What Is Applied Anthropology?

Applied Anthropology

Applied anthropology entails applying the study of human language, culture, behavior, and biology. Applied anthropologists use data retrieval, tools of research, and anthropological methods to solve the real- world issues and problems.  Human beings helped by the anthropologist using ethnography, observation, and collecting research findings and data. These methods and tools of applied anthropology help individual understand the other person and recognize that other individuals are different. Consequently, the anthropologist will observe, and offer a report of differences, comparisons, and evolutionary information to obtain a holistic outlook on a different way of human life. The field of Applied Anthropology states that “applied anthropology is the scientific investigation of the ideology controlling the relationship between the various people, and the support of the wide applications of these doctrines to practical problems”   (Making Anthropology public, 2008).

Applied anthropology classified in four subfields of anthropology: linguistic, biology, cultural, and archeology. Anthropologists always find ways to implement these subfields to common problems so as to come up with feasible solutions (Study.com, n.d). Consequently, applied anthropologists are concerned and involved in social, political, in government, organizations, corporate, medical, law enforcement, political, and economic field.  Nonetheless, these different anthropologists offer anthropological outlook to areas not considered applicable to anthropology.  Conversely, traditional anthropology centers on unknown people, cultures and tribal studies throughout history.  Applied anthropology allows the world to recognize and appreciate the effects of improved and advanced technology.

Medical Anthropology

It is a subfield of anthropology, which draws upon biological, social, linguistic, and cultural, anthropology. So as to comprehend and understand the factors that influence health, prevention and treatment of sickness, distribution of disease, therapy management, the cultural importance of utilization of pluralistic medical systems, and the social relations of therapy management. Therefore, the field of medical anthropology comprises of various many abstract and theoretical approaches (Wallace, 2011). It relates to modern bioscientific epidemiology, the social construction of knowledge, scientific discovery and hypothesis testing, and health culture. Consequently, medical anthropologists observe and examine how the health of people, communities, and their environment are affected by interconnections between human beings and other species; macro and micro politics; force globalization, social institution, and cultural norms as each of these affects the worlds.

Biological Anthropologists

The biological anthropologists carry out analytical studies of the non-cultural features of humans and other species. Non-cultural characteristics and aspects can define the biological features that heritably inherited in contrast to learned.  Species or near-human is a class that includes fossils, apes, monkeys, and other primates. Therefore, the most significant concern and interest of modern biological anthropologists are human evolution (Wallace, 2011).  They are curious to know how our ancestors evolved through time and became what we are today. Further, biological anthropologists are also concerned in recognizing and appreciating the genetic inheritance, human variation, adaptation to various environmental factors and mechanism of evolution

Additionally, biological anthropologists are divided into three categories which are the primatologist, paleoanthropologist, and human biology.


Carry out non-human primate studies. The studies were done in a natural setting among monkeys, wild apes, and related animals. Usually, primatologists learn about abilities and behavior patterns of primates.


Recuperate and recover the fossil record of early humans and their primate ancestors so as to comprehend the path of evolution. Consequently, paleoanthropologists work with pale zoologists, and geologists, and scientists with other areas of expertise who help them restructure ancient environment.

 Human biology

It is interested and concerned with learning about genetic inheritance patterns, non-cultural adaptations, to environmental stresses, and other biological features of our human species and human diversity.

Cultural anthropologists

These categories of anthropologists are concerned and interested in learning about the cultural characteristics and aspects of human communities globally. The cultural anthropologists center their research on such things as the political, social, marriage kingships, and patterns, economic patterns, religious beliefs of various communities. Further, cultural anthropologists study and learn in contemporary communities and not the old ones (Wallace, 2011). During, the 19th and 20th centuries, cultural anthropologists were interested in studying and knowing about small-scale, isolated communities that had cultures that were different from the developed countries. Conversely, the 21st cultural anthropologists study modern subcultures of large scale communities such as large families living in Minnesota and conservative communities in Pennsylvania.

In conclusion, we are living in a period of exceptional and extraordinary cultural and social change around the world, and the degree and rate of change are speeding up due to rapid technological invention and population growth especially in communication and infrastructure. Therefore, all of the communities isolated in the past have been incorporated into the world economy and are greatly influenced by the primary cultures of the developed nations. As a result, a higher percentage of the language in the world today will become wiped out as an existing language at the end of 21st century. Conversely, cultural and linguistic anthropologists have worked assiduously to study and comprehend this diversity that soon will be lost. Contrary, applied anthropology is still a worth study to learn as it gives solutions to the current world problems and issues.

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