Quinebaug Valley
Community College
Danielson, CT 06239

Brian Donohue-Lynch

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A Note On Anthropology and Ethics

Topics in Cultural Anthropology

Throughout its history, cultural anthropology has involved diverse approaches to a broad range of human cultural expression. Anything "human" is of interest to researchers, who in their discipline are trying to understand what it means to be human.

Often, key social and political trends in the world play a significant part in shaping the concurrent interests reflected in anthropological research. For example, in the 1940's, events related to the Second World War shaped anthropological interest in the (non-western) cultures of the peoples who were part of that war. In the 1960's and 1970's anthropologists focused on questions related to “human nature” (especially around violence and aggression), political power, and cultural identity, during a time of wars related to colonial histories.

Political eras do not strictly limit or determine what anthropology will study, but they certainly will shape this in significant ways. Meanwhile, the range of questions seems limitless—as limitless as the range and variety of human expression throughout the world.

Studying "other cultures"

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Direct your questions or comments to: Dr. Brian Donohue-Lynch

Last Modified: 9/2/02