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Anthropology may be dissected into four main perspectives firstly physical or biological anthropology which is an area of study concerned with human evolution and human adaptation Its main components are human paleontology the study of our fossil records and human genetics which examines the ways in which human beings differ from each other Also adopted are aspects of human ecology ethnology demography nutrition and environmental physiology From the physical anthropologist we learn the capabilities for bearing culture that distinguish us from other species Secondly archaeology which follows from physical anthropology reassembles the evolution of culture by examining the physical remains of past societies Its difference from physical anthropology being its concern with culture rather than the biological aspects off the human species Archaeologists must assess and analyse their subject culture from accidental remains which can only provide an incomplete picture Thirdly Anthropological linguistics is a field within anthropology which focuses upon the relationship between language and cultural behaviour Anthropological linguists ask questions about language and communication to aid the appraisement of society rather than a descriptive or linguistic assessment For example Freil and Pfeiffer 1977 cite an assessment of the Inuit language where there are twelve unrelated words for wind and twenty-two for snow showing the difference in significance by comparison with our own society The deduction being that wind and snow are more significant to the Inuit so they scrutinise them more rigorously and can clearly define them accordingly This kind of linguistic analysis facilitates a better understanding of a foreign culture to help place it into context to allow contrast Fourthly social anthropology is the study of human social life or society concerned with examining social behavior and social relationships As the focus of social anthropology is on patterns of social connection it is commonly contrasted with the branch of anthropology that examines culture that is learnt and inherited beliefs and standards of behavior and in particular the meanings values and codes of
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