Be an Anthropologist

Be an Anthropologist



Be an Anthropologist

In anthropology, culture refers to the combination of hidden and obvious values, ideologies, and principles governing the behavior of an individual or community. These values and theoretical frameworks facilitate the efficient functioning and growth of a society (Anthropological Society of Washington, 2002). Anthropologists believe that culture is a dynamic facet founded on realism whose developments depend on other social values and institutions. The formulation of this truth occurs in the minds of the community members and the synchrony involved is because of the common values governing the society. This concept is important in anthropology since it aids in understanding the communication concepts in a society (Park, 2014). Culture allows a group of people to communicate efficiently. Subsequently, anthropologists can describe the ability of people in a particular locality to collaborate competently in the execution of various tasks aimed at developing the entire community.

In order to relate various anthropological concepts to the cultural elements and behavior of a certain group of people, I decided to visit a shopping mall as an ethnographic scene and analyze the behavior of the patrons in different sections of the business building. The architectural elements of this building were in line with the modern construction concepts. Most of the buildings facing the entrance of the mall had large clear windows with a unique attachment style to the other sections of the shopping mall. Some of the major business centers within the structure included a supermarket, a movie theatre, several eateries, boutiques, beauty salons and barbershops, and a jewelry store. I conducted my observation at 1.00 PM on a Saturday in order to monitor the behavior of various categories of people in the society.

The large windows and modern lighting equipments in strategic locations within the shopping mall enhanced the illumination in all stores. The architectural plan also considered the aeration element by creating numerous ventilations. Additionally, the air conditioners lowered the temperatures inside the building especially since it was a summer period. Although the aeration resulted in fresh air, the sections neighboring the restaurants had an aromatic smell owing to the operations in these bistros. It was a relatively quiet location with soft music several stores. Other elements that enhanced the modernity and classiness in the building include the furniture and the landscaping components. The people in the shopping mall differed in terms of their race, gender, and age. Nonetheless, most of them were from the middle and upper social classes as seen in their mode of dressing and the numerous sophisticated automobiles in the numerous car parks within the mall. The customers seemed occupied in various departments within the shopping malls with some walking leisurely along the corridors. Consequently, I felt the warmth in this business structure.

Based on my observations, I comprehended the relationship between various anthropological concepts and the themes and patterns of behavior among various groups of people. To begin with, the feminist concept was apparent in the behavior of various people in the building. With a large percentage of patrons in the stores being from the middle and upper social classes, the female clients appeared empowered and sophisticated. This is in accordance with the broader anthropological concept that analyses the influence of gender on cultural and societal developments. This feminist approach emphasizes on the suppression of male chauvinism in the modern society (Park, 2014). Accordingly, the females shopping in this business center exemplified social power.

Structuralism in anthropology describes the relationship between cultures and the human thoughts. These beliefs and values occur in a unique form of opposition such as the differences in social class, age, gender, and race. This theory was useful in analyzing the patterns of behavior exemplified by various people in this shopping mall. For instance, most of the people in the movie theatres were in their formative years. This could be in line with the conflicting interest of people in different age brackets. Likewise, there were a large number of females and children in the eateries. Moreover, in line with the ideology of functionalism, most patrons visited various outlets depending on their needs. This anthropological supposition indicates that the roles, beliefs, and values embraced by certain groups in the society relate to the wellbeing of the individuals. The behavior of an individual or societal group relates to the role of a person in the community. In this case, customers visited different stores depending on their needs. For instance, most beauty salons and jewelry stores comprised largely of female clients.

Furthermore, the energy in the shopping mall related to the concept of neo-evolutionism. This ideology emphasizes that environmental and technological elements are influential in the values, principles, and behavior of an individual or section of the community (Cronk, Chagnon & Irons, 2000). The high levels of energy exhibited by patrons in this business center relates to its modern technological features and calm environment. In conclusion, based on the analysis regarding the relationship between various anthropological concepts and human behavior patterns, it is rational to assert that such elements as technology, external environment, and social categories influence the human behavior. As I observed and evaluated the behavioral patterns exhibited by clients in this shopping mall, I realized the impact of cultural, psychological, and social anthropology on human interactions.


Anthropological Society of Washington (Washington, D.C.). (2002). Anthropology and human behavior. Washington, D.C: the Society.

Cronk, L., Chagnon, N. A., & Irons, W. (2000). Adaptation and human behavior: An anthropological perspective. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Park, M. A. (2014). Introducing anthropology: An integrated approach.

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