Why study Anthropology?

Each human being, once in a lifetime, had had a passion for something which would create them in and out. Many of them would follow their hearts and said go for it and they would go to any lengths to achieve and feel the fire of their passion and dream while many of them would follow the rules of society and would go by the book, without knowing actually what they are doing and what they actually want for themselves or what they are capable of doing.
Every body in this busy world wants to join the rush.

In the era of technology, where everyone is dependent on gadgets like cellphones and laptops etc., they spend most of their time on social media platforms and are even so much influenced that they try and seek out a career out of it. Then, there is a world of traditional career options like being a Doctor, Chartered Accountant, Engineer, Civil Servant and also the Fashion & Entertainment Industry.
Every year more than approx 30,000 doctors graduate, approx 10,00,000 students graduate from engineering colleges, and approx 1 lakh students used to join Chartered Accountancy every year, more than 10 lakhs of them apear for the candidature of civil services. And then we have the Fashion and Entertainment Industry, the most influential industry inspiring countless youths to aspire a career in it. Ofcourse, in the name of money and fame, people hold high influence of it and are attracted towards fashion and entertainment Industry. And this industry has been blessed even more with social media with comming age.

Today in a world of Social Media, where followers and likes on pictures decide one’s status also hold the platform to showcase your talent, which is quite popular among the youths and holds a hell lot more power to establish anyone who wish to make a difference and showcase their talents to the world out there. Well, social media has its fair amount of perks and disappointment but if used wisely then it puts out a win win to everyone.

But

There is also a world beyond all these. People are doing work and pursuing their career in various disciplines which are far beyond the regular courses, giving an opportunity to take an insight into the mysterious world of human existence. Archaeology, Palaeontology, History are some of the disciplines in which one can pursue career and unfold the mystery of human kind, hidden beneath the crust of the earth. Each of these disciplines are specialized in a unique manner to deal with the typical aspects of human life, yet none of them study the humans as a whole.

However,

There is one discipline which studies humans as a whole, their past, present and future. This discipline covers every aspect of the species sapeins and their ancestors as well.
The name of this particular discipline is ‘ANTHROPOLOGY‘.
The Etymology of anthropology says-
It’s derived from the two Greek words: ‘Anthropos‘, which means Human and ‘logos‘, which means ‘Study‘. Therefore, Anthropology is the study of Humans. Anthropology is a larger whole where different disciplines unite together despite the diversity of their interest. It possesses its own distinctiveness in the study of the most advanced creature of the earth: human beings. It is the only discipline present which focuses on humans in all of its aspects, understands the diversity that humans carry, distinguishes them from the animals and as we dig deeper we tend to find it to cover the whole of human dimensions within it and offers the studies accordingly, measuring their actions in totality.
Thus, we see that the horizon of anthropolgy as a discipline studying Humans specifically is endless. The diversity of anthropology is impossible to measure in number and even words can’t do them the justice as said it covers humans in every possible way to understand them and their nature and nurture. Further it traces Humans since their origin till the present time and in the coming future.

Another way to talk of its uniqueness is its HOLISTIC APPROACH
Holism comes from the Greek word ‘holos’ that means all, entire, whole. Holistic approach means an approach which covers every possible way to study or prove something. Anthropology is said to be a holistic science and its approach is said to be holistic approach because it offers a total study of humans in all aspects of culture, society, biology, health, psychology, history, prehistory, language, behaviour, action etc. The whole concept of anthropology revovles around understanding Human as a whole so that humans can evolve better and make the coming future more prosperous.
Talking of future as we humans are progressing so is our reach. maybe, one day aliens would be seen and greeted so there’s a fact that follows it-

Fact :- Did you know there is a branch in Anthropology called Xenoanthropology which deals with Extraterrestrial culture.
And if some day Aliens invade the earth, the first person who will interact with them will be an Anthropologist.

Another thing that makes anthropology great in itself is that the whole world out there is a laboratory for an Anthropologist.

Yes, it is true!
The whole world is a laboratory for anthropologists. Distinctive disciplines have their own labs but are confined by bricks and walls in which they conduct experiments. But Anthropologists don’t need a lab made of bricks and walls which would confine them at a particular place, instead their laboratory is the whole world. By this statement, anyone can understand the vast nature of the discipline and its scope. And this is what makes Anthropology different from other disciplines. The field work in Anthropology is so intense and different from the ones conducted in other disciplines that it is considered as one of the uniqueness of Anthropology. The field investigation is extremely dynamic. One uses the principles of general biology and proceeds further to formulate a scientific concept of culture. The way reasearchers do their work is in itself an art, exploring every aspect of human. The tribe or community on which one is researching upon actually becomes the part of them.
Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski, a world renowned Anthropologist developed the field work tradition in Anthropology, which is followed even today. He went on to Live for six years in the Trobriand Island in Melanesia, among the tribe, studied them, became the part of their community. And came out to be a whole lot of inspiration for the budding anthropologists and researcher to do true field work. This is what’s in need to be done by an Anthropologist. As it is mandatory to do one year of field work to become a professional Anthropologist.

Isn’t this exciting? Getting to choose your own place, your own location, your own area of research, socializing, getting to know a whole group of new people and their kind of life, exploring the dynamics and diversity of the world we live in. Isn’t it adventurous like Bear Grylls? As he did with animal kingdom, went all the way to know khem but they are animals and can’t be completely followed but we in human society can comply accordingly.
And then there is Palaeoanthropology and Archaeological anthropology which are two of the sub branches of anthropology, where we can actually follow the example of Indiana Jones and could go for treasure hunt and find something which is hidden beneath the earth’s surface.

Anthropology is like a roller coaster ride the higher we go, the more we know about ourselves and the fear and excitement that comes with it. It is the only existing subject which can give us an opportunity in almost every field we want to explore and look at things differently. The horizon of Anthropology is infinite,it goes far more deeper and studying Anthropology is not merely studying a subject rather it’s studying ‘the way of life.’

© Alysane Society
© Utkarsh Srivastava

2 thoughts on “Why study Anthropology?

    1. Namastey!!!
      Thanx a lot for sharing our Article.🙂

      Like

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