Anthropology facts, JST Video

What is cultural anthropology?

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Hi everyone, I am back with one new video (for a brand new series) dedicated to anthropology.
This is going to be a challenging experiment for me, because talking about anthropology means to analyze the origin of this discipline, its developments and how it interacts, today, with the rest of human sciences and politics.

However, I am thrilled to give it a try, and today I want to begin with a brief intro, a very first definition, a quick answer to the question “What is anthropology?”

What is cultural anthropology?

There are plenty of textbooks and definitions to answer this question: the one I like most is that cultural anthropology is the science (or discipline) that studies similarities and diversities between human beings. More precisely between human societies and culture.

This is a very interesting definition, because it opens the idea that similarities and diversities are often used as political tools, from time to time, in different cultures and context; one may underline similarities with other groups (in order to gain strength from them), or push on the diversities, to underline unicity and to distance themselves from the other.

Diversities and similarities, then, play a central role when we talk about inequality.

Moreover, this first definition opens to the reflection about humanity: what is a human being in the different culture, how humans differ from other species, and how this image changes when a group meets another culture or society?

I hope we’ll have plenty of time to discuss all these notions in the future, because they are fascinating and they reveal some interesting mechanism in the way societies interact with one another.

I also hope you will find this series interesting, because I truly believe anthropology can be an important tool to help us understand the world, and to destroy prejudices and inequalities.

Let me know what you think, in the comment section below!


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