Definitions for social anthropology
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word social anthropology
social anthropology, cultural anthropology(noun)
the branch of anthropology that deals with human culture and society
Social anthropology is one of the four or five branches of anthropology that studies how contemporary human beings behave in social groups. Practitioners of social anthropology investigate, often through long-term, intensive field studies, the social organization of a particular person: customs, economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, kinship and family structure, gender relations, childbearing and socialization, religion, and so on. Social anthropology also explores the role of meanings, ambiguities and contradictions of social life, patterns of sociality, and the underlying logics of social behavior. Social anthropologists are trained in the interpretation of narrative, ritual and symbolic behavior, not merely as text, but with communication examined in relation to action, practice, and the historical context in which it is embedded. Social anthropologists address the diversity of positions and perspectives to be found within any social group. Social Anthropology is the dominant constituent of Anthropology throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and much of Europe, where it is distinguished from Cultural Anthropology. In the USA Social Anthropology is commonly subsumed within cultural anthropology or under the relatively new designation of sociocultural anthropology, which first appeared in the literature in the 1950s, and has more frequently appeared since the late 1960s. Today both social and cultural anthropologists, and some who integrate the two, are found in most institutes of anthropology. Thus the formal names of institutional units no longer necessarily reflect fully the content of the disciplines these cover. Some, such as the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology changed their name to reflect the change in composition, others, such as Social Anthropology at the University of Kent became simply Anthropology. Most retain the name under which they were founded.
Find a translation for the social anthropology definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these social anthropology definitions with the community:
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"social anthropology." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 23 Jul 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/social anthropology>.