Cultural Anthropology

The study of cultural anthropology is to study the behaviour of human behaviors in different cultures and understand how the cultures are formed and shaped in the world. People across the world are different and to be able to interact understanding all each other is essential. Technology advancements and globalization have brought various changes in the community and without understanding these changes and embracing them, then the world will not be safe for every individual. Understanding human differences, help in accommodating the differences and promotes the ability to interact with people from different cultures across the globe (Miller 5). Culture is everywhere and understanding it bridges the gap between the culture here and the culture in other parts of the world. Cultural anthropology brings the knowledge of different cultures enabling the world to integrate at ease. To be able to work in a region with a different culture, one needs to understand their culture to avoid conflicts. In some instances some communities such as the LGBT face rejection because people do not understand their culture. This means that without cultural anthropology, people from differing cultures would be unable to integrate. Therefore the purpose of cultural anthropology is to make a safe world even with the human differences.

Cultural anthropologists are trying to bring the world to leave with cohesion irrespective of the many human differences. According to Darwin’s evolution theory, humans continue changing. This means that people are changing how the do things. The Neolithic revolution characterized by rapid technology change also led to various changes in the society. People started living in urban areas creating a different culture (Miller 45). Various issues have emerged including feminism, the increasing role of women in the society. The issue of sexual identity and their emerging culture. Cultural anthropologists are trying to understand the behaviors of different people in the world to help the world understand the differences and appreciate them. This helps in building a peaceful living environment. The issue of immigration has been witnessed over a long time. People continue to immigrate to different countries for various reasons most importantly in search of a better life. Living in another country can be challenging especially when the cultures are different. In most cases, behaving in a different manner in a different culture brings conflicts (Miller 320). Immigrants have been arrested and even deported for acting in a different manner from the one a society expects. For example, not adhering to religious beliefs such as protection of sacred site (Miller 278). However, cultural anthropologists are committed to addressing such issues by seeking to understand various cultures and helping people to appreciate the diversity and live peacefully with each other irrespective of their cultural difference.

When cultural anthropologists are studying various cultures they engage in ethnography research which involves going to the field, observing human behaviour, and then record and document the variation of those behaviors. This involves observing what people do, say, or even make (Miller 58). Then they engage in ethnology that requires generalizing the observed differences and similarities in cultures with attention on how a community adapts to changes and relates to other people. Working from the desk is ineffective for cultural anthropologists, they recognized the important role of going to the field to be able to understand different cultures (Miller 60). During the research, there are many questions that the researchers seek to answer. These include how people in a certain region behave, what gives the target people life meaning, their social values, their standards of good behaviour, the source of the world knowledge, the supernatural beliefs, family patterns, the political systems, and how practices in raising children.

Culture is a significant concept for cultural anthropologists. They define culture as the set of knowledge that is learned socially and the set of values used by a group of people in the interpretation of experiences and in generating their behaviour. The knowledge includes beliefs, rules, concepts, strategies, and ideas. The values include sentiments, preferences, and worth imputations. The generated behaviour includes actions, material artifacts, and speech (Miller 11). To understand the concept of culture, cultural anthropologists look at various characteristics of culture. First, is that culture is learned and can therefore be transmitted either from one generation to another in the same society or between societies. Since culture is learned it is a mental construct and can be inferred by studying artifacts or what target people say or do. Culture should be understood subjectively meaning that researchers should not evaluate other cultures based on their values and standards. Culture is adaptive and therefore is useful in helping people to cope with the changing environment (Miller 41). Finally culture changes. The changes can be from within or without. Modernization and globalization contribute to the changes. Cultural anthropologists use the characteristics to explain culture and study it to understand the differences in cultures. Cultural anthropology is an important field in the present world which is more integrated especially in ensuring that the world is safe for every person irrespective of their culture.

Work Cited

Miller, Barbara, ‘Cultural Anthropology’ 8Ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. 2011.