Ethnology

ethnology (ĕthnŏl´əjē), scientific study of the origin and functioning of human cultures. It is usually considered one of the major branches of cultural anthropology, 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.

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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Ethnology: Selected full-text books and articles

Culture & Ethnology By Robert H. Lowie Peter Smith, 1929
Introduction: Units for Describing and Analyzing Culture and Society By de Munck, Victor Ethnology, Vol. 39, No. 4, Fall 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Distributional Instability and the Units of Culture(1) By Gatewood, John B Ethnology, Vol. 39, No. 4, Fall 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Anthropology and Human Behavior By Anthropological Society of Washington Anthropological Society of Washington, 1962
Social Anthropology and Other Essays By E. E. Evans-Pritchard Free Press, 1966
The Idea of Social Structure By George Park Anchor Books, 1974
Language, Culture, and Communication By Joseph Greenberg Stanford University Press, 1971
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Linguistics and Ethnology"
The Classic Southwest: Readings in Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and Ethnology By Basil C. Hedrick; J. Charles Kelley; Carroll L. Riley Southern Illinois University Press, 1973
Dictionary of Concepts in Cultural Anthropology By Robert H. Winthrop Greenwood Press, 1991
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