Anthropology is the science that studies the human being. In fact, the word anthropology comes from the Greek “anthropos” which means man, and from “logos” which means knowledge.
It as a scientific discipline has a general character and to understand its orientation it is necessary to make a brief tour of its various areas.
Branches of Anthropology
Cultural anthropology is focused on the study of human societies . A community is a set of individuals who share the same language, customs, beliefs and family relationships. The cultural anthropologist can study any ethnic group and the set of values and ideas that manifest themselves among individuals.
Philosophical anthropology comes to be a reflection on human processes linked to the physiological aspect. There is a process of hominization through which the evolution of man is perceived (bipedism, increased brain capacity, use of hands, type of diet , etc.). At the same time, it can be said that this hominization process includes certain aspects such as socialization, kinship rules, the prohibition of incest, taboos, myths, burials and a series of elements typical of the human condition.
Forensic anthropology aims to identify human remains. From the information obtained, it is possible to draw conclusions about a crime, about the type of life of an individual, their illnesses, etc. The forensic anthropologist can provide relevant information to the police or visit a psychologist who tries to help the victim’s family.
It generally conducts comparative studies. Along these lines, comparative anthropology allows us to understand a culture by establishing similarities and differences with other cultures.
Sometimes the study of man is guided by a concrete human aspect. In this sense, there is the anthropology of religion (which analyzes the religious phenomenon to understand its influence within society), the anthropology of a civilization (for example, Greek and Roman), including linguistic anthropology (which tries to establish a relationship between languages and population genetics). These examples highlight that the study of the human being can be specialized in several areas, as man is a social animal and at the same time an economic, linguistic and religious animal. These dimensions of the human are variants of a general anthropology.