ethnology

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ethnology

(ĕthnŏl`əjē), scientific study of the origin and functioning of human cultures. It is usually considered one of the major branches of cultural anthropologyanthropology,
classification and analysis of humans and their society, descriptively, culturally, historically, and physically. Its unique contribution to studying the bonds of human social relations has been the distinctive concept of culture.
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, the other two being anthropological archaeology and anthropological linguistics. In the 19th cent. ethnology was historically oriented and offered explanations for extant cultures, languages, and races in terms of diffusion, migration, and other historical processes. In the 20th cent. ethnology has focused on the comparative study of past and contemporary cultures. Since cultural phenomena can seldom be studied under conditions of experiment or control, comparative data from the total range of human behavior helps the ethnologist to avoid those assumptions about human nature that may be implicit in the dictates of any single culture.

Bibliography

See R. H. Lowie, The History of Ethnological Theory (1938); E. A. Hoebel, Man in the Primitive World (1949, 2d ed. 1958); M. Mead, People and Places (1959); B. Schwartz, Culture and Society (1968); C. Geertz, The Interpretation of Culture (1973); E. Hatch, Theories of Man and Culture (1973).

ethnology

the comparative historical study of peoples and cultures within their environments.

In the USA and parts of Europe ‘ethnology’ has sometimes served as an all-encompassing concept for human studies, including various mixes of archaeology, study of material culture, linguistics, sociology together with social, cultural, and physical anthropology, which may also include sociology as a sub-part.

There has been resistance to such an overarching view. British social anthropology for example, has usually distanced itself from the all-encompassing ‘grand’ historical view implied by the ethnological enterprise. RADCLIFFE-BROWN and others advocated ethnographic studies of the social organization of peoples in the ‘here and now’ as a methodological departure from ethnologies, and historicism, although retaining a concern for comparative study.

In contrast, American cultural anthropology, following the lead of BOAS and of Kroeber (Anthropology: Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, 1923) has championed the ambitious all-encompassing broad sweep of ethnological enquiry alongside ethnographic studies, as nothing less than the classification and taxonomization of the ‘total’ history of humankind in all its physical, material and cultural manifestations.

ethnology

[eth′näl·ə·jē]
(anthropology)
The science that deals with the study of the origin, distribution, and relations of races or ethnic groups of humankind.

ethnology

the branch of anthropology that deals with races and peoples, their relations to one another, their origins, and their distinctive characteristics
References in periodicals archive ?
republicanism, Anglo-Saxonism, and white privilege that informed the ethnological accounts of the American School and ultimately the racist politics of the post-Reconstruction period.
Recent comparative cultural and literary studies of American modernism have begun to "break down the ethnological barriers" that have defined the parameters of the Harlem Renaissance, arguing that its formation was more intercultural--and more international--than its most influential historians have suggested.
Under those benign simian shadows who wouldn't shed all ethnological obsessions?
Contract award notice: procurement of goods - furniture for equipping the center of the ethnological heritage baranja in beli manastir, street king tomislav 70, including office furniture, exhibition space, the chairs for the multimedia hall and office space, furniture for ethnic cuisine and furniture for the ethnological collection, in accordance with the specification and other required conditions specified in this tender documentation
About other ideas, he said, "I also plan to create cultural centres and ethnological museums on the pattern of Lok Virsa and Heritage Mueum in all the provinces in close collaboration with provincial culture departments".
The secretary was taken around various displays at the first ethnological museum of Pakistan, popularly known as Heritage Museum, portraying living folk culture and lifestyles of the people representing each and every corner of the country including remotest parts.
Past studies of electronic music have focused on its history and its sociological and ethnological presence in the music world.
The passage ensued with no stops in friendly harbors and became a Grand Tour beyond touristic views, ethnological curiosity, or scientific-cultural research.
In June 1907, Picasso visited the ethnological museum in Paris's Palais du Trocadero, where the African and Oceanic objects on display affected him profoundly.
One of the most characteristic and distinctive features of Winternitz' publications is a recurrent interest in folkloric and ethnological approaches to the interpretation of Indic texts and classical culture, a dimension which is often ignored by exclusively text-oriented scholars in the traditional European mode.
One of the ways in which this book could serve as a resource for further discussion, not only of Thurnwald but of the conditions and presuppositions of ethnological work done by his generation, would be to consider whether the account of how his fieldwork was carried out modifies our reception of Thurnwald's published ethnographies.