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 ?
Turning an ethnological eye on the ethnologists in their celebration of themselves, Kostlin's analysis is spot-on.
Although both Thomas and Griffiths present ethnologists in colonial and early federation Australia as a group coalescing around a shared interest in Indigenous Australia, they also comment that many of these men shared isolated existences.
By inviting ethnologists to read the debate in this context, Wendling might also be opening the door to challenging perception of intellectual posterities, especially that of Huizinga.
First, Wiley-Blackwell has entered into a publishing partnership with the American Anthropological Association (AAA; Arlington, VA) to produce 23 AAA anthropology journals and newsletters including "American Anthropologist," "American Ethnologist," "Cultural Anthropology" and "Medical Anthropology Quarterly.
Muntzer, as a pilgrim or early ethnologist, set out for the Holy Land and had various misadventures.
For Edna Rodriguez-Mangual, the work of Cuban ethnologist Lydia Cabrera merits a more prominent standing in the literature of Afro-Cuban studies.
Schieffelin, "Performance and the Cultural Construction of Reality," American Ethnologist 12 (Nov.
Many scholars who worked in Sarawak during the 1960s and 70s will remember Ibu Dindu as the wife of Benedict Sandin, the Government Ethnologist and Curator of the Sarawak Museum from 1966 through 1973.
A noted ethnologist who wrote extensive descriptions of Native American tribal life and customs that he observed first hand, he illustrated his diaries with both sketches and photographs.
ETHNOLOGIST Robert Carneiro studied with renowned anthropologist Leslie White.
Families at dinner were startled by the sudden gleam of bayonets in the doorway and rose up to be driven with blows and oaths along the trail that led to the stockade," wrote ethnologist James Mooney in 1900, after interviewing many of those forced from their homes.
Wagner is seriously confronting what Karen Sykes (American Ethnologist 30(1):156-168) in her insightful review article sees as the discipline seeking its future post 'the crisis of representation'.