The methods of anthropology transcend theintellectual boundaries that have segregated the humanities, the social and natural sciences, and the professional schools. We engage both theory andpractice. As we observe, record, analyze, and interpret people’s responses and understandings in particular situations, we develop comparative frameworks that move beyond the particulars of place, and examine issues that recur across many historical and geographical settings. Because the world—as well asour understanding of it—keeps changing, we continue to refine and expand our methods, and the theory that guides our research and curriculum.
Princiiples of Scientific Method in Anthropology PaulVMcDowell
Largely through the work of Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, the relevance of anthropology to problems of public policy was recognized to a degree, though somewhat belatedly. When World War II brought the United States into contact with allies, enemies, and peoples just emerging from colonialism, the need to understand many lifestyles became apparent. Mead conducted a nationwide study of American food habits prior to the introduction of rationing. Later she was sent to England to try to explain to the British the habits of the American soldiers who were suddenly thrust among them. After the war she worked as director of Research in Contemporary Cultures, a cross-cultural, trans-disciplinary project applying the insights and some of the methods of anthropology to the study of complex moderncultures. An overall view of the methods and some of the insights gained is contained in The (1953).
Anthropological Research and Theory
Anthropological Field Methods
Concentrates on the FIELD METHODS of anthropology, in particular, the unique "participant observation" methodology, considered by many as one of the real contributions of anthropology in the study of humans and their behavior. Through practical, experience-based workshops and exposure to the relevant literature, the student will gain an in-depth understanding of the issues and aspects, benefits and limitations, problems and difficulties of the field techniques and methods of date gathering and analysis.
Anthropology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia