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I.1.3 Main branches of Anthropology

There are four branches of anthropology:

  1. biological/physical anthropology,
  2. sociocultural anthropology,
  3. archaeological anthropology and
  4. linguistic anthropology.

It highlights the holism of the discipline and how these parts with their uniqueness still manage to retain an analytic connectivity.

Anthropology studies humankind in its totality taking into consideration both the past and present. And in this pursuit to comprehend the intricacies of human life, anthropology assembles knowledge from humanities, social sciences, biological sciences and physical sciences.

The various branches of anthropology  highlight the fact that the subject with its four branches is a holistic science of human beings in all aspects.

On the one hand, physical/biological anthropology guides us about human evolution, our place in the animal kingdom as primates, our genetic conditions, variability in people, etc., and on the other hand socio-cultural anthropology tries to explore the social and cultural life of human beings in society. For this anthropology as a discipline takes help of societal aspects like religion, economy, polity, power, kinship, marriage, family, gender behaivour, and try to understand why and how humans behave in different situations to live their lives in order.

Archaeological-anthropology is peninent in anthropology as it involves both physical and social aspects of human lives but of what is bygone. It clearly deals with reconstruction of whatever has occurred in an era where evidences are not very concrete but it is with them, that archaeologists along with the use of various methods try to decipher the past.

Linguistic anthropology is a branch, which is closely associated with social anthropology and it tries to understand human society with the help of languages of the past, languages of the present, gestures, symbols, etc.

To sum up anthropology as a subject is completely unique for it being able to take into consideration all facets of human life and provide knowledge and generate thought for deliberation.

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