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Compare and contrast the American approach to anthropology through 'Culture and Personality' with the approach of the British 'Functionalist School' Essay Example

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Compare and contrast the American approach to anthropology through 'Culture and Personality' with the approach of the British 'Functionalist School'

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Erik Erikson and Ruth Benedict were among the pioneer leaders who worked towards understanding the approach of the American anthropology in the domain of personality and culture3.The American approach to anthropology mainly includes gaining knowledge from the textbook about past culture as well as personality and interlinking the same with the assumptions and theories developed by numerous scholars for this particular subject matter. However, this particular approach limits the extensiveness, accuracy and reliability of the information gathered through anthropological studies. With regard to the American perspectives of anthropology, it is believed that there is a cognitive difference amid the civilised American society and the primitive one. The way of thinking amid the primitive men and civilised contemporary men within the American society differ in terms of their mental process, as a civilised man is believed to have higher mental stability than that of the primitive men. On the other hand, with regard to personality, anthropological approach of the Americans mainly considers the basic outlook of personality as well as modal personality. It is ascertained that within the American society, culture is mainly developed from individual characteristics of personality4.Functionalism was a particular concept developed as a reaction against all the prevailing outdated ideologies relevant to anthropological study. It was an approach to ensure an evolutionism in the anthropological approach of the British and the American society. The approach of the British to anthropology is mainly characterised with the theory of functionalism. British functionalism intends to shift from the diachronic study with regard to customs and culture and move to a more functional approach with due consideration to the present day anthropological scenario. The British approach to functionalism relates to the approach of evaluating socio-cultural inquiry based on theories and methods rather than following comprehension relevant to the evolution of the societal history. It has been noted that evolutionary approach mainly deals with understanding the customs or cultural traits based on the remnants of the past culture or history. However, with numerous transformations, the functional theory that is being followed by the British intends to elaborate the socio-cultural prevalence based

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preview essay on Compare and contrast the American approach to anthropology through 'Culture and Personality' with the approach of the British 'Functionalist School'
  • Pages: 8 (2000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Anthropology
  • Level: Undergraduate
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