Basic Concepts of Anthropology

Concepts of Anthropology.Anthropology comes from Greek, Anthropology consists of 2 syllables namely  Anthropos  and  Logos . Anthropos  means human and  Logos  means science, so etymologically Antopology means the study of human beings. So, it can be interpreted that Anthropology is the study of humans, in a special sense, which refers to all types of humans in all ages, starting from humans who there are more than a million years ago until today, through a comparative and historical approach from cultures all over the world, once inhabited by humans. A prominent aspect of anthropology is the holistic approach (holistic), not specific (atomistic).

Following this there is one of the well-known figures in the science of Anthropology namely Koentjaraningrat he argued that anthropology is a science that studies humans universally and learns all colors, physical form of society and culture in society itself.

 Concepts of Anthropology:

  1. Culture

The term culture (culture) comes from the Latin language, namely culture from the word colere which means to grow or develop. However, in general the notion of culture focuses on the collection of knowledge that is socially passed on from one generation to the next. The meaning is in contrast with everyday understanding of culture, which only refers to certain parts of social heritage, namely the tradition of courtesy and art.

  1. Ethnic Group Ethnic
    Custom Ethnic Group is a condition regarding customs or traditions that are owned and developed even dilestarika by various ethnic groups living in the world. For example, the Javanese community when going to carry out marriage must meet the requirements desired by the elders or the Javanese community first.
  2. Ethnocentrism
    Is an action taken by certain groups that are more inclined to promote their own culture than other ethnic cultures. For example, people from Java consider their culture better than other cultures.
  3. Cultural Relativism (Cultural Relativism)
    Is a thought that rejects certain criticism of culture that is useful in determining a sense, pattern of behavior, values ​​and norms that have been shared in society. For example, someone who likes pop music should not look down on dangdut music because his songs are ancient and known genres that are only for proletariat.
  4. Emic, Ethic, Holistic
    Emic is a viewpoint in ethnography that tries to explain a certain phenomenon in society with the perspective of the community itself. Neither with ethics, where ethics here seeks to explain a phenomenon that occurs in society with the viewpoint of researchers.
  5. Social Structure
    Is an order or series that is vertical or level in society, which determines whether or not strong relations between community members in social life.
  6. Unity in Diversity
    Is a motto of the Indonesian ethnic group, which aims to make people remember that they must unite with each other despite the differences in ethnicity, race, religion that are spread in this Indonesian country. So it is hoped that the Indonesian people will not cause a quarrel and conflict between regions.
  7. National harmony
    A social condition when all people in a particular country, for example Indonesia can live in harmony together without reducing the basic rights and obligations to the state.
  8. Mental Attitude
    Is one of the fundamental elements in guaranteeing a good or normal state. This element becomes a determinant for individuals in their behavior, whether their behavior is appropriate or not in society. So, through these behaviors they can instill good values ​​such as honesty, discipline, care where they are all needed in social life.
  9. Mental
    Revolution Revolution is a basic change which occurs in certain times and is very short. While mental is the ability of individuals to respond to certain conditions. So, mental revolution is a change in conditions and situations that occur in a short time related to the mindset of individuals in action (response).

Cultural Appearance

This culture can take the form of ideas, norms or regulations, and social activities as well as material forms. Koentjaraningrat (1990: 186-187) , divides cultural forms as follows:

  1. The form of culture as a complex of ideas, ideas, values, norms, regulations. This cultural form is abstract, cannot be touched. The location is in the head, or in other words it is in the mind of man where the culture in question lives. Anthropologists call this system or  “Cultural System” . In Indonesian, it is often called  adat  or  customs  for the plural.
  2. The form of culture as a complex of activities and actions of human groups. The second form of culture is often called a socialsystem, this social system consists of activities of people who interact, relate, and get along with each other, which from second to second, from day to day and year to year always follows patterns certain based on custom behavior. The social system is concrete, happens around us everyday, can be observed, photographed and documented.
  3. The form of culture as objects created by humans. The third form of culture is called physical culture. Therefore it is the total total physical results of the activities, actions and works of all humans in society, the most concrete nature, and in the form of objects or things that can be touched, seen and photographed.

Sub-discipline of Anthropology.

Within the branches of anthropology is basically divided into 2, where the explanation is as follows:

  1. Physical Anthropology

Physical anthropology studies humans as biological organisms that track human development according to their evolution and investigate their biological variations in various types (species).

  1. Cultural Anthropology

Cultural anthropology focuses its attention on human culture or its way of life in society. How humans maintain their lives, find food for their living needs and so forth.

Meanwhile, according to Haviland, the branch of Antopology is divided into three: archeology, linguistic anthropology and ethnology.

  1. Archeology is a branch of cultural anthropology which studies the objects of old relics with a maximal to describe and explain human behavior because in the relics that reflect the old cultural expression.
  2. Linguistic anthropology. Ernest Cassirer said that humans are the most proficient creators in using symbols so that humans are called  Homo symbolicum because that is why humans can talk, speak and perform other movements which are also carried out by many other creatures similar to humans.
  3. The ethnology approach is ethnographic, referring more to his concern about cultures today, the source of his study is also centered on human behavior that can be witnessed directly, experienced, and discussed with supporters of the culture itself. Thus ethnology is actually similar to archeology, but the difference in ethnology is about the present that is experienced in present life, while archeology is about the classical past. Anthropology essentially documents the human condition of the past and present.

The Purpose and Use of Anthropology

In their daily activities, humans always apply the science of anthropology in various patterns of behavior and social interactions to relate to one another, therefore the science of anthropology has the aim to be studied, as follows:

  1. Academic Purpose

Anthropology wants to reach an understanding of human beings, in general, by studying various physical forms, society and culture.

  1. Practical Purpose

Anthropology wants to know and study humans in various colors of society, ethnic groups in order to build the community itself. For example the shape of the skin, language style and so forth

The following are the uses of anthropology for humans in social life, among others, as follows:

  1. See clearly about humans, both as individuals and members of community groups.
  2. Being able to examine the position of humans in society and be able to see the world or other cultures that we have not known before.
  3. Understand the norms, traditions, beliefs and values ​​held by certain societies.
  4. Be more responsive, critical, and rational in facing social problems that are increasingly complex.
  5. Arrange ethnographies that enable the creation of theories about the origin of beliefs, family, marriage, state behavior, and so on.
  6. To be able to better understand the concept of anthropology itself so that people can be wiser in applying it in aspects of social life.

To support this material, here I add a post with the news article below:

Articles on Basic Concepts of Anthropology

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  1. What do you get after studying the Basic Concepts of Anthropology material?
  2. Explain the difference in understanding of Anthropology and Anthropology? Are they the same? Compare the two meanings?
  3. Make a review of the article above? Then related to the basic concept of anthropology?
  4. Give an example of the connection between Anthropology learning based on cultural traditions in Indonesia that you know about?
by Abdullah Sam
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