Q. The Relevance of Anthropology.
Anthropology is the study of human beings across the time and places. Though the roots of Anthropology as a subject date back to 17th century, one can say that the real beginning was in 18th century with the publication of a book titled “Anthropology” by Emmanuel Kant.
Anthropology is the branch of science that studies human being from sociocultural, biological, archaeological aspects. It is a holistic science because it studies both present and past societies unlike other branches of science that are part-science. Anthropology follows cultural relativism and participative approach.
Over the years, anthropology as a discipline, has developed and divided into many branches and started studying and analysing the evidences from pre-historic period to present stage. Since anthropology has started its studies with primitive societies, we cannot say that it is interested in studying the past societies. Though it has started with four main branches primarily (Physical, Archaeological, Socio-Cultural and Linguistic), later it has divided in to many branches like Applied Anthropology, Nutritional Anthropology, and Forensic Anthropology and started contributing enormously to the contemporary society.
• Contribution in the sports field
• Contribution in the field of health & nutrition- IMR,
• MMR Forensic Anthropology- criminal investigation Applied human genetics- genetic counselling,
• diseases and medicine
• Eugenics and Euthenics
Hitherto, anthropologists being experienced anthropologists being experienced in the fieldwork traditions gave suggestions to administrators and Governments across the globe for making developmental plans. In this kind of approach, anthropologists remain unbiased and neutral to the socio- cultural settings of a society and not supposed to give ethnocentric views.
Anthropology, literally the study of humanity, is a field that contributes significantly to how we define ourselves. Given both our biological and cultural work, anthropology often embraces the role of expanding our sense of humanity, of what it means to be human for both ourselves and others. Anthropology can teach important lessons about the world and the global whirl of cultural mixing, contact and contestation – but it can also teach us about ourselves.
Since anthropology is changing its perspective according to the needs of the society from the study of pre historic primitive societies to present day complex societies, there is a great significance and relevance of anthropology as a discipline to the future generations for giving better solutions to the problems of human societies.
Further, at international level also, as we are facing problems such as terrorism, middle-east conflict, that are hindering the global development, the application of anthropologist’s approach will be a success. In 21st century there is an increased complexity of developmental problems, wherein there exists various developmental challenges such as communalism, castiesm, poverty, undernourishment among children, increasing crimes, instances of diseases, etc.
An anthropologist along with the administrator assures the success of different developmental programmes of government because they enjoy greater trust among the subjects than the administrator.