Ethnic Anthropology

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ethnic Anthropology


in the USSR, the branch of anthropology that studies the morphophysiological characteristics of particular ethnic communities (ethnoses).

The basic unit of investigation of ethnic anthropology is an areal community of people (population) that are distinguished by their racial characteristics, such as type of hair, pigmentation, and dimensions and structure of the facial skeleton. Ethnic anthropology is closely linked with genogeography, since characteristics whose heritability has been well studied often serve as markers that reflect the history of the formation, settlement, and miscegenation of populations and the races that have formed from populations.

Unlike the history of plants and animals, the history of man unfolds not only in the natural environment but in a sociocultural environment created by people through collective labor. In human society, populations are always organized in a system of social communities, subdivisions of social communities, and poly-ethnic groups; all these are found only among human beings. Analysis of the relationships between ethnoses, populations, and races in various countries in different historical periods makes it possible to use the data of ethnic anthropology as historical source material for studying the evolution of man as a biosocial being, as well as for dealing with problems of physical and cultural anthropology, demography, and historical and medical geography.


Roginskii, Ia. Ia., and M. G. Levin. Antropologiia. Moscow, 1963.
Cheboksarov, N. N., and I. A. Cheboksarova. Narody, rasy, kul’tury. Moscow, 1971.
Bromlei, Iu. V. Etnos ietnografiia. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ethnic psychology, social psychology, and ethnic anthropology are all close but likewise flawed.