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 ?
Throughout the lengthy period encompassed by the 18th and 19th centuries, the ethnological approach seemed to be equated with inventorying an ever-increasing number of empirical objects likely to become material for exhibits or for museography.
It begins with a reflexive meditation on anniversaries (capturing in its essay style some of the characteristics that public engagement has given to ethnological scholarship), moves on to a sensational biographical account of SIEF, and from there offers a disciplinary history of the present and an incisive analysis of contemporary disciplinary relations in Europe.
A statement said a request from Cyprus for the expansion of the list to include protected Ecclesiastical and Ritual Ethnological Material from 1500-1850AD was agreed.
Bourdieu discusses the methodological role of the photographs as ethnological data in a candid interview with Franz Schultheis, which was conducted at the College de France, Paris, in June 2001.
Traditional Micronesian Societies offers the reader a convincing argument, supported by a wealth of ethnological data and thoughtful examination of theoretical perspectives.
80) Under the CPIA the President has authority to enter into agreements with other nations to apply import restrictions on archaeological or ethnological material from nations that request such cooperation from the United States.
From 1900 to 1922 the institute was affiliated with the Psychological Institute of Berlin University, then till 1933 with the Berlin State College of Music, and as of 1934 became a section within the Ethnological Museum (at that time: Museum fur Volkerkunde).
The same Fund supported the project on preservation and popularization of the unique archaeological and ethnological collection of the museum of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University.
He said Lok Virsa had already documented and preserved Kashmiri indigenous craft heritage in a beautiful three-dimensional cultural display on "Kashmir" at the first ethnological museum of Pakistan at Islamabad.
This book contains the work of the writers on the Oneida Ethnological Study," writes the editor of Oneida Lives.
In June 1911 Wilhelmina Maria Uhlenbeck-Melchior accompanied her husband, Christianus Cornelius Uhlenbeck, a University of Leiden linguistics professor, to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation for a summer of ethnological field studies among the Pikuni (Blackfeet) Indians.
It is highly appropriate that Cardiff University's School of Welsh is responsible for organising the conference this year - not only due to the school's significant contribution to the world of folklore and ethnological studies over the years.