” is the area being studied.
These locations range from one to several areas at a time during a project and can be conducted over a few weeks to several years.
Excavation involves the recovery of several types of data from a site.This data
includes artifacts, features, ecofacts and archaeological context.
Q 10 Note on evaluative phase of Social Anthropology in India.
Ans:Evaluative phase of Social Anthropology in India: The growth of Indian anthropology has been divided into different periods by the above-mentioned and other notable anthropologists in a slightly different way. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
According to S.C. Roy the growth of anthropology in India can be classified in terms of the sources of publications such as magazines, handbooks and monograms etc. and also in terms of the nationality of the authors.
According to S.C. Dube this growth can be classified in three phases:
1. Compilation and publication of volumes on tribes and castes.
2. Detailed monographic studies of individual tribes mostly based upon personal observation.
3. Quantitative advancement and qualitative achievement.
Sarat Chandra Roy was an Indian scholar of anthropology. He is widely regarded as the ‘father of Indian ethnography’, the ‘first Indian ethnographer’, and as the ‘first Indian anthropologist’.
Q 11 Cultural relativism.
Ans:Cultural relativism:-Cultural relativism is the ability to understand a culture on its own terms and not to make judgments using the standards of one’s own culture.
The concept of cultural relativism also means that any opinion on ethics is subject to the perspective of each person within their particular culture.
The concept of cultural relativism as we know and use it today was established as an analytic tool by German-American anthropologist Franz Boas in the early 20th century.
In the context of early social science, cultural relativism became an important tool for pushing back on the ethnocentrism that often tarnished research at that time,
which was mostly conducted by white, wealthy, Western men, and often focused on people of color, foreign indigenous populations, and persons of lower economic class than the researcher. BANC 131 Free Solved Assignment
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