What, Exactly, Is Anthropology?


There are many takes on what anthropology is.  Can these diverse views ever be reconciled?  What do you think? 

Short Takes on Anthropology

We [anthropologists] have been the first to insist that we see the lives of others through lenses of our own grinding and that they look back on ours through ones of their own.  Clifford Geertz

The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences. Ruth Benedict

A knowledge of anthropology enables us to look with greater freedom at the problems confronting our civilization. Franz Boas

Anthropologists are a connecting link between poets and scientists.  Robert Graves

The great strength of anthropology, including applied anthropology, lies in its potential to lead the way in bringing together humanistic and scientific approaches for understanding humans. David A. Cleveland

Scientific archaeology includes more than the excavation of ancient sites. Archaeology enables us to better understand ourselves and how we got to be the way we are. George E. Stuart and Francis P. McManamon


About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
This entry was posted in Anthropology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.