A Culture As An Integrated Whole?

1346 Words6 Pages
1. Why do anthropologists say it is useful to look at a culture as an integrated whole? a. Culture, which is shaped by the set of beliefs, customs, values, norms, and behaviors transmitted through learning and observance (Kottak 2), is studied by numerous disciplines including: sociology, biology, psychology, history, medicine, anthropology, etc. However, what sets Anthropology apart from these distinct and often narrow views of human culture is the fact that Anthropology seeks to combine these separate views into a single framework when studying culture. This holistic approach is extremely beneficial when applied because there are several external factors that affect, or have affected the composition of a particular culture and Anthropologists are able to examine and interpret their findings using an integrated approach. This therefore decreases the likelihood of an Anthropologist to apply a scientifically biased approach when analyzing their observations. Using an integrated approach towards culture also produces findings that are more accurate, especially when Anthropologists are dealing with a culture from the past. For instance, if clothing/textiles were uncovered from a site, then applying a biological approach would allow researchers to determine the geographical origin of the material and thus determine whether another society influenced this particular culture, while applying a sociological approach would allow a researcher to determine whether the article of
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