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Anthropology and Social Work
Anthropologists like myself try to figure out
why present day humans are the way they are.
Meredith F. Small Female Choices
Who are we? How old is the human species? Where did we come from? What do we believe and why? Is our own culture the epitome of civilization? What is reality? How have we arrived at a position where destroying the earth doesn’t bother us very much? These, and many, many more are the questions that drive anthropologists to study human beings and our interactions. In fact, the presence of a driving question is the seed that creates anthropologists, as we will soon see.
Anthropology is the study of humanity. As one might suspect, given the scope of the questions in the previous paragraph, anthropology is a broad field with many subfields (or methods) of gathering information. Let’s look at some of these areas of study, the methodology for each discipline, and a few of the specialists and their research.
According to James Spradley (1979) in The Ethnographic Interview, ethnology is “the study of culture” (pg. i…