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Anthropology: Development, Theories, Policies Essay

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Introduction: The Study of Anthropology

Anthropology is a study, which focuses on humanity as a system of interrelations between and cultural systems. Specifically, the discipline focuses on the complexity of human cultures. The first use of the word “anthropology” dates back from the period of the Renaissance. The primary employment of the term referred to the overview of holism as a sphere of human experiences. The target of anthropology is a human body and its constituent parts. One differentiates several types of anthropology, according to the central focus of the discipline. In this study, the process of the development of complex discipline is elaborated as well as the theory of holism, politics, and the policy of anthropology are overviewed.

The Development of Anthropological Process

The origins of anthropological development stem from the studies of Charles Darwin, who elaborated on the theory of evolutionism based on comparing human body and intellectual improvement to the development of animal species. Later on, the discipline of anthropology was contemplated from Modernist psychology, which evolved in the works by Theodor Waitz, who developed the first social anthropology. This type of holism study focused on the inner nature of human existence.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the discipline of anthropology became deeply rooted in the domain of education. People started overtaking the tools and techniques of anthropology to accomplish specific tasks human-related problems. Under the influence of academic excellence, the discipline split into several thematic fields such as sociocultural, biological, linguistic, and archeological anthropologies. Besides, today, the historians differentiate the concept of developmental anthropology, which may be applied to different anthropological perspectives of multidimensional branches of science (Wilk, 2002).

Anthropological Theories

In the course of the disciplinal development, the study of holism introduced several different theories such as evolutionism, historical particularism, culture and personality theory, cultural materialism, feministic explanations, and some others (Diah, Hossain, Mustari, & Ramli, 2014). The theory of evolutionism focuses on the scientific development of social development. Later on, the spiritual bonds of social elaboration were improved, within which the theory targeted philosophical insights into human nature as well as knowledge systems, beliefs, etc. Therefore, evolutionism embraced an orientation on individual relations within a large matrix of human experiences (Farmer, 2003).

The theory of historical particularism evolved as a criticism of evolutionism, for the latter put a strong emphasis on cultural distinctions of human development while the former identified that there were no ethnic differences between the perceptions of personality. Culture and personality theory target relations between behavior and cultural backgrounds. The doctrine of cultural mercantilism has some common features with the latter theory. The major distinction between them refers to the similarities in the human perceptions of politics and the economy. Finally, feministic anthropology highlights the role of female development in the study of holism.

Political Anthropology

The concept of political anthropology includes a complex study of political systems from the perspective of social development. Mainly, the doctrine focuses on individual perceptions and ideas, which shape certain political conceptions. For instance, throughout its development, political anthropology regarded such critical notions as social justice, human rights, and political punishment. The study stems from the theoretical works of Lewis Morgan and Henry Maine. These historians made a consistent attempt to trace the progression of the human mind from primitivism to advanced societies. The most popular branch of political anthropology concerns the concept of discriminative behavior. Consequently, the theory was the first domain, which explained racial and ethnic prejudices as well as provided solutions to biased attitudes.

Anthropology of Policy

The central methodologies of anthropology assist in defining the policies of social and political interventions. In this context, a policy is understood as a system, which regulates human interrelations in multilevel social regulations. Specifically, the anthropology of policy guides the basic governance transformations, which define human interrelations on the platform of authority supervision and justice principles. Secondly, this type of anthropology verifies holism regulations against ethnicity principles and cultural backgrounds. The dimension of policy-making distinguishes a wide range of controversial concerns.

Thus, the study focuses on the relations between politics and morality as well as the background of ethical decisions in every sphere of human activity. The experts claim that anthropology has gradually turned into a dimension, which established the guidelines for professional policy-making. Furthermore, anthropology of policy traces the influences of the development of particular regulations on human relations.

Conclusion: Anthropology as a Multidimensional Domain

In this work, the theory of the anthropological development of humanity is developed. Specifically, it may be claimed that the discipline of holism has a long history of elaboration, which stems from the studies by Charles Darwin. Therefore, it originally refers to the biological development of a human. In the course of world history, the dimension split into several areas, which focused on one specific issue. Thus, such principal theories as anthropology of politics and policy, evolutionism, feminism, cultural mercantilism, and some other doctrines evolved. Consequently, one may deduce that anthropology shapes a foundation of human relations.


Diah, N., Hossain, D., Mustari, S., & Ramli, N. (2014). An overview of the anthropological theories. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 4(10), 154-164.

Farmer, P. (2003). Pathologies of power. California: University of California Press.

Wilk, R. (2002). Anthropology and development. Anthropology, 12(1), 113-120.

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