Essay Title: 

`reflexive` anthropology

March 7, 2016 | Author: | Posted in methodology, social sciences



Anthropology is commonly understood as the study of allied features of human society in all its facets , be it cultural , historical or physical Anthropological research is best undertaken through personal observations and examinations by researchers of a subject population This facet of the subject combined with its being a study of the science of human nature , research in anthropology is said to be frequently influenced by personal proclivities . The aim of scientific research is objective observation the personalisation of observations is feared to lead to dissonance . The [banner_entry_middle]

initial focus as the science emerged into its own in the 19th Century was said to be objectivity . However this was found to be increasingly impractical and anthropologists seem to be influenced by their own preferences in all aspects of their research leading to the school of reflexive anthropology . Reflexivity is indicated to be a process of self reflection . Such a process should result in modification of beliefs and consequently the actions which one undertakes (Bilton , 1998 . Davies (1999 ) on the other hand has defined reflexivity as a means of looking back upon oneself by self referencing For the anthropologist , this creates a dilemma , as in case he subjects each observation to personal reference there is bound to be distortion Objectivity is the essence of a scientific study however reflexive anthropology deliberately accepts the significance of influence of the self on research . A study of its evolution and current predominance is thus considered essential

Understanding Reflexive Anthropology

Anthropology examines the bonds of social relationship between humans and how this has led to growth of societies and communities . Thus this is a vast field which has had significant impact on development of human society . It is a study of human social behaviour to include archaeological exploration as well as data from examination of the behaviour of non literate peoples (Anthropology , 2003 . The roots of anthropology as a science are relatively recent dating back to the 19th Century and have relied on other older sciences as archaeology , biology psychology and even linguistics (Anthropology , 2003 . Philosophy has also had a major impact on anthropology in that it has led to a number of speculations about Enlightenment on the origins of human society . The interconnectivity of anthropology with its originating sciences thus provides it the rigour of scientific rectitude

Over the years there have been two broad divisions of anthropology physical and cultural . The physical anthropology as the name suggests includes dealing with the problem of human evolution to include palaeontology , the build of the body as well as the constitution (Anthropology , 2003 . Methods used in this form are anthropometry physiology , ecology and even genetics . On the other hand the branch of cultural anthropology has indicated study of the cultures not just the present but also historical orientations including the prehistoric and extinct cultures , ethnography , archaeology and so on . Linguistics is also a major aspect of cultural anthropological study (Anthropology 2003 . While there is limited scope for subjectivity in physical anthropology as it entails… [banner_entry_footer]


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