• derived from the Greek words anthropus meaning “man”, “human” and logus, meaning study
  • the study of mankind
  • the science that treats of the origin, development (physical, intellectual, moral, etc.) and especially the cultural development, customs, beliefs, etc, of man.
  • the science of man and his work (Herskovitz)
  • the scientific study of physical, social, and cultural development and behavior of human beings since their appearance on earth. (Jacobs and Stem)
  • the study of humankind, everywhere, throughout time, seeks to produce useful generalization about people and their behavior and to arrive at the fullest possible understanding of human diversity
  • the study of humankind, in all times and places

The Discipline of Anthropology
Anthropology is traditionally divided into four fields: physical anthropology and the three branches of cultural anthropology, which are archeology, linguistics anthropology, and ethnology.
The sub-fields of anthropology are shown below.

  • physical anthropology – concerned primarily with humans as biological organism
  • cultural anthropology – deals with humans as cultural animals; the branch of anthropology that focuses on human behavior
  • archeology – studies materials remains, usually in order to describe and explain human behavior
  • linguistic anthropology – studies human language
  • ethnology or social anthropology – studies cultures from the historical point of view.

Relation of Anthropology to other Sciences

Physical anthropology is related to the biological sciences – anatomy, embryology, physiology, and genetics. Social anthropology is related to sociology, psychology, geography, economics, and political science; is likewise related to the humanistic disciplines, such as history, literature, art, and music.

Practical Application of Anthropology
  • reduces ethnocentrism by instilling appreciation of other cultures
  • contributes to our understanding of human beings
  • helps to avoid misunderstandings between peoples


What is Culture?
  • the sum total of what man has learned in living together
  • shared products of human learning
  • a complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
  • a social heritage, transmitted and shared from one generation to another
  • a “standard for deciding what is, what can be, how one feels about it, how to go about doing it”
  • a fabric of ideas, tasks, skills, beliefs, tools, aesthetic objects, methods of thinking, customs, and institutions into which each member of society is born.
  • a particular stage of civilization of a nation or period, such as Greek culture, the sum total of ways of living built by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation.
  • historically created designs for living explicit and implicit, rational, irrational, and non-rational, which exists at any given time as potential guides for behavior.
  • ways people learned to live together; behavior learned as a result of living in groups which tend to be patterned and to be transmitted from generation to generation.
  • The environment man has made consisting of artifacts, ideas, language, attitudes, beliefs, customs, etc., existing at a particular time and place.

Classification of Culture
  • Static or dynamic – static when it emphasizes cultural transmission, e.g. the same culture is passed on from generation to generation; dynamic, when it emphasizes change, e.g. it goes revision with each generation.
  • Stable or unstable – stable when folkways and mores are satisfying, new elements and traits are incorporate smoothly and without conflict; unstable, when the group does not have satisfying solutions to most of its problems and conflict exists between the traditional and radical groups and their values.

Forms of Culture
  • material culture – consists of tangible things like houses, clothing, tools, utensils, automobiles, TV, etc.
  • non-material – refers to what is symbolic or intangibles such as sentiments, folkways, mores, system of beliefs and knowledge.
§ Folkways – traditional ways of doing things in a certain culture e.g. pamamanhikan
§ Mores – heavily sanctioned folkways for group survival and are accepted without question as they embody moral views of the group e.g. the ulog of the igorot.
§ custom – a habitual practice, e.g. kissing the hands of the elders.
§ Beliefs – part of non-material culture, e.g. the belief of the enkantos

Characteristics of Culture
  • only human society possesses culture
  • human cultures vary considerably although they resemble each other in some respect
  • culture tends to persist once learned and accepted
  • culture changes gradually and continuously
  • culture exists in the minds of men who learned from previous generations and who use it to guide their conduct with others.
  • there is a tendency to borrow from other cultures
  • members of a culture may behave differently as in the case of those who belong to sub-cultures
  • no person can escape entirely from his culture

Another Set of Characteristics
  • concerned with actions, ideas, and artifacts which individuals learn, share, and value; others call this organized group behavior an institution.
  • may be regarded as a historical phenomenon, originating through innovation and spread by diffusion
  • may be regarded as a historical phenomenon – geographic or locality distribution
  • tends to be patterned – repetition of similar approved behaviors so that it has form or structure
  • elements have a function
  • tends to be integrated – unity of premises, values, goals
  • subject to change, individual conduct varies, innovations occur, etc.
  • valid to the extent that the local way of life is well-defined, homogenous, stable
  • sometimes designed as a system where interrelated elements are treated as a whole
  • a “continuum” – passed on from individual, from generation to generation
  • symbolic – meanings attached and personal motivations

Educational Implications
  • cultures differ and one should not judge another culture by using his own culture as basis
  • to avoid prejudices, there should be more contact between cultures
  • travel, education, and reading about other societies are ways of bringing about tolerance and understanding between nations
  • with more diffusion between cultures, one global society may result
  • society can be improved by improving the culture.
  • since culture is made by man himself, he should develop worthwhile values and wee out those beliefs
  • since culture is learned, the school should inculcate in the young. Good aspects of the culture
  • since the culture changes, the change should be for the better and society should decide what those changes should be
  • the home, the school, and the church, should guard against borrowing from other cultures things that are against the Philippine way of life.


  • a vocal symbolism of speech, with its related bodily gestures and mechanical signals which give precision and finesse to communicate
  • a way of speaking, distinct every culture
  • a system of arbitrary vocals symbols by which members of a social group cooperate and interact – by which the learning process is effectuated and given way of life achieved through continuity and change.

Significance and Function of Language
  • language is very important for without which knowledge could not have been maintained and accumulated
  • language is a form of learned behavior by which people communicate with each other, this function is probably one of the most important, if not the most important functions of language.
  • language is the vehicle of culture by which the culture is passed on from generation to generation
  • language is a means of cooperation through which people learn to play together and to work together
  • from the anthropological point of view, language is a way to making people close to one another, of fostering the feeling of belongingness.

Elements of Language
According to Herkovitz, every language has three parts:
  • phonemic system consisting of sounds
  • combination of sounds into units that have distinct significance – vocabulary
  • combination and recommendation of number 2 into larger units – grammar

According to Keesing, the parts language are:

  • set of sound signals, the articulatory or phonetic system – phonology
  • structural principles that put sound signals in customary form – grammar or porphology (structure)
  • set of meanings for signals and forms – (sematics); words embodying all 3 aspects of language in significant interrelation

Kottak gives the following parts:

  • phonology – study of sounds in human speech
  • grammar – arrangement of sounds into longer sequence of speech or longer utterances
  • lexicon – vocabulary or the meaning system of language

Summing up; then all language has:

  • well-defined system of speech sounds
  • grammar – way of putting together words, phrases, sentence according to definite rules
  • vocabulary which increase with every culture item

Linguistic Structure
Analysis of the language shows that it is composed of:
  • phonemics – similar sounds contrasting and mutually exclusive; the same sounds, but different in meaning
  • morphemes – minimum significant unit forming a word or part of a word
  • morphology – combinations of words into linguistic form. The combination of words into sentences following grammatical rules, such as subject (noun), predicate (verb) and modifier (adverb or adjective).

Importance of the Study of language
Language should be studied because it is an aspect of culture that differentiates man from animals. It must be used correctly, as it is the criterion that differentiates the educated from the uneducated.

  • a set of techniques for the graphic representation of speech
  • round-about speech or mechanical gestures; a series of graphic symbols which hold and store information more or less permanently according to the medium, apart from the individuals who are in communication.

Invention of Writing
Writing is said to be a more recent invention than language. While language appeared more than a million years ago, that is, when man first acquired the rudiments of culture, the first written record in English were dated A.D. 900.

Development of Writing
  • conventionalized pictographs – regarded as the earliest from of writing a kind of writing called pictograph or picture writing.
  • Logograph writing – appeared in the Near East, in Chinese, and in Maya writing
  • Ideograph – developed in China
  • Syllabic writing – widespread in Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Sumeria
  • Alphabetic writing – this system of writing developed around 1800 B.C. The Phoenicians are credited with the invention of the alphabet

Relation of Writing to Language
Language is a complex of patterns that govern or control speech while writing is the written symbol of speech. Writing is recent invention compared to language. All societies having more or less the same level of development possess language, but not writing. Writing is found in advanced societies but may be lacking in primitive tribes.

Importance of Writing
  • it is essential to the highly complex civilization
  • it makes possible long distance communication
  • it is a mean of keeping records and preserving them for posterity
  • it is vital to the system of education, research, and to world culture
  • it is considered by scientist as the beginning of true civilization

Educational Implications
  • since language is an agent of culture, one should study the language well and speak it correctly
  • the more language a person knows, the better educated he is and the easier he can adjust to other people.
  • to understand people, it is necessary to know their language
  • knowing people’s language is a means to fostering good public relations
  • since English is the language spoken through most of the world, one should study it well.
  • reading books and magazines is one way of increasing one’s vocabulary.
  • a person should learn to write legibly and clearly, as this is a mark of the well educated
  • fluency in speaking and writing comes with practice; so one should take every opportunity to speak and write well


What is Religion?
  • recognition of belief in some source or power that transcends humans and is capable of assessing or harming them.
  • a kind of human behavior which can be classified as belief and ritual concerned with supernatural beings, powers, and forces
  • response to man’s needs for an organized conception of the universe, for mechanism that will allay his anxieties concerning his inability to predict and understand events that do not conform to natural law.
  • the control of the universe; means by which man maintains himself in the scheme of things

From the foregoing definitions, certain characteristics of religion are evident: (1) belief in the supernatural, which is powerful (2) an influence on human behavior, (3) an explanation for what is unexpected.

Examples of situations that cannot be explained by science where religion is used to provide the answer:

  • a healthy individual who had no previous history of heart disease suddenly has a heart attack and dies.
  • a person who has cancer as shown by x-ray suddenly shows no trace of the disease after a visit to the Lourdes shrine in France.
  • an out-of-reason typhoon in April destroys a crop
  • a very good husband, rich and good-looking is deserted by his wife.

Folk Primitive Religion
It is not clear as to where or how religion started, but even the primitive tribes had some kind of religion. American Indians worshipped supernatural beings, as did the ancient Filipinos. The Aztecs of Mexico worshipped a god. The city-state of Athens worshipped the goddess of Athena. The Greeks and the Romans had their gods and goddesses. The Roman emperor and the Egyptian pharaoh were regarded as deities in times of classical antiquity. The Japanese emperor was venerated as descendant of the sun-god before World War II.

Varieties of Religion
Religions of different kinds abound in the world today. The Christian religions are composed of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox, and Judea-Christianity. The non-Christian religions consist of; Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Jewish, Shintoism, Animism. All religions have many things in common rather than differences. The golden rule is part of most religions.

Beliefs in Most Societies Regarding Religion

Whatever religion people to, different societies have common beliefs as follows: a) religion does things for people, b) it has to do with the power of the universe, the range and intensity of these powers, and the manner in which they influence the lives of people, c) and there are methods by which these powers may be enlisted in behalf of man, not only has benevolent guardians, but also as agents that may help man achieve certain ends.

Uses/Functions of Religion
  • explain events or situation that defy comprehension
  • provide comfort in times of stress and anxiety
  • set guidelines for conduct of human affairs and furnish a sense of common purpose for members of a social group.
  • Provide an organized picture of the universe and establish orderly relationship between man and his surroundings.
  • reduce fears and anxiety and give man not only a feeling of security in the uncertain present, but the hope as well as tolerable future.
  • reflect close and intimate relations with the world of the supernatural and also with animals, plants, and other aspects of nature.
  • reinforce and maintain cultural values
  • support and emphasize particular culturally defined standards of behavior.
  • preserve knowledge through rituals and ceremony
  • rituals and ceremonies together with uniform beliefs contribute to social participation and solidarity.
§ Individual participation in such occasion brings emotional satisfaction
§ Ceremonies serve as a social function, which develop social cohesion and group solidarity.
§ also create and maintain divisions
§ instrument of change – e.g. Jesus Christ’s preaching of love

Educational Implications
  • it is important for every one to have a religion in view of the role that religion plays in one’s life
  • since religion influences behavior, one should choose one’s religion wisely
  • since the nature and function of all religions are the same, there should be tolerance of all religions
  • one should study one’s religion well and live it.
  • apply the teachings of religion to self, family community, and the world.