What is ethnology

What is ethnology

Ethnology – science about nationalities, their customs, cultural and religious features. It was created in the 19th century. Formation of this sphere of historical and humanitarian knowledge is closely connected with other sciences about the person.

Formation of ethnology (from the Greek words "people" and "doctrine") is connected with ethnography – the field science which is engaged in the description of various cultures. Geographical discoveries and colonization of lands provided to the European researchers rich material. Primitive cultures in comparison with which the civilization of the Old World was considered highly developed, steel for Europeans peculiar "living ancestors". After studying their customs and customs, everyday life and religious cults the turn of generalization and systematization of the received knowledge came.

Date of birth of this science can be considered 1839 when the Parisian society of ethnology was founded. At the same time at once there was a set of disputes on its subject, methods and the purposes. Classical works on ethnology belong to Morgan ("Ancient society"), Taylor "Primitive culture"). In these books representatives of primitive nationalities (for example, indigenous people of America) are opposed to the "cultural" person – the European. The level of development of ethnic group was measured by the level of technical progress. The idea of studying the "backward" people for the purpose of the retrospective analysis of history of mankind was recognized as insolvent over time. To replace the evolutionism assuming the uniform scenario of development of all ethnic groups the pluralism allowing specific features of formation of various cultures came.

In the 30th years of the 20th century the adjacent science - ethnosociology appeared. Her founder German Turnvald devoted the works to studying interrelation of ethnic and social processes in the history of the countries. The ethnopsychology which main principles were formulated by the domestic philosopher Shpet became one more cross-disciplinary doctrine. Being guided in method of phenomenology of Gusserl, Shpet described specific cultural, religious representations of ethnic group ("national spirit") as a characteristic way of reaction to the social relations and objective reality which it faces. On a joint of ethnology and anthropology the social anthropology based by the Milling cutter was born. The English scientist entered this term, having opposed it to the physical anthropology which was engaged in archeological finds (remains of primitive people). The new stage of development of ethnology (and, so and the new section of this becoming science) was opened by Lévi-Strauss's works on structural anthropology. Lévi-Strauss also criticized the theory of linear development of nationalities. He studied norms and customs of life of primitive ethnic groups with the purpose to reveal certain invariants, universal structures of all societies at any stage (such as taboo on incest). The ethnology represents science about the becoming subject (human communities), besides rather young therefore it is no wonder that its methods and the sphere of study still remain a subject of serious discussions.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team