Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Former featured article candidateAnthropology is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
April 18, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted
October 20, 2018Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former featured article candidate

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 16 August 2021 and 17 December 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Kmcolgan.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 17:24, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 7 April 2020 and 13 May 2020. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): VMV 1102-143.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 14:25, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"Feminist anthropology is a four field approach to anthropology (archeological, biological, cultural, linguistic) that seeks to reduce male bias in research findings" I suggest we add Meninism to this page: "Meninist anthropology is a four field approach to anthropology (archeological, biological, cultural, linguistic) that seeks to reduce feminist bias in research findings" (talk) 22:50, 26 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The study of "Man"??[edit]

I suggest modifying this to "the study of humanity." There are not a lot of anthropologists out there who would refer to anthropology as the study of "Man" these days, for good reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 29 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It used to be "the study of humanity.", but it was just changed by an anonymous editor today. Thanks for changing it back. Arthena(talk) 21:09, 29 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And what good reason might that be? Being a pussboy who thinks his balls will be chopped off if he doesn't pollute everything with his retarded "gender equality" bullshit?

Why don't you losers do the same with "feminism" then? I mean, it's allegedly a movement about "gender equality" yet it's called "feminism". Lol.

And as for this: " Cultural anthropology in particular has emphasized cultural relativism, holism, and the use of findings to frame cultural critiques.[6] This has been particularly prominent in the United States, from Boas's arguments against 19th-century racial ideology, through Margaret Mead's advocacy for gender equality and sexual liberation, to current criticisms of post-colonial oppression and promotion of multiculturalism."

So it's the HIV of western society? Why would anybody support "multiculturalism" when it is demonstrably disastrous? Particularly when it involves cultures that demonstrably laugh at the "tolerance" of your morose civilization. Ugh. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:12, 28 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would actually make a change to that as well (I am an anthropology graduate from the University of Kansas). While the study of anthropology has a large H. sapiens component, anthropology in a more general sense is a study of primates (human and non-human). The AAA org also lists biological anthropology as a discipline within anthropology as "....interested in human biological origins, evolution and variation. They give primary attention to investigating questions having to do with evolutionary theory, our place in nature, adaptation and human biological variation. To understand these processes, biological anthropologists study other primates (primatology), the fossil record (paleoanthropology), prehistoric people (bioarchaeology)...." For example, Birute Galdikas was a classically trained anthropologist that became super famous for her work on orangutans (i.e. Leakey's Angels). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 31 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anthropology is interested in non-human primates because the study of them can give information about human evolution - not for their own sake - that would be zoology. Anthropology is the study of humans - sometimes humans are best understood by comparing with that which is non-human, but that doesn't change the basic point.·Maunus·ƛ· 12:16, 31 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is some sort of strange, biological anthropology slant to this entry. Anthropos does not mean Homo sapiens or human being in ancient Greek; the whole point of the word is that it refers to "humanity" and the study of "man", which is a stand in for the noton of "people", in a philosophical, not biological, sense. Modern science has wrenched biology from philosophy only recently. Without question the entry should read "humanity", and the biological approach to the study of humanity should be relegated to a sub- discipline, as it is in the approach to anthropology taken by academic departments and the academic discipline in general. (talk) 16:12, 24 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with that reasoning completely.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:18, 25 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can help, but I'm overwhelmed[edit]

Hi. I'm a graduate student (interdisciplinary, with one area of focus in anthropology). I saw the request for an expert. Besides having focused on this area for my graduate work, I would be able to get in touch with experts who might not otherwise edit wikipedia - but I'm new at wiki editing, and I want to make sure my changes would be accepted by the many communities that are now paying attention to this article. I'll take a closer look to see what I can do, but please let me know how I can help. Earthliz (talk) 20:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)earthlizReply[reply]

Hi. I'm well versed in anthropology too (just about to have a meeting about fieldwork, exciting!) i'm up for improving this page, but it will take work. I think Ingold and Erikksen are good places to start, as they have a verbose and eloquent grasp of what anthropology is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:59, 21 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Someone should create a new article[edit]

Is there anyone who has specialization in Sociology and Anthropology?

If there is, someone should create a new article on how similar sociology and anthropology are. Sociology and Anthropology are so similar to each other especially with Cultural Anthropology.

I cannot believe that no one has created an article talking about their similarities and none of the Sociology and Anthropology articles mention their very close relationship together.

If anyone has specialization in both fields or at least know them very well, please someone or people should create an article talking about how they are so similar to each other and how Cultural Anthropology is almost a duplicate study of Sociology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Canto2009 (talkcontribs) 20:43, 16 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's an interesting topic, but would probably count as original content, which isn't quite what wikipedia is about. The similarity between anthropology and sociology is probably related to the latter predominating in continental Europe. Whereas sociology did-away with its less credible scientific bits in the late 19th century, anthropology, to me, seems more resolutely scientific (yet, without drawing upon positivism, which is a bit odd.. Perhaps it's more like psychoanalysis in that wholly metaphysical sense?). The other thing I'd have to say on the topic is that sociology is less anthropomorphic subject (ie. it is more anti/post-humanist) after the influence of the better nuggets of post-structuralist thought, particularly Michel Foucault... --Tomsega (talk) 18:31, 31 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There can be a lot of similarities between the two, but the primary difference is in how investigations are carried out. If a cultural anthropologist and a sociologist started to investigate, for example, drug behavior, the sociologist would be more inclined toward surveys of as representative a sample as possible. The cultural anthropologist would instead use ethnographies and life histories with a few individuals, as well as possibly a material culture investigation depending on the question being investigated. It is not so much subject matter as it is how the investigation is carried out. I noticed quite a bit of tension between the two disciplines at my alma mater regarding the validity of various techniques. The sociologist stereotypically was looking at statistical studies, while the anthropologist was interested in comparative narratives. Thus, the two are not almost duplicates. Both have their own issues, neither come to absolute conclusions due to methodological weaknesses inherent to the disciplines, but both have important things to say depending on how investigations are framed. Notrapturedyet (talk) 03:34, 23 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for that. But surely, if there are two entire scientific fields, with thousands of people studying them, there must some reliable reference distinguishing between them? I second the motion of Canto2009: I'm sure I can't be the only person that's fuzzy about the difference. Paul Magnussen (talk) 18:40, 15 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

there's an old joke that sociology is just anthropology for westerners. but the user who said that the difference is the research methods is correct. and, the difference between socih, anthro, and Psychology, is that psychology thinks you can learn things about people by experimenting on them. which, neither anthropology nor sociology conduct structured experiments on people because that would be a violation of ethics. psychology by contrast, while they admit people will lie to you on a survey (which, sociology's entire premise is that survey data is always correct) routinely collect their data through putting people in artificial situations and controlling variables. Anthro, by contrast, collects all of their information in the form of ethnographies, which, are basically a cross between a research paper and a memoir. because of this it's considered the most squishy and the least scientific.

this is because the basic premise of cultural anthropology is that you learn more by keeping your ears open than you do by talking. say there's a humanitarian problem somewhere. the sociologist stomps in with a fistful of surveys they wrote up at home about how to solve what they think the problem must be. where the anthropologist is more subtle, they hang out, make friends, do work, integrate themselves into the society until they know who to talk to about what the problem could be, they are thus in a better position to maybe get something closer to the full story. sociology, anthropology, psychology, all of the human sciences are very young, share a lot of the same beginnings, and are approaching the problem of understanding people, but the crucial difference IS that they are approaching that question from different angles.

I would love to cite a source on this, but I just have an anthro minor and TBH most anthro is oral tradition. so, I can say I learned it from Richard Ferro who Learned it from Margret Mead who learned it from Franz Boaz but that lineage isn't going to pass muster here. kind of unfortunate really. (talk) 07:32, 27 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes to final paragraph[edit]

I've undone the edits I made to the final paragraph. I've decided it's pointless (and useless) to try and put them in. The entire article is disorganized, has no main outline, follows no train of thought and makes odd claims such as "such and such book is a classic", without any kind of rational whatsoever. I thought that what I put in was much more common sense and less extravagant than many of the things said in the article - however, here's the dialogue between me and another editor about those edits (from my talk page):

First paragraph[edit]

Is not too bad. But is there a reason why this article keeps coming back to anthropologists as opposed to anthropology? At any rate, the first paragraph is passable.

The first paragraph doesn't make any sense. It distinguishes ethnography from anthropology, but then states, "Ethnography is one of its primary research designs as well as the text that is generated from anthropological fieldwork." SAY WHAT? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 12 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

honestly I think the problem is this page was written by anthropologists who don't conform to wiki standards, and then edited by wikipedia people who don't know anything about anthropology so they stripped off the uncited but correct information. anthro conducts ethnographic research, in that you start with a question or a hypothesis/premise for research you want to undertake, and after your fieldwork you write an ethnography, which is a book detailing that research, the information collected, and the story of how you got it and what happened. which, distinguishes anthropology from other fields of inquiry because you don't design an experiment and test it. (talk) 07:40, 27 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Incorporate as many parts of anthropology as possible[edit]

Over the past few weeks, I've spoken to a lot of colleagues about what's happened in anthropology in the last 30-40 years (some of them go back that far). Everyone agrees that anthropology has either attracted new disciplinary fields to publish and convene inside the AAA, but that the early focus (in the 1950's at least) on the four fields is part of why anthropology now has so many distinct sections or units. These include: Ethnology, Environmental, Archaeology, Africanist, Feminist, Political and Legal, Biological, Museum, Educational, Culture and Agriculture, Evolutionary Anthropology (which includes many people from molecular biology and related sciences, many of them Primatologists), Cultural, Middle Eastern, Anthropological Sciences (another group trained in both anthropology and other sciences, not necessarily related to evolution, for example, allied to forensics), East Asian, Humanistic, Latin American and Caribbean, Medical, Linguistics, Psychological, Anthropology of Consciousness, Europe, Food and Nutrition, North American, Religion, Work, Urban and National/Transnational, Visual, Practice of Anthropology (aka Applied). These are the subgroups in American anthropology (British anthropology has fewer sections). I listed them more or less in the order they're on the AAA page, and bolded the traditional four "subfields". There is also, obviously, a General Anthropology section.

If you're wondering where primatology is, in the above schema, it's in Biological, which has its own subgroups. Ethnomusicology and ethnopoetics are organized in two places (at least), Ethnology (which is huge in and of itself) and Humanistic.

One thing I wanted to pull out of this list is that one way anthropology has always used to organized itself when it tries to simplify its work, is regional. Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia have apparently been incorporated into the "indigeneous" section, presumably the only large land mass in that section is Australia. This is an extremely important way that anthropology has proceeded and organized itself, since many anthropologists have specialized in "everything about one place," when possible.

I want the article to be readable by people who know little or nothing about anthropology, and to that end, have looked at all my introductory textbooks (I must have 35-30, publishers are generous with these things). The four "subfield" approach is mentioned in all of them, sometimes very briefly. Additional "subfields" are mentioned in most of them, depending on which subfield the textook is in (and there are only a couple of general anthropology textbooks at the introductory level).

So one of my goals is to better integrate this page with the various regional projects, and to have a list of the regions (and subregions) somewhere, and get Anthro Project tags on appropriate pages about regions. I'd like to have all of the above fields have articles and be under the "See Also" section (we don't have to mention every single one of them in the lead, but working more of them into the body of the article would be good.

One more thing: I really think we need a separate page on Anthropologists. That's where all the stuff about particular anthropologists goes, as well as a discussion of the rather well-known fact that one need not be trained in anthropology to be an anthropolgist (either academically, in terms of publishing, or in terms of findings). So, someone like George Collier (sometimes called the founder of Psychological Anthropology and a chief editor in anthropology monographs for 40 years, professor of anthropology at Stanford for more than 30 years - and that's a program with fairly high rankings), had a doctorate in psychology, but was hired as an anthropologist after he did extensive fieldwork with the Menominee (a Native American group). Also, there are a large number of authors who anthropologists quote as if they are anthropologists or about whom anthropologists say "provides one of the best ethnographic accounts on X," when that person is a novelist or a filmmaker or documentarian whose work contributed to preserving visual or other aspects of a particular culture (like Camus and his Black Orpheus). Thor Hyderdahl is listed here on wikipedia as an ethnographer (which he certainly was) and the number of times he's cited in anthropological works (even if just to argue with him, although recently, sometimes to vindicate some of his theories) is larger than many living academic anthropologists.

I'm not proposing any huge changes right away, just a gradual reconstruction of this page as we add subpages. My own enthusiasms were leading me to doing the regional work first (most anthropologists belong to both a theoretical subfield and a regional subfield, if one wanted to study the entire planet, one would need to belong to a lot of associations and read a lot of journals - each of these subfields has lots of publications). So I'm agreeing with SLRubenstein that we should call the four "subfields" fields, so that the word "subfield" is available for all the others. Nearly all the others can easily be subsumed under one of the four main fields (although not always; consciousness is a big exception). Some of the subfields are actually methods (like the science group) and used through the four fields, but perhaps a table with brief descriptions (near the bottom) could clarify this. If you are wondering why I'm so excited about including all the parts of anthropology that we can, it's because one never knows which parts of the field are going to be coming up with the most interesting things, at any given moment. If you get a chance, take a look at the Science section's homepage (Carol Ember, who should have her own page if she doesn't) is the president-elect - scroll down to their news section (courtesy of Texas A & M, interesting stuff there):

Science news in anthropology from Texas A & M

Or look at the awards given in Biological Anthropology this year (who can resist wanting to know more about orangutans):

Orangutan research (yes, that's how they spell it)

Wouldn't it be great if we could have an anthropological news box on this page and promote various current stories from all fields/subfields (whatever we end up calling them)?


If people who watch this page are also interested in how Wikipedia is governed, be sure to check out this: . Slrubenstein | Talk 16:29, 18 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks. I'm always interested in how Wikipedia works.LeValley 20:33, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

First section is much improved[edit]

I'm not good at following edit histories, but the opening paragraphs have evolved over the last year, and in the right direction. There is some clarity here for the average encyclopedia reader, and starts well. Good job!LeValley 20:32, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

The citations are strong and actually quite interesting (the link to the Renaissance roots of anthropology is an excellent choice). I see the "Be Bold" instruction at the top of the article - and I'm guessing it's there because this article is really long, goes into detail about certain subfields but not others, meaning that those sections should be moved either to their subfield pages or to their own pages (Anthropology across all nations needs to be somewhere else - article makes it look as if there's been a great deal of research and consensus about anthropology-by-nationality, when in fact, it's a fairly minor topic in the discipline as a whole, and there is little consensus about it). I'm not feeling bold at all today, but perhaps in future I will.LeValley 21:03, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Social Vs Cultural[edit]

are two very distinct traditions reflecting european vs american understandings respectively. that the latter is inadmissable as a qualification to an lse phd programme is testament to their difference. social is rooted in the british and french tradition of studying social systems, the way society works. cultural is more interested in a geertz inspired explication of cultural difference. the former is more of a social science, the latter more of a humanity, and this page should reflect that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Invitation to editors to vote/discuss definition of science in Talk:Science[edit]

There has been an extensive discussion on the Talk:Science of what the lead definition of the science article should be. I suspect this might be an issue that may be of interest to the editors of this page. If so, please come to the voting section of the talk science page to vote and express your views. Thank you. mezzaninelounge (talk) 18:34, 18 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply] reconstruction of african history ==

given that anthropology is a method of reconstructing histroy how can it be used toreconstruct african history

simplified intro[edit]

The intro used to say :Anthropology's basic concerns are "What defines Homo sapiens?", "Who are the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens?", "What are humans' physical traits?", "How do humans behave?", "Why are there variations and differences among different groups of humans?", "How has the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens influenced its social organization and culture?" and so forth. I changed this to Anthropology asks "What defines Homo sapiens?", "Who are the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens?", "What are humans' physical traits?", "How do humans behave?", "Why are there variations and differences among different groups of humans?", "How has the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens influenced its social organization and culture?" and so forth.Saturdayseven (talk) 15:22, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it sounds weird to personalize an academic discipline that way, and the simplification achieved is a question of two words less.·Maunus·ƛ· 17:11, 18 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see your point Saturdayseven (talk) 19:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

United States bias[edit]

This article is heavily biased towards United States anthropology. Especially in the introduction and overview section where US views and disputes are assumed to be the standard for all of anthropology.Miradre (talk) 10:36, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you have any evidence it isn't?·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 12:53, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The burden of evidence is on you if you want to generalize claims regarding US anthropology to anthropology worldwide.Miradre (talk) 12:56, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No it is not. You put up the tag- now you justify that there are views that are left out of the article.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:03, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am only noting that intro and overview section is heavily dominated by descriptions of US anthropology and views and disputes in the US. Material regarding anthropology in other parts of the world is mostly lacking.Miradre (talk) 13:07, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You need to somehow show that they are different from the US, and that they do not also see the views and disputes in the US as of central concern. Otherwise your complaint is vacuous. We cannot include statements about developments inanthropology in other countries unless there is a reason to believe that it differs from what is described already.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 13:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am agnostic regarding whether they are the same as in the US or not. But claiming without sources that US anthropology is the same as worldwide anthropology is very dubious OR.Miradre (talk) 13:14, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you want a source for that do are differences see for example "A Historical Overview on Anthropology in China" Mingxin Liu, Anthropologist, 5(4): 217-223 (2003). States clearly that Chinese anthropologists do not simply imitate western anthropological theories in their work.Miradre (talk) 13:24, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you have expertise on Chinese anthropology, by all means add it. My Chinese friends tell me anthropology in China is atrophied for political reasons. Do you want to add something about Fen? Slrubenstein | Talk 14:06, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My point is simply that the article is biased towards US anthropology. Personal experiences by WP editors are of course not reliable sources.Miradre (talk) 14:11, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No your point is just tendentious editing, the article gives considerable attention to UK and French anthropologists, and other countries. Who is notable but excluded? WHo do you want to add? Slrubenstein | Talk 21:28, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the most important parts of the article, the intro and the overview section, US views and disputes are are assumed to be the standard for all of anthropology. See above for that for example Chinese views are different.Miradre (talk) 21:31, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another example. Even for the similar western nations there those who argue that there are national differences regarding anthropology: [1] Miradre (talk) 21:59, 6 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There are historical reasons why anthropology has been centered and developed in the US (often by European anthropologists practicing in the US). For the first part of the discplines history anthrpology was about white men from Europe and the US studying everybody else - only in the second half of the 20th century did anthropology starts to develop independently in other countries - but still very much influenced by US anthropology. (Margaret Mead was one of those who argued that every country should have its own school). If you query is about making mention of how non-"western" anthropologies have gradually seprated themselves from the Western-centric main branch then I applaud the effort. If it is about making it look as if anthropologists elsewhere still believe in biological race, which frankly seems more likely to be your aim in doing this, then I want to remind you about your topic ban.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:42, 7 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All of your claims are unsourced and are dubious or incorrect.Miradre (talk) 08:48, 7 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nope. If you knew more about the topic you'd not need sources - but of course I shouldn't assume that you do. I'll be happy to source any specific claims you want to read more about.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:45, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You make the claims, you have the burden of evidence. Wikipedia policy.Miradre (talk) 07:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
yeah, you're right. You are making a claim that anthropology in the US is different than it is everywhere else. Back it up. The article is already sourced as is. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:45, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not claiming that US anthropology represents the world by by having US anthropology views and disputes dominate the intro and overview section. It is those making such claims who must present the sources. I have already also presented sources regarding China and even other Western nations being different.Miradre (talk) 16:49, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you know anything at all about the history of the discipline of anthropology? Because if you do it should be easy for you to understand why the US is the central scene of the development of the theoretical foundations of the discipline. There is no introduction to anthropology that will not describe the development of the discipline in this way. Now if you want to add more you need to be SPECIFIC about which claims in the article are giving undue weight to US trends. Start by giving an example of a claim the article is making that is not supported - then I will source it. Right now you are talking in general terms that are impossible to take seriously.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, please give sources for your claims. Please read WP:V. I have given sources above; you have not.Miradre (talk) 17:16, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A question is not a claim. Answer the question. Tell us what about anthropology is different in other countries that you think is of sufficient to belong in the article. Just explain to us what exactly you are talking about. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:24, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See the sources I have already given above. No one else has presented any sources for claims.Miradre (talk) 17:31, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are being evasive. What sources? Slrubenstein | Talk
See my edits above at 13:24, 6 August 2011 and 21:59, 6 August 2011.Miradre (talk) 19:20, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The web doesn't count. Now, you want to write a section on Chinese anthropology, fine - please tell us what books by Chinese anthropologists you will read and thn draw on to add to this article an account of Chinese anthropology. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:51, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When did I say I want to write a section on Chinese anthropology? I am pointing out that article is biased by assuming that US views and disputes are identical with worldwide views and disputes in anthropology.Miradre (talk) 22:55, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This could be fixed by clearly stating what views and disputes are United States ones and that there are other views in other nations. Material could also be moved from the intro and overview to some US specific section.Miradre (talk) 22:59, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is you who are doing the assuming - you are assuming that sources about general anthropology written for an american audience does not reflect anthropology globally. The article is written based on sources - unless you have something that contradicts those sources there is no way in the world we can start changing the article.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 23:40, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again see the sources at my edits above at 13:24, 6 August 2011 and 21:59, 6 August 2011.Miradre (talk) 23:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WOuld you please tell us what those sources say exactly and how it contradicts the current state of the article. We are not going to do that work for you.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:45, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Both sources state that there are national differences regarding anthropology. For example regarding China, "Chinese anthropology has developed from the initial stage of simply introducing and indiscriminately imitating western academic theories into a more mature stage of comprehensively analyzing western anthropological theories, and combining these with Chinese reality to blaze new trails." This overview do not detail exactly what all the differences are. The same regarding the differences between western nations as stated in the other source. But my point is that US anthropology is not the same as world anthropology.Miradre (talk) 09:14, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But surely, the article provides references of several contemporary Chinese anthropologists - why not read their work and write up a section on the kinds of problems they address, their methods and theoretical engagements? Slrubenstein | Talk 16:27, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Certainly I may do if I get the time. But that would not solve the problem which is extreme prominence and assumption of universality given to US views and debates in the introduction and overview sections. It needs to be clarified what are US views and debates and much of the material should preferable be moved to an US specific section.Miradre (talk) 21:09, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is nonsense. It is certainly alright to include non-US views where such might be demonstrably different from the mainstream (which happens to be US). There is no way that it could be justified to separate out a specific US section. Anthropology was developed by Europeans and Americans for the first 150 years of its existence and the US continues to be the global center of the discipline in every way. You are simply incorrect when you assume that the fact that there exists some measure of local diversity means that "US views and debates" are not also a part of global anthropology. If you want to suggest that certain issues or views are particular to the US you would need to present good reliable sources that state that explicitly and not sources that can only be interpreted that way through liberal amounts of OR. Read any anthropology undergraduate textbook from Europe or the US and you will see no such division. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:02, 11 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, I have given a source showing national differences also for western nations. You have given no source for any of your claims. If your claims were correct you should have no trouble finding sources showing that US anthropological views are universals. In addition to the source I have already given here is another for China: [2] Miradre (talk) 22:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have not presented a single example of a view that is claimed to be universal in the article but which is in fact US specific. Untill you do this your complaint is spurious. The fact that sources say that there are individual traditions in different countries does not automatically lead to the conclusion that anything currently in the article claimed to be universal for anthropology is in fact not. You have wasted all the talkpage space above arguing without making any tangible argument. That is frustrating.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:32, 14 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even the current intro admits some extremely large differences also between western nations like archaeology not being apart of anthropology in Europe. Despite this a dispute in the US during a specific, limited time period regarding positivist traditions is described av being universal for all of anthropology in the intro. Cultural relativism is described as being universally accepted by everyone. There are also regional statements like this in the overview section: "However, seen in a positive light, anthropology is one of the few places in many American universities where humanities, social, and natural sciences are forced to confront one another." Miradre (talk) 04:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had been annoyed at that last sentence (one of the few places) myself, and would love to remove it entirely. I can find a lot of citations for the general (not universal) acceptance of cultural relativism as a basic principle of anthropolog - not just in the US. There is also no reason that i am aware of to see the science/humanism phenomenology/positivism debate as a US phenomenon.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:09, 15 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The recent removals were excellent edits. I'd like to call attention to the following removal from the Overview section:
That link is broken/dead, anyway. And yet if that last part is true, that is:
. . . then it is informative enough to be put back in, don't you think? – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  03:12, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A PS to the above... I found a reliable source for that statement as I have paraphrased it at this website, well, for all but the human-computer interaction part (that Wikipedia article doesn't even mention anthropology, by the way), so I'm going to return that sentence to the Overview section. It will be devoid of "non-globalization". – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  04:35, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is a Wikipedia clone. It is not a reliable source. It is like Wikipedia citing itself as a source.Miradre (talk) 06:37, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you certain of that? I'm pretty careful about sniffing out clones, and that website did not appear to be one. Also, the quoted line did not include "human-computer interaction", which was another clue that the bio-nation site is not a clone. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  09:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The link goes to an article with almost exactly the same text and structure as this Wikipedia article. An obvious clone. Miradre (talk) 07:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a member of the CSB project, it might be inappropriate to refer to the project in this case. The CSB project tends to focus upon newer and less established articles than this one. There have been what might be some valid arguments above both for and against the need for "globalization" in this article, so I substituted the {{Globalize}} template, which allows for a direct link to this talk page section (and also does not contain the sometimes inflammatory word "bias"). If globalization is not required, then the tag can be removed; however, if it does come to light that there is too much weight given to the USA in this article, then such improvement might lead to a better stab at FA status. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  08:42, 14 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding cultural relativism see this link: [3]. Classical CR is described as having "a characteristically American flavor". Also according to it there seems to be considerable variation in acceptance among anthropologists with many anthropologists today only supporting a very weakened version as a "rule of thumb". As a separate issue the opposition by the American Anthropological Association against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights seem a controversy notable enough to mention somewhere in the article. Miradre (talk) 05:42, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well classic cultural relativism is of course something that influenced the development of anthropology in the US in the first half of the 20th century. It is of course right that nowadays cultural relativism is something very different than it was then- "a weakened version" if you will although that doesn't make that much sense for reasons I don't want to discuss here. I agree about the human rights opposition.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:18, 17 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The overview section still describes archeology as part of anthropology while globally this would be a local exception rather than the general rule.Miradre (talk) 05:58, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding the so called universal debate and split in anthropology regarding positivism. Here is a source saying otherwise: [4]. ""American anthropology has since its beginning in the late 19th century had this uneasy configuration of four subfields," she said. "European anthropologists have always regarded the situation as an accident of American history." Also, the conflict is not just about "positivist" methods but also about the classical nature vs. nuture/biology vs. culture debate. This should be mentioned.Miradre (talk) 06:06, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be misunderstanding that - the four field division has nothing to do with the modernism/postmodernism positivism/humanism split. The four field division is definitely thought of as peculiar outside of the American tradition, but the positivism/humanism debate still applies. I think the nature - nurture issue is entangled with the positivism debate but they don't align completely and I would want to see a good secondary source that describe them together in order to describe them as being related.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:38, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am only quoting what the source says. In which on view is that this American division contributes to the "positivist" debate. If for example archeology is already separated from social anthropology, then archeologists cannot complain that "positivist" or "biological" perspectives are being ignored by the majority in the department who are social anthropologists. Also, you did not replay regarding cultural relativism. Miradre (talk) 07:31, 17 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They can and they do - it is very possible to be a social anthropologist and a positivist at the same time - that is a large part of the debate. Latour basically wrote "We have never been Modern" as a piece in the European positivist/humanist debate in anthropology and sociology. You are confused about what the stanford article (which is by the way not a very high quality source) says. I replied re cultural relativism above. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:11, 17 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Obviously do not all social anthropologists have exactly the same view. Here is a more modern view on the archeology/social anthropology schism in the US: [5]. Note that this problem would be absent in most of the world where archeologists are not sorted under anthropology. Miradre (talk) 08:46, 18 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It should also be a mentioned that there more generally are various national differences and traditions like that Chinese anthropology today does not just simply imitate western academic theories.[6][7] Miradre (talk) 06:16, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would support inclusion of something to that effect once you show us how chinese anthropological theory deviates significantly from other traditions. It makes no sense when you say "does not simply imitate" its not about imitating it is about participating and buyilding on - I don't think you will be able to show that China is somehow not building on western anthropological theories. You may be able to show that they are taking them in new directions but that does not create the kind of divided local traditions that you seem to be talking about.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:42, 16 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Even if they do build in part on western ideas that was not my point. Which is that there are significant differences between nations, some argue also between western nations, which should be pointed out. It makes no sense to have the US as the "default" in the intro and overview when for example archeology is not part of anthropology in most of the world. Miradre (talk) 07:31, 17 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the article should not spend mocyh time, especially not in the lead on the American four field approach. I really don't see what would be gained by mentioning "significant differences between nations" without describing what those differences in fact are (except for the possibility of making readers believe that the differences are more significant than they may in fact be). If you find literature that explains what these supposed significant differences are and preferably how they came about, then I am all in favor of inclusion. I am also all in favor of toning down the US specificity - however as I said most of anthropologys history happened in the US academic circle, sparked mostly by European scholars. That means that there is a large, shared basis for anthropology which is strictly "western" and yet global - and local developments depart from this - I don't think you will be able to discern which elements are "US specific" and which are "global" untill you do some more reading about this topic. Try for example Hylland Eriksens, "What is Anthropology" for a non-US view of the discipline. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 22:11, 17 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some specific differences in China would be that anthropology is very much aligned with the interests of the state. Archeology is in part about gaining national prestige. Cultural anthropology is in part about helping the government rule well. There are also various other oddities like: "Anthropometry (the measurement of human physical features such as head size, feet size) remains an important and active field of study in China today based on the strength of its applied linkage with consumer product development in Chinese industries." There is also some interesting official (and also among students and the public) divisions of anthropology branches into first-tier and second-tier sciences depending on how practically useful the different branches are seen to be. Also, the positivist debate in China is likely completely absent with positivism being the unchallenged default.(In Search of Anthropology in China, Josephine Smart, in "World Anthropologies: Disciplinary Transformations in Systems of Power"). Miradre (talk) 08:46, 18 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Given that it has been something like a year and a half with no action related to the assertion of the bias tag, and it seems to be only one individual who is making that assertion, I am going to remove it; upon reviewing the article I don't see any inherent bias; and the lack of specific mention of Chinese practices does not by itself mean bias exists; it simply means that the article could use expanding to include that additional information. Ironlion45 (talk) 04:09, 29 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

World Anthropologies[edit]

I've found what seems to be promising sources regarding the development of local anthropological traditions outside of the West.: If noone else does I will be looking into this when I am back from the field in september.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 05:02, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Misuse of sources[edit]

This article has been edited by a user who is known to have misused sources to unduly promote certain views (see WP:Jagged 85 cleanup). Examination of the sources used by this editor often reveals that the sources have been selectively interpreted or blatantly misrepresented, going beyond any reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent.

Please help by viewing the entry for this article shown at the page, and check the edits to ensure that any claims are valid, and that any references do in fact verify what is claimed.

I searched the page history, and found 4 edits by Jagged 85 (for example, see this edits). Tobby72 (talk) 19:35, 19 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Academic entries having problem staying on the main Anthropology page - see Maunus[edit]

I am the instructor for a third-year level Anthropology course on Anthropological Theory (Spring, 2012). The students had a course project to add Anthropological Theory entries to Wikipedia, and to add sources to existing Wikipedia entries. All material was taken down immediately by Maunus, citing various concerns such as not academic, or biases, even though many of the entries were also described as 'good.' In looking at the talk page it seems that issues with Maunus and his editing has been ongoing for a year. The Anthropology page could use revision; it is not complete, properly cited, and this has already been flagged by Wikipedia at the top of the entry. We have been trying to improve the content, but have been repeatedly blocked. Our course is now over, and Wikipedia has unfortunately lost the skills of many interested students, and their instructor whose credentials include a Ph.D and over ten years of university teaching experience. Wikipedia promotes being a collaborative tool for research and knowledge. It would be unfortunate if future students might look up the Anthropology entry for their own research and learning and continue to see an inadequate entry. This problem has also been logged at the Dispute Reolution page. The idea of open access and shared knowledge is a good one, and Wikipedia has the potential to be an ever more valued resource, and a leading open source scholarly resource. How do the Wikipedia contributors feel about this topic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lpetrillo (talkcontribs) 17:40, 12 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The students inserted a long essay on archaeology into the overview section of the article on anthropology. They never responded on the talkpage or engaged in discussion. It is great when educators decide to use wikipedia as an instruction tool, but they should be prepared to engage in dialogue about the quality of the edits with other editors and defend their inclusions with arguments. Noone has blocked anything - the content which I judeged to be outside of the scope was removed I gave a rationale for that and even approached the student on their talkpage without ever being answered. I know of no "issues" with my editing behavior and if there were the correct way to approach that would be to contact me personally. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:52, 12 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Generative Anthropology and Fundamental Anthropology missing?[edit]

Generative Anthropology and Fundamental Anthropology missing? Eric Gans and Rene Girard — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 24 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sociocultural Anthropology[edit]

Made some minor amendments to make the section more about sociocultural anthropology and less about cultural anthropology. Removed reference to synonymy with cultural and social anthropology -- they are not -- Made some terms less definite to reduce controversy. Corrected description of SCCS, and provided academic reference to SCCS. Michael Fischer (talk) 14:37, 1 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Added wp reference to the commonwealth, changed soc ant ... generally refererred to as soc-cult anthro to sometimes ... hard to reference the negative, but it is not generally so referred to. I hear the term once every few years in GB, Europe and the CW all of which I travel extensively within. It is true that folks like Bob Layton will sometimes use the term for cover, as cultural anthropology as such is highly suspect in the UK, and culture is losing ground in more recent years for a variety of reasons. ~~Michael Fischer~~ (talk) 15:03, 1 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

American anthropology ... and what about British, etc?[edit]

I've boldly gone ... to fix a large digression in Culture by splitting out a new article, American anthropology, and have added a 'further' link here. It is at once clear that this creates some kind of overlap; I note that the parent article is already rather large, and that it does not sharply distinguish between US, UK, and other approaches to its subject.

Perhaps it would be helpful to create short sections "in summary style" on those topics, with 'main' links to those sub-articles. That might involve moving some material to the sub-articles, or creating new material. A navbox might be in order. Other solutions may be possible, I have no opinion on how it might best be done. Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:10, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The American/UK anthropology is largely the same as the Cultural/Social anthropology difference. I think the best solution would be to have one on CUltural anthropology and one on History of Anthropology in the US.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:29, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Intro's "...distinguished from ethnology"[edit]

The addition of "distinguished from ethnology" is based on an incorrect reading of the provided source, Han F. Vermulen's "The German Invention of Völkerkunde: Ethnological Discourse in Europe and Asia, 1740–1798" (2006, .pdf at external link). From that source: "Cultural and social anthropology are direct offshoots of ethnology. and the study of cultured groups is widely pursued today" (p. 125)] This proceeds a discussion about the author's oppositional construction of ethnology from "anthropological discourse, subsequently defined as either the philosophical or the physical study of man" (Vermulen 2006, p. 125; emphasis mine). The "anthropology" of the source's definition is pointedly not cultural or social anthropology, but instead biological or philosophical. Therefore, cultural anthropology in the U.S. and social anthropology in the U.K. and Europe are developments out of ethnology, not distinguished from it. Pinchme123 (talk) 17:57, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Above .pdf is available courtesy of the author's own website. Pinchme123 (talk) 18:02, 19 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm glad you brought that up. The relationship of the matter to the refs in the intro IS a bit confused. On the very 1st sentence we get four refs, one of which is quoted without quotes, and it isn't the one closest to the quote. I do not know how or why it got confused and I don't care. Currently it seems over-condensed and not a good fit with the refs. I want to fix it bit by bit. There are two ways to go from here with that first sentence: drop all the refs but one, or state multiple definitions. I think the editor would want multiple definitions and that seems a little more in the direction of WP so that is the way I'm going. It means a slight expansion of the 1st paragraph.Botteville (talk) 22:06, 22 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is not how we use the term "ethnology" in American anthropology at least. Here ethnology refers to a comparative and theoretical study of human societies, the quest for "universal" principles of culture and society. Whereas Anthropology is the empirical and historical study of human societies through ethnography, archeology, biological and linguistic analyses. This understanding may be a kind of relic of the American tradition and Boas' introduction of fieldwork as the core methodology, as opposed to the text base comparative ethnology of Tylor and Frazer. In Denmark the anthropology department at the university of Copenhagen is basically what we would call socio-cultural anthropology in the US and the ethnology department is focused on folklore and ethnicicity in Europe. The terms are not clear cut and do not really refer to distinct traditions but rather are used very in very different senses in different local and national traditions.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:33, 23 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK I'll remember that or refer to it again but for the moment we need some basic word and subject origin material, which I am preparing. The one statement that is there, that is incorrect. You'll see.Botteville (talk) 02:44, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The other thing is that it is a mistake to base the definition of the discipline on its historical uses. In the past the term anthropology had man different meanings and did not constitute a coherent discipline. When the word anthropology was used by Kant, the French or German anatomists, or even Tylor or Morgan it had a very different meaning than it has today, where it is a coherent discipline with professional journals and organizations, and a relatively well established subject matter and gamut of schools and approaches. Boas was the first to move anthropology towards becoming a coherent professional discipline based on the four field approach. But today three of the four fields generally consider themselves to be separate from anthropology. Today anthropology means proto-typically socio-cultural anthropology, and those specific approaches within archeology, linguistics or human biology that draws on the methods and theories of cultural anthropology. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 03:20, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Three links in the article,[edit]

Each one seeking happiness...

With the first link there are copyright issues. I'll never forget the time I put up a youtube video on facebook. I got a nasty and threatening message that said, this video is not yours to share and if you ever do it again we will come to your house and cut off your hands, thief. The second two I presume are in Vietnamese. With all due respect to the great and wonderful Vietnamese people,most of us can't read them and therefore can't verify what they say. If you can speak English, don't you know, it is very rude to speak Vietnamese in an English-speaking audience. I know we often put up German, Spanish, and whatnot links, but those are in languages we can to some degree understand, and most have English alternatives. You got any of those with Roman subtitles?Botteville (talk) 02:43, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removing these makes perfect sense.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:28, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another link:

As far as I can see this link adds nothing encyclopedic, it only tells you what reviews you can buy. I going to say, it is a commercial site.Botteville (talk) 23:19, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Annual Review of Anthropology is one of the main anthropology journals. It doesnt publish book reviews but annual review articles of different subfields of anthropology. It is a good resource certainly, but I am ont sure we need to add journals to the see also/EL section. generally my view is that the default number of External links is zero. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:28, 25 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Anthropology has many founders: Morgan, Tylor, Boas, Malinowski are frequently mentioned as such. Sometimes Kant is mentioned because he used the word, and Hundt because he apparently was the first to coin it. I have never ever heard Broca described either as an anthropologist or as a major figure within the discipline - much less as a founder. He worked on human anatomy, sure, but that is not the same as anthropology even when carried out in an "school of anthropology". I removed Broca's image from the template. Please dont include it without consensus to do so and some solid sources identifying him as a major figure in the discipline - more major than any of the more traditionally named founders. Also why even include a pictur of a founder, many other images could better represent the discipline.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:57, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe the caption stated that Broca was founder of modern anthropology, which is a big difference. I suppose editors may have their own favorites in this respect, so inclusion of a picture of a "founder" may indeed be inappropriate. The ibox needs an image, though, so what would you like to see there?
  1. File:P anthropology.png
  2. File:UBC Museum of Anthropology First Nations sea wolf carving.jpg
  3. File:1911 Britannica-Anthropology-2.png
Three is my leaning, though either of the other two would be acceptable to me. – Paine EllsworthCLIMAX! 04:05, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He was not the founder of modern anthropology in any sense, way or form. He was a pioneer in the study of human anatomy and therefore could be considered important to the field of physical anthropology. But he worked in a period where the term "anthropology" did not have the meaning it has had the past 100 years since Franz Boas founded the field as a modern scientific discipline (which he did, the others mentioned above founded specific important concepts and approaches). Pictures 1 or 2 are acceptable. Picture 3 gives undue weight to physical anthropology, which is not the core discipline of contemporary anthropology. Indeed many of its practitioners do not consider themselves anthropologists.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:29, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello Maunus. First of all, let me say I don't mind your changing the picture. Fine. Also, if you want to collapse the box, fine. The design looks good at the moment. This is a sort of pick-the-best design thing. I'm sure you are just as capable of design as I. No contention. I'm not going to fight you on that. However, you say Broca was NOT an anthropologist and founded nothing. Sorry, I have material completey to the contrary. No, he did not found a school, he founded general anthropology. Representatives of HIS organization helped found the British organization of which Tylor was a member. But, I have not put this material in yet. I wanted to clean up some refs first. I told you it was going in. Don't you think there was a general phase before any schools began? Tylor was a relative late-comer. But, let me put my information in, which I have just been researchng. I believe the subject is anthropology, including its origin. You can't exclude physical anthropology from being anthropology. What do you do with Leakey and all those people? Now, there is one more point. It is not up to YOU to decide what is anthropology and what not. Ant such statement needs references. We have worked so well together previously let us see if we can't continue that. Quotes, references. That is what I mean by basic material.Botteville (talk) 08:41, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then start using some actual sources and references yourself Botteville. I cant provide references to prove a negative. Show me some actual anthropology books, textbooks for example that mention Broca as a founder, or memes and memeplexes as important concepts. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:46, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Theoretical differences - start of discussion on balance and accuracy[edit]

OK, I think I can summarize the problem. It appeared in the old introduction, with multiple definitions crammed into one or two lines. Of course there are different points of view, and one or two statements are not going to cover them. But, I think we should understand something. The editors' points of view do not count! You can't arbitrarily remove physical anthropolgy on the grounds that you do not think it is anthropology. I mean, you can, but that is contrary to WP policy. You can insist on references no doubt. This is not a search for the one true anthropology in the minds of the editors. We don't get to do that. The experts do. So, it is true that consensus is a big part of WP. On the other hand, if the consenting editors are unaware of a topic, such as the history of the foundation of anthropology, their consensus is not of much encyclopedic value. Consensus is not the whole ball game, only part of it.

Now, why would you think I would argue about a picture?.That is only a matter of decoration. If the picture is relevant it is nothing I would argue about. Maunas, I think you have a contending editor on that score.

My main thrust is that the article misrepresents the history of anthropology. I don't think that is Wikipedian or right. I'm going by the foundation of the Anthropological Society of London, the first anthroplogical society in Britain. Would you not agree that is a major innovation? If not, what were Tylor and his brother doing there? Representatives of Broca's organization were there. I don't want to turn this into a fault-finder, but Broca is considered by the French to be the founder of general anthropology, a fact of which our editors (such as you) don't seem to be aware. Broca was the first with the modern anthropological organizations. It is really too bad you did not wait for my expansion of that section. Now, Broca was not just a physical anthropologist. He had an interest in ethnology as well. In any case our theoretical differences reduce to these as far as I can see:

  • There is a general anthropology, which counts as anthropology.
  • There is a physical anthropology, which counts as anthropology.
  • There is a history of anthropology, which belongs in the article. Of course there are many "founders," so I agree with you that the presentation of only one is perhaps not balanced. I selected Broca because he founded the first anthropological association, of which I guess you were not aware, while the British one was the second, and the French do credit him with being the founder. I'm happy just to say that some consider him the founder of anthropology. That is true regardless of what you personally may think of it.

I'm going by the first meeting of the Anthropological society of Britain. It was preceded by one other, the one in France.

So, that is my platform. Anything less I consider totally out of balance. Frankly, I have trouble understanding the article the way it is. Like the old introduction, it assumes too much. It may be, the subject is creating an article that is too long. I certainly would consider splitting of another article, say "Anthropology, history of the concept". I do not think your stance that only the neo-evolutionist cultural anthropologists can be considered to have the true anthropology is balanced. I have not opposed you so far and you argued agreeably, so far. I think if you are going to make an opposition you have to pick your ground. This is my ground. The article misrepresents anthropology on editorial opinion. Your view of Broca and of general and physical anthropology as not true anthropology is unbalanced and mistaken. I still have another section coming, which I am going to call "Arrival of anthropology in Britain." There is pretty clear evidence that anthropology did not originate in Britain and Tylor did not originate it. I do follow the convention, however, that he defined cultural anthropology. Now, you say, you hope more people sign up for anthropology and that you can keep the people you have. Let's see if that is true. Please give reasons for any deletions you make. Please back up your reasons with quotations from other sources or references to them. Thanks. By the way I like the multiple box scheme. I don't really know what I can do with it, as it seems to solve the problem You just pick the right box. Well, it is going to be few days before my next secion, so be patient.Botteville (talk) 10:58, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, YOU provide sources for your inclusions. Any material that is unsourced can be challenged and removed by any editor. And please use sources that are authoritative works about anthropology as a discipline. Not all early uses of the word "anthropology" actually refers to the discipline called anthropology today. Broca's use is one of those. Just find some general introductions to Anthropology and see if they mention him. I have yet to see one that does. And I have taught both general and physical anthropology and read many different textbooks. Tylor by the way neither practiced nor founded cultural anthropology, which is an entirely American invention by Boas. Tylor practiced ethnology, of the type today called "armchair anthropology". The school he founded became "social Anthropology" later with the influence of Durkheim on Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown. By the way I have not said that physical anthropology is not "true anthropology", it is (at least in the US, in much of Europe it isnt), but it is not the main or prototypical field of anthropology, and many of its practitioners do not even consider themselves anthropologists. I am not looking for true anthropology, I am looking for an article that reflects the general literature on anthropology and general literature on the topic does not place the foundation of the discipline in France in the early 19th century. You may think that it should and that doing so would be more accurate, but Wikipedia does not really care about your wish to revise the history of the discipline. What we do agree on is that the current state of the article is terrible and that it needs to be rewritten. But it needs to be rewritten based on the best available general sources on the topic. Not based on what our own research of the disciplines history has led us to believe. The solution is sources and references, on that I agree with you also. So bring them ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:48, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "Darwinian Rvolution" section gives an immense amount of undue weight to Broca and his rabbits and conversion to Darwinism. It might be appropriate for an article specifically about the history, but not in the general article on anthropology to give this amount of detail about what amounts to a footnote in the history of the discipline.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:37, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The source Schiller 1979, is not an appropriate source for an entire section of this article since it is about Paul Broca and the founding of French Anthropology specifically, and not a general work on anthropology or its history. Broca and early French anthropology might merit a line at most in this general article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:40, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A source: "A History of Anthropology" by Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Finn Sivert Nielsen (Pluto Press, 2001), describes many precursors of Modern Anthropology, including Rousseau, Montesquieu, Kant and Herder. But it does not mention Paul Broca even once. The founders it posits are Morgan, Marx, Tylor, Frazer, Boas and Durkheim.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:42, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some quotations from the above mentioned book:
  • "Still, the only nineteenth-century anthropologist to rival Morgan in influence was Edward Burnett Tylor (1832–1917)." p. 22
  • "Both Durkheim and Weber are still considered important enough to generate frequent book-length commentaries. But of all the classical sociologists, Durkheim has been most significant for anthropology, in part because he himself was concerned with many anthropological themes, in part because of his direct and immediate influence on British and French anthropology" p. 29
  • "But Tylor’s most significant contribution to modern anthropology is his definition of culture." p. 23
  • "In Great Britain, anthropology would be reshaped into social anthropology during the interwar years – a sociologically based, comparative discipline with core concepts such as social structure, norms, statuses and social interaction. In the USA, the discipline became known as cultural anthropology. Here, Tylor’s broad definition of culture, abandoned in Britain in favour of a concept of society, was retained."
  • "In the USA, the influence of ‘classical sociology’ only made itself felt many years later, and was never as strong as in Europe. The main influence here was rather from Bastian and the Völkerkunde school, which was brought into American anthropology by its (German) founding father, Franz Boas. The leading American anthropologists of the early twentieth century were therefore oriented towards cultural history, linguistics and even psychology rather than sociology" p. 29
  • "The men whose work will form the backbone of this chapter were Franz Boas (1858–1942), Bronislaw Malinowski (1884–1942), A.R. Radcliffe-Brown (1881–1955) and Marcel Mauss (1872–1950). Between them, they effected a near-total renovation of three of the four national traditions discussed in the previous chapter – the American, the British and the French." p. 37 (In a chapter titled "Four Founding Fathers") ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:55, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A second source is Henrika Kucklik's "A New History fo Anthropology" 2009. It does mention Broca and th foundation of the French society and analyzes the reasoning behind Broca's changing "ethnologie" for "anthropologie". It is stated that in Broca's usage "anthropology" was meant to put the biological study of man at the center of the discipline. Another French society of "ethnographie" was founded in 1859 exactly as a counter weight to Broca's biological reductionism. It is stated that in France, "anthropology" was used for what we today would call "physical anthropology" whereas what we today call socio-cultural anthropology was called "ethnologie". "Broca however is mostly treated under the heading "Polygenism in France", and his racial anthropometric approach is described basically as a problematic cul de sac for the discipline which was not overcome until the 1930s when French anthropology was redefined by Mauss.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:12, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some quotes from Kucklik:
  • "Disputes about race led a member of the ESL, James Hunt, to form a rival organization, the Anthropological Society of London (ASL) in 1863, named after Paul Broca’s Société d’anthropologie de Paris. (Then, “anthropology” denoted emphasis on humans’ physical characteristics.) The ASL embraced polygenism, and, though it was anti-Darwinian, hypothesized connections between human and lower animal forms". p. 54
  • "The Société ethnologique chose to study human races, which it assumed were distinct and stable, relying on hypotheses formulated by Edwards as early as 1829. It attempted methodical examination of the intellectual, moral, linguistic and historical characteristics of the world’s races. Thus, the Société created a systematic and coherent research program, focusing both on human societies and on persons as biological individuals. After the death of its creator in 1842, it grew weaker, its activities diminishing further after the revolution of 1848, until it finally dissolved in 1862 (Blanckaert 1988b). Nevertheless, its research program of “the scientific study of human races” was taken up and continued after 1859 by the Société d’anthropologie of Paris, created by Paul Broca. The change that had been made in terminology from ethnology to anthropology can be traced to a theoretical shift and to a tactical choice, both of which would insure the success and durability of the new society to the present day. (The change also stabilized the meaning of the terms “anthropologists” and “ethnologists” as they were used in France until the 1930s.) " p. 98
  • "Beginning in 1859, the Société d’anthropologie did not restrict itself to anthropometry. Nevertheless, by making biology the basis of his endeavor, Broca introduced a hierarchy among the different specialized fields that made up “anthropology defined broadly”" p. 98
  • "The role of polygenesis in French anthropology can be appreciated from the debate in the Société d’anthropologie de Paris, founded in 1859 as representing both positivist and polygenist views (Harvey 1983). The Society’s founding spirit was the neuro-anatomist Paul Broca (1824–80) who, the previous year, had laid out his views on human evolution in a series of lectures at the Société de Biologie on human and animal hybridity, hybridity providing the theoretical justification for polygenesis." p. 231
  • "Thus, the influential and greatly respected Catholic anatomist and anthropologist Armand de Quatrefages, who understood the role of natural selection in the shaping of populations, was placed in the paradoxical position of having to support Darwin against the polygenist evolutionists of the Société d’Anthropologie." p. 232
  • "With regard to methodology, Broca stressed anthropometric methods of craniology and comparative anatomy in the elaboration of racial typology. Broca and his polygenist associates engineered an award to Carl Vogt, a leading Darwinian, in 1867,in spite of the latter’s opposition to polygenism. Vogt had written authoritatively on the simian origins of mankind. By 1870, Broca’s position had shifted in the direction of accepting evolution, but with a multiple origin model, in order to preserve polygenism (Harvey 1983: 296–7). When members of the Society formed a teaching arm, the École d’Anthropologie in 1876, Broca became the first holder of the chair of general anthropology. When he died in 1880, leadership of both the Society and the School passed to a group of “scientific materialists,” evolutionists who opposed polygenism. " p. 232

More of discussion of balance[edit]

Whoa, professor. This is the sort of thing I might have expected from an academic. All right, I think I can live with it. However, let me say, if I were taking a course of yours I would certainly drop it immediately. You are too contentious and opinionated and you like to use authority to browbeat. Not for me. You make a bunch of opinionated statements that aren't backed up and you discount my sources and everything I say. No way, Jose. First of all, I have not given you any unsourced material, so leave it there for the moment, please. I did give sources for the inclusions, so I don't know what you are talking about. Second, you are trying to impose YOUR opinion of what anthropology is and is not. Professor or not, you don't get to do that. Tylor, you say, is not a cultural anthropologist. Why, I never heard of such a thing! Darwinism not important? What do you do with Marett, who says, over and over, anthropology IS Darwin? You know what, professor? I think you have tipped your hand. You're one of those creationists who are trying to remove evolution from anthropology. Why don't you contact the Leakey foundation and see what they think? So, I don't think too much of your opinions and I don't like your use of Wikipedia to promulgate them. You aren't speaking for Wikipedia, you're speaking for your personal views. This is part of the problem of having a professional on Wikipedia. You want to retain professorial rights. Your view is definitely NOT balanced. I don't know what you will do when I start checking your references, line by line, as I plan to do. I certainly hope they are in order.

So, where do we go from here? I am glad I smoked YOU out in the open, so now we can be honest. You're making this an issue that can't be walked away from, but it was only a matter of time, was it not? There are some positive points of our interaction. You do have some things to say I can connect with. Actually, my bark is worse than my bite. As I said in another discussion, I have had a lot of friends with the creationist view that I have liked pretty well. It was with regret that I had to disagree with them. I like YOU too and It pains me that I have to disagree with you. However one of your virtues is that you seem to leave an out somewhere. So, despite the professorial noise, it seems possible to negotiate a solution. We are probably going to have to do that many times.

So, the issues on the table are, what is anthropology, and how far we should go into the history here. And don't give the source baloney. Whatever source I say is automatically discredited by you!

  • the introduction defines anthropology. So, unless you want to start attacking those definitions, that is the way it has to be. Physical anthropology is in and so is Broca, the French anthropologist.
  • There might be a question about how much material on individuals should be included. I can see how you might think Broca has too much, and the article is after all pretty long. I can move most of that to the article on Broca, which currently gives us little clue. Then I can simplify the hstorical material there. You seem to prefer the classificatory approach, which is legitimate. So, we could reduce the "history" section to a few paragraphs more than the etymology.
  • The etymology that was there was one line, totally unsatisfactory. I can't let that go by. But, there is a question whether that should be there either. If we went for the history of the anthropological concept idea, then we could reduce that to mere statement that it means "the study or science of man" in the intro. I don't see one statement as being the basis for a section, just as I didn;t see the worth of a one-statement intro.

So, what do you think professor? If you are all done getting angry (and unfair) maybe you could tell me 1) shall we start another article on the history and move the etymology to there, or 2) keep some sort of section here but reduce it by moving material on individual anthropologists to their articles?

By the way, to end on a more positive note, I recognize that you have done a lot of design and writing on anthropology. I would not have you think I do not appreciate it. Surely you did not expect that all your views on the topic would be accepted as the word of God? Ciao. PS I can't spend all my time on this but I intend to see it to a conclusion. I don't know what you are going to do when I start in on your references, but let's cross that bridge later. Please do get your thoughts together and let me know which way to procede. I do not insist on anything current if there is another way. I may continue work on the citations.Botteville (talk) 15:56, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you spare the personal remarks? I will give you the chance to refactor before I read the rest of your reply.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:27, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a reciprocal request. Don't read the rest of the reply if you find it troubling. I can summarize. I need your opinion on some questions you have raised. You have objected to the material on Broca because it overemphasizes one individual, correct? If not let me know. I can solve that problem for you by reducing Broca. Tossing it out is unacceptable. The other alternative is to move it elsewhere. There are 2 choices. 1) a history of anthropology article. I can look for one or as a last resort write one 2) Rewrite the Broca article, which is scanty at this point..At this moment my inclination is the Broca article. Got any thoughts? The second issue is whether material on the early development of anthropology should be included. I could reduce it to a paragraph. Or, I could move it to a hisory article. Which would you prefer? Finally, the etymology material. What to do with it? Thank you for your suggestions on the boxes. I regard that issue as closed.Botteville (talk) 16:54, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Weight given to individuals or specific events or topics within an article should be based on the weight they are given in the literature on the topic of the article. Hence, the best way to asses how much weight Broca should have in an article about anthropology or the history of anthropology is to see how much weight he is given in general works about those topics. In the first book specifically on the history of anthropology that I got from my shelf Broca was not mentioned once. That suggests that zero weight is appropriate, unless other similar sources are found that give him more weight than Hylland's History. However in the spirit compromise we can mention him and the founding of the French society in a sentence. The rest should probably be moved to the article on Broca, it does indeed look scant and he is certainly very worthy of a good and substantial article. I also think that a section on the history of usage of the term anthropology is i order in this article. And I think the history section should be substantial, perhaps with subsections on the anthropological traditions in different countries (France, UK, US, Germnany, Russia perhaps). Broca would then fit well in the section on France.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:01, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So let it be written, so let it be done (do you remember Yul Brenner as Pharoh in "The Ten Commandments?") This is a lot of work we have outlined for me here. I think it best to start with Broca, to get him, so to speak, out of your face. The planned section on the arrival of anthropology in Britain can wait until I am ready. I have it in a Word document, no rush. These articles have been around for years (like me). I will have to research all these societies in different countries. The Germans were a little early with diffusionism.
I am not opposing your assessment but I suggest it is not a historical assessment. Naturally Broca does not count for much as a current anthropologist. He is not current. He is best known for the Broca region but that in fact is physical anthropology. I was reading Richard Leakey's assessment of when the anatomical evidence of a speech capabilty began. He waxed anatomical. Broca is of interest to me because at the time of his involvement he was a key influence on the foundation of the Anthropological Society of London, the first of its kind in Britain. Past historical figures sometimes get eclipsed, which is why I think he was not in the one book you checked. I got no trouble finding him in the books of the times on the Internet. But, I have no wish to bore you. I do tend to be more of a historian. I worked extensively on the three-ages article and the stone age.
Well, thank you for your input. Implementation of it will be slow but I promise to keep working on it steadily. Ciao.Botteville (talk) 19:51, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That sounds good. I did find mention of Broca in the second book I looked at which was more detailed, it mentioned his foundation of the French society, but mostly described his role as a proponent of polygenism and resistance to Darwinian unigenism. I have inseerted quotes from both books in the section above. Perhaps they will help you in your work on expanding the history section.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:04, 26 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. Not much to say. Have to get to work on it. We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when.Botteville (talk) 04:21, 27 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History of anthropology[edit]

Well, that was sooner than expected! Right away in fact. I just made a discovery that changes the entire picture: History of anthropology. This article was intended as a sister article to it. It says in the other article, for modern developments, see this article. I think we could have saved a lot of time if this article had been marked better. I guess you didn't know about it either or you surely would have mentioned it. So, we don't want much of a history section here. We do want markers up front that for the history of anthropology see the other article. So, the thing for me to do apparently is work on the history article. You seem to want some history here, so I can reduce it to a paragraph or two and then put in a "main" for the history article. Which means, we don't want etymology here, but over there. Also, how much anthropology is in ancient times needs to be considered. Naturally we want this one to be in good shape also. I guess it takes persistence to sort all this material out. So, I'll be putting some markers in here. Then I will working on Broca and the History article simultaneously as well as looking at refs here. My main effort will now shift to history. What is said here then will be a mere shadow of what is said there. The "inserts" as you put it will mainly disappear, except, as you say for a reduced presence, or brief mention. I'm going now, I'm tired. For a while you will find me at any of these 3 articles plus a few I was doing brief work on before that needs to be finished. I suppose my approach is matrix. I won't apologize for wasting your time as I do not think it was wasted. We have a clearer picture now of what we want, and good intelligence precedes effective operations.Botteville (talk) 04:55, 27 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dangers of anthropology[edit]

Worth a mention of the field being a menace to economic development?

Hcobb (talk) 17:34, 28 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not, really no.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:14, 28 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why is this linked to Primates?[edit]

What sort of Monkey business is this?

Puns aside, why is this under primates? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:53, 29 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Try looking through Evolution and Scientific classification and then get back to us if you still have any questions. (More seriously, because of the biological section.) — LlywelynII 18:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Nope. Wikipedia is WP:NOTADICTIONARY and the pronunciation of this term is straightforward but dependent on regional accents. Rather than include /ænθrˈpɒləi/, /-ɒpɒləi/, /-pɒləi/, /ˌænθrəˈpɑːləi/, /-ɑˈpɑːlədʒi/, /-ɑˈpɑːlədʒi/, /-ˈpɑːləi/, &c. and the variations in stress mentioned at the OED we should just leave it for Wiktionary and not clutter the lead at all. — LlywelynII 18:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Ditto on WP:TONE suggesting we don't treat this like a 7th grade book report and start out by giving a paragraph of different dictionaries' definitions. The OED, EB, and (for this topic) AAA are all great sources but "cultural or social anthropology" and "[the study of] society and culture" aren't "different catalogues": they're precisely the same catalogue. They're also precisely the same thing as the cultural anthropology mentioned in the first paragraph and the "social... sciences" mentioned by the AAA definition. Ditto "physical anthropology" and "[the study of humanity's] biology and evolutionary history", the biological anthropology mentioned in the first paragraph and the "biological sciences" mentioned by the AAA. We don't have a word count limit and there's no need to restate the exact same point four times in two paragraphs.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems WP:UNDUE to be citing a particular academic's POV in the lead of the article. If Wolf really is the last word on anthropology and has no one credible who disagrees with him on the topic, that's fine (if dubious), but the lead should explain that before citing his authority in such a prominent and definitive place. — LlywelynII 18:59, 29 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Meanwhile, the lead should also cover how socio/cultural anthropology is different from sociology and how physical anthropology is different from evolutionary biology, &c. — LlywelynII 21:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Highly outdated, obviously, but for treatment of the field's history (and example of scientific racism), Wikisource has

  • "Anthropology" , Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed., Vol. II, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1878, p. 107–123.
  • "Anthropology" , Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., Vol. II, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1911, p. 108–119.

 — LlywelynII 20:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Poles in mythology[edit]

Now we have a new article Poles in mythology, Please see and include suitable improvements , if any, in article Poles in mythology.


Mahitgar (talk) 09:08, 7 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on Anthropology. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:10, 15 October 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding "human races" to the opening sentence[edit]

Does not seem social-scientific, nor does it appear to enjoy consensus. Please respond, IP. El_C 18:30, 29 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nomination of Portal:Anthropology for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether Portal:Anthropology is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The page will be discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Anthropology until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the page during the discussion, including to improve the page to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the deletion notice from the top of the page. North America1000 00:32, 9 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Humanities is a grandparent category of Category:Anthropology. Hence the standard procedure is to not categorise the main article. PPEMES (talk) 14:55, 14 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My apologies! I've reverted myself. --Pinchme123 (talk) 02:06, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. PPEMES (talk) 09:02, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could use some attention, they are pretty poor articles. The latter is unsourced, the former has a big section whose factual accuracy is disputed. Doug Weller talk 18:26, 5 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Doug Weller: The former appears to be half or more of WP:OR (much of the section that is factually disputed). Of the sourced content, there are only four sources that aren't more than 120 years old; one of the "newer" sources is incorrectly marked as 1985 - that's the year it may have been republished - when it's originally from 1933 and one of the other three sources is a non-peer reviewed book from the early 1990s. And I know this isn't necessarily indicative of anything, but the first two pages of a popular search engine results for "anthropogeny" are dictionaries, thesauruses (thesaurii?), a research division at a single U.S. university with the word in its name, and references to said research division. I don't see how it that article rises to the level of notability and honestly my advice would be to delete it. Hopefully someone else has a better prognosis for it. --Pinchme123 (talk) 20:13, 5 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anthropology is a science[edit]

Given the use of "scientific" in this article's lead has been removed more than once, after I restored it more than once, I think it's a good idea to open a dialogue here. How does one even provide additional sourcing for what I thought until now was an innocuous (and already-sourced) claim, that anthropology is a science?

Two of the sources used for the first sentence:

  • Merriam-Webster: the science of human beings [source]
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Anthropology, 'the science of humanity,' [source]

Usually such tertiary sources are disfavored for secondary sources. However, I think that, given the context of discussing a discipline itself, it's useful to rely on tertiary sources, since secondary sources by anthropologists would really be primary sources about anthropology, yeah? These 'tertiary' sources are really more like secondary sources in this context.

For what anthropologists themselves use, the following eight professional organizations (nine, if you count a second signatory on one text - which I've excluded because it calls itself an advisory council) all describe anthropology as scientific in their association titles, About pages, Statements of Purpose, official statements by their executive boards, etc. They are from a wide range of subdisciplinary backgrounds and are from internationally-diverse places.

  1. European Association of Social Anthropologists: In this respect, anthropology is uniquely a knowledge for the 21st century, crucial in our attempts to come to terms with a globalised world, essential for building understanding and respect across real or imagined cultural divides, and it is not only the ‘most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences’, but also the most useful of the basic sciences. [source]
  2. American Anthropological Association: The purposes of the Association shall be ... to advance anthropology as the science that studies humankind in all its aspects, through archeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research; [source]
  3. International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences: Through its Scientific Commissions, the IUAES stimulates the convergence of research interests among anthropologists, and the dissemination of research findings through publications. [source]
  4. Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA): WHEREAS, [SHA and Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology] wish to reaffirm and strengthen this association in order to advance their mutual commitment to encourage responsible cultural resource stewardship, promote the interests of scientific inquiry, and provide for the dissemination of knowledge [source]
  5. The Society for Applied Anthropology: The Society has for its object the promotion of interdisciplinary scientific investigation of the principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another, and the encouragement of the wide application of these principles to practical problems, and shall be known as The Society for Applied Anthropology. [source]
  6. Society of Forensic Anthropologists (SOFA): SOFA is committed to scientific and ethical standards, professional growth and educating the medicolegal community on the use of forensic anthropology. [source]
  7. American Association of Physical Anthropologists: Physical anthropology is a biological science that deals with the adaptations, variability, and evolution of human beings and their living and fossil relatives. [source]
  8. Society for American Archaeology: When people remove an artifact without recording its precise location, we lose that context forever. At that point, the artifact has little or no scientific value. Context is what allows archaeologists to understand the relationships between artifacts and between archaeological sites. And: Paleontologists, archaeologists, and other scientists such as geologists, chemists, and biologists often work together to better understand ancient environments. [source]

Hopefully this is enough?

--Pinchme123 (talk) 04:07, 21 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pinchme123: There is no doubt that anthropology is a social science, but the phrasing that anthropology is the scientific study of humanity connotes the purpose of the field with the pursuit of objective, knowable, and universal truths about human beings based on the socially and culturally-embedded parameters of science. The omission of the "scientific" lead allows for later discussion of the nuanced role of science and scientific methodologies within anthropology, as well as a broader description of the nature of research associated with the field. Also, this might not be especially relevant to my point, but the page for sociology describes it as the study, not the scientific study of social behavior and society, despite it undoubtedly also being a social science. I just think leaving it broad will allow for a more detailed discussion of the complicated relationship between anthropology and science with regard to scientific racism and colonialism. Thanks for your input anyway though!

Akhinden (talk) 05:17, 21 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also I just wanted to add: the use of the word "study" does not preclude scientific study, but instead encompasses methodologies and anthropological theories that employ both scientific and non-scientific approaches - ultimately allowing for a more inclusive definition.

Akhinden (talk) 15:02, 21 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Akhinden: Wikipedia is based upon what reputable sources say. Please consult the Reliable Sources page to get a sense of what Wikipedia considers a reliable source and then provide some to support your opinion here. Otherwise this, while certainly an interesting argument, constitutes Original Research, which is not permitted on article pages. --Pinchme123 (talk) 15:12, 21 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education assignment: Research Process and Methodology - FA22 - Sect 200 - Thu[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 22 September 2022 and 8 December 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Janyu150.

— Assignment last updated by Janyu150 (talk) 20:38, 27 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]