Armchair Anthropology : The Historical Context Of Anthropology

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The Historical Context of Anthropology Since the emergence of anthropology in the late 1800’s, the customs and methods of this academic discipline have been altered in many ways. It is assumed that in the early years of anthropology, theorists relied on travelers in order to articulate their theories (Dahl 2017). This practice is known as armchair anthropology and involves creating theories without any fieldwork. Some examples of famous armchair anthropologists include Edward Burnett Tylor and James Frazer. The work of both theorists involved no travelling or conducting of fieldwork. Early anthropology focused on primitive cultures and how societies transformed from being barbaric to civilized. In modern days, anthropology is discovering new topics to study every day and the information relies a great amount on fieldwork and lab work conducted by anthropologists to support their findings. As some of the early methods of anthropology continue to be used by anthropology, more are being developed in order to produce more efficient research and theories. Armchair anthropologists conclude their research by studying artifacts and not conducting the proper research required (Horn 2012). Theories made by armchair anthropologists are based on assumptions rather than facts and evidence, this can cause misunderstandings between different races and cultures that are being studied leading to false information being spread and becoming popularized. Before ethnographic fieldwork was

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