Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Beginning of Anthropology and Sociology

The Beginning of Anthropology and Sociology
The beginnings of anthropology go back to the period of discovery and exploration, from the nineteenth centuries.

Sources of facts are the accounts of early Western explorers, missionaries, soldiers, and colonial official regarding the strange behavior and beliefs as well as exotic appearance of people they had come in contact with.

Discoveries of flint tools and other artifacts in Europe in the early nineteenth century gave evidence of the existence of human beings a million years ago.

These discoveries happened at a time when advances in physics and chemistry were made, arousing an interest in scientific inquiry.

In the nineteenth century anthropology began to take shape as a separate field of study that had its root in the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

Edward Tylor was the first professor of anthropology in Oxford, England. In United States, it was Franz Boas of Clark University, Massachusetts.

From 1980, ethnographers approached the study of local culture as embedded within regional and tribal forces.

Another change in the approach of ethnographers is their focus on only one topic of interest avoiding the holistic approach. Still another trend is the expanded interest in history.

Sociology is a separate field of study has its roots in Europe, particularly in France at the time of the Industrial Revolution.

Social problems attended these social upheavals.

The pioneers were Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) and Auguste Comte (1798-1857).

Comte, a French philosophers, believed that the methods and techniques of the natural science could be fruitfully applied to the study of society.

He coined the term “sociology.” Other early sociologists were Herbert Spencer, Ferdinand Toennies, and Karl Marx.

Marx contribute ideas about class conflict and social change.

After World War II, there were changes in the balance of political power, this led to comparative and international themes.

Sociology had to adapt to these changes and to those of the globalizing world. The American sociologists working in Europe and North America were excited about the fresh possibilities of societies other than their own getting interested in sociology.

Among them were Barrington Moore, Clark Kerr, Talcott Parsons, Andre Gunder Frank, a German scholar, and Peter Worsley, an English sociologist.
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