Introduction to Anthropology

Introduction to Anthropology


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Anthropology is a discipline with an intriguing reputation. The unforgettable George Lucas Indiana Jones movies, Dan Brown’s bestselling mystery-detective novel The Da Vinci Code or the popular TV series Bones represent different aspects of the multidisciplinary nature of anthropology and give us an idea what anthropologists do, albeit a Hollywoodized one. The smart and brave Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones, Jr., or “Indy” discovers treasures in secret places; the Harvard professor Dr. Robert Langdon solves mind-bending riddles and uncovers hidden symbolic messages and cryptic codes; or the passionate forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan investigates crime scenes and resolves cold cases. All of these influential fictional characters have helped to raise the profile of anthropology as a discipline that seeks to understand and explain the complexity of human nature and behavior in all its diversity, both past and present.

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Learning Outcomes
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Define the discipline of anthropology;
  • Distinguish between anthropology and other social sciences disciplines;
  • Explain the general structure of anthropology;
  • Describe the methods used by the anthropologists to conduct their research;
  • Differentiate between basic and applied research;
  • Assess ethical considerations in anthropological research.


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences (FHASS)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Citation

Boshnakova, A. and J. Ginter. (2020). Introduction to anthropology. In: J. Pulis and P. Angelini (Eds.), Social and behavioural sciences: Exploring human behaviour and he environment (pp. 3-55). TopHat.

Introduction to Anthropology


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