"We [anthropologists] have been the first to insist on a number of things: that the world does not divide into the pious and the superstitious; that there are sculptures in jungles and paintings in deserts; that political order is possible without centralized power and principled justice without codified rules; that the norms of reason were not fixed in Greece, the evolution of morality not consummated in England. Most important, we were the first to insist that we see the lives of others through lenses of our own grinding and that they look back on ours through ones of their own." — Clifford Geertz.
Student on site recording sound – Photo Courtesy, School of Media, Arts and Sciences
Anthropology is a discipline to understand the diverse social-cultural phenomena. It enables us to recognize and analyze the cultural differences and diversity among people and societies in terms of every day experience. In order to understand the density of cultures across human civilization, anthropology draws and builds upon facts from the social, biological, physical as well as human sciences. A central concern and crucial job of anthropologists beyond academic responsibility is the application of knowledge to the explanation of human dilemmas. The discipline integrates the perspectives of several of these areas into research, teaching, and practice. With the advent of technology, media and interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach the discipline has crossed its boundary, which was traditionally limited to biological anthropology, socio-cultural anthropology linguistics and archaeology. The new approach in anthropological studies provides us not only a deep understanding of humans past and present but how to analyze and organize the knowledge gained and make it accessible; engage in the practical application of anthropology to various areas of contemporary human behavior. It aims to understand human interactions in all sorts of social alliances, including families, networks, communities, institutions etc. The concepts of 'culture' and 'society' are central to the discipline and it helps us to describe and understand how various organizations and institutions work. A hallmark of anthropology is its concern with similarities and discrepancies, both within and among societies, and its attention to race, sexuality, class, gender, and nationality. Topics of concern to the sub-disciplines of anthropology include areas such as socio-cultural beliefs and ideologies (memory, culture, symbols, semiotics), health, ecology and environment, education, agriculture, sustainable development, law and ethics, social change, media, communication, art and activism.