August 10, 2011

Anthropology (And Why I Dislike It)

Last year, I had the audacity to take Anthropolgy.  I didn't know what it was, nor did I actually check if it satisfied a required class I needed to take (thankfully, it did).  All I knew is that I needed three more credit hours and this fit my schedule.

So, what exactly is Anthropology?  Honestly, even after I took the class, I didn't really understand what it was supposed to be about.  It's the study of humans, I know that.  But what the hell does that mean?  For an entire semester, I felt like I was stuck in a class with an identity crisis:  is this class about archaeology?  Or, maybe it's about sociology?  Or maybe a bit of psychology?  Wait, why are we talking about biology?  I figured that anthropology is like the platypus of the -ologies: it's a hodgepodge of useful classes, shoved together to try to tackle non-issues.

By now, I'm sure I've pissed someone out there who actually likes anthropology, so I guess I'll admit it was a pretty easy class.  Since it was a mix of subjects, it hardly actually delved into any of these subject in-depth (much like how the platypus rarely goes into deep waters).  And the reading was fairly easy, since it was just a bunch of random case studies trying to illustrate how different cultures were different (much like how the platypus... okay, I can't think of any metaphor here).

There's a joke here some where, though.
Okay, so a branch of anthropology is archaeology, which I will admit is pretty important. But why even have biological anthropology and linguistic anthropology be sub fields? You know who could do biological anthropology?  Biologists.  Guess who can do linguistic anthropology?

This guy apparently.

Seriously, anthropology should just become archaeology and leave the rest to the professionals.


Henry said...

Biologists of what? Anthropology links human history with the biological changes. That's where it fills its niche.

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