Primary Source Archives
Gale Primary Sources contains full-text archives and anthropological collections that provide firsthand content, including historical documents, archives, journals, and news articles that examine and analyze anthropology.
Anthropology provides the perspective of, and insight into, humanity’s past and present. It offers a way to observe and analyze humanity more broadly than other social sciences, such as history or sociology. When considering human history, anthropological research may explore prehistoric people and human evolution, while cultural and biological diversity may be the focus when studying contemporary people.
There are four fields within anthropology: physical anthropology (or biological anthropology), linguistic anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and archaeology. Physical anthropology examines how humans live in their physical environments. Sociocultural anthropology is characterized by looking at how people live and organize their family and social lives within the broader community. Studying the way language influences human societies through communication patterns and the formation of cultural beliefs is the purpose of linguistic anthropology. Archaeology is the study of past human groups done via an analysis of artifacts (e.g., pottery and tools) buildings, and other structures found in the field at archaeological sites.
Research is at the forefront of anthropology. The anthropological approaches to research vary greatly from scientific to humanistic and from quantitative data to qualitative information that is more contextual. The archaeological sites and cultural contexts for the research are diverse—from the laboratory, the library, and the museum to the outdoor archaeological site, to the home, school, and workplace. What remains consistent is that anthropologists are striving to provide new perspectives and knowledge about humanity that can be applied to current issues. Through ethnographic study and work, anthropologists help preserve humanity’s rich heritage and contribute to maintaining cultural diversity through anthropology collections found at the museum.
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