You are on page 1of 2

1.In your own words, define the four fields of anthropology.

Which one do you find


most interesting and why?
Cultural anthropology is the study of ancestries, past, and the progress of the
human experience. Cultural Anthropology deals with the ideals, behavior and social
patterns of our society. It tries to explain how we as human have learned to adapt
and survive. Archaeology is the study of the current and past human material
remains. Archaeology examines the bones and fossils of million-year-old caveman to
the earliest human ancestors to get a better understanding of human culture.
Archaeologists try to find out how artifacts correlate into a culture. Biological
anthropology is a mix of social studies and biology and these two areas hold
biological anthropology together. Biological anthropologist wants to know a number
of things about culture; for example, when our ancestors developed it and why
chimpanzees, our closest relatives, don't have it (or do they?). Anthropological
Linguistics study how different cultures make different languages, and how
language makes culture. I find Cultural Anthropology interesting because with better
understanding of ones self, it helps you understand the ones around you.
2. Describe a potential situation where ethnographic fieldwork could be damaging to
a person or group.
Some may describe ethnography as a form of social exploration that stresses the
importance of studying what a person does or says in certain contexts.
Ethnographic person will assume that people act a certain way in certain situations
all the time. This clouds a person judgement and sort of make that person prejudge
certain types of people and forgetting people change.
3. What do you think are the advantages of using cultural relativism when
conducting anthropological fieldwork? Do you think total cultural relativism is
possible to achieve?
While doing fieldwork, using cultural relativism will give you a better understanding
different cultures, but this will only work if the researcher keeps their ideas, and
beliefs out of the equation. Cultural relativism is the belief that a persons beliefs
should be taken in terms of his or her own culture. The problem with cultural
relativism is it does not allow for social improvement or ethical progression. This
assumes the beliefs of a culture to be correct and should be accepted as the norm.
Without the promotion of cultural relativity, it puts humans back to a scenario we
believe certain cultures are better than others (Nazi Socialist Party).
4. Do universal cultural values exist? If so, give an example of one. If not, explain
why universal values do not occur in the diversity of human culture.
Today, humans have well developed moral and value system, since the days in the
beliefs in, at one-point, segregation was the way of life (Jim Crow Laws). Example of
extreme morality is the Incans Indians belief in human sacrifice. Selfishness has its
advantages, think about it, if everyone took care of their selves and their families
have a better chances of survival. Many may argue why is the US always helping
other countries when we have our own problems. Altruism is based on selfishness

and an altruistic person get joy from helping other even no one know about it, or
done anonymously. Giving out food at the shelter to starving families may help
them for the short term, but it can lead to dependency because if the homeless
knows there will always have resources available, they will try to better themselves.