What is Anthropology?

Judi Cameron, Instructor Anthropology isspeaking

Hi, my name is Dr. Judi Cameron, and I am the Anthropologist here at McHenry County College. Anthropology is the study of humanity from a holistic perspective. What that means is we look at humanity from its very beginnings approximately five million years ago all the way up to and including the present.

The field is divided into four subfields. We have the Cultural Anthropologists who study living societies, and so they look at groups such as the San Bushmen, Australian Aborigines, Native Americans, but they also study a lot of subcultures of the US including the business world, educational world and the medical field and this makes it very, very relevant to lot of individuals who are going to go into those fields as perhaps a doctor, nurse or a teacher or anything along those lines. Now we also have physical anthropologists, who study the evolution of humans and our non-human primates. An example I have right here…okay he is not real! But they study our non-human primates to see how we are related to the natural world and then we also in Physical Anthropology study modern human variations and that explains how we have different skin colors and other traits. Then we have Linguistics where we study language and evolution of language and how language is important for us as humans.

And then finally, we have archaeology and they study past cultures. We are not quite Indiana Jones, but we have a lot of fun doing it anyway.