Attempting to understand the human essence regarding the influence of factors on the formation of this biological species is the key task of anthropology, and research in this area proves that evaluation criteria are different. Modern people living in highly developed cities and enjoying the latest technological advances have not lived in these territories permanently. An opportunity to study the history of ancestors and compare the lifestyles of different epochs makes it possible to realize how significant a civilization breakthrough has been made and what differences can be observed.
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When using the example of studying anthropology, it is possible to try to figure out the history of our region and understand how that history is evident or obscured in the present. As a justification for certain hypotheses and theories, relevant scholarly resources will be involved with appropriate reasoning on the formation of society and changes occurring under the influence of various nuances. Current findings prove that the territory of Washington has undergone significant divisions as a result of political strife, and these changes have influenced the modern character of the territory and the people living on it.
Origins of Modernity in the Context of Anthropology
Since the history of America has long periods of struggle for the independence of certain territories and opposition to colonists from the Old World, these confrontations have influenced the formation of the country’s modern image. According to Dunbar-Ortiz, the Scots-Irish were the driving force of the Washington movement for liberation from the dominance of the British Crown (54).
Their participation in protecting the rights and freedoms of the region became one of the key stages in the formation of ethnicity. At the same time, the history of indigenous peoples living in the country also left its mark in the context of anthropological development. As Kroskrity notes, “the multilingualism and multiculturalism of today’s indigenous communities” are the outcome of assimilation policies, and the contemporary culture of Americans is inextricably linked to Native American history (267). Therefore, many factors need to be taken into account when exploring the origins of anthropological development and its influence on current knowledge and findings in this field.
Regarding the history of American University in Washington, DC, and the role of anthropology in its development, the situation is clear enough. It can be noted that the changes that have taken place in society over the past centuries have made it possible to provide reliable protection of the interests and freedoms of both students and tutors. According to Bangstad et al., the processes that took place within the country are the result of the establishment of a democratic base and the equality of opportunities (493). Religious, political, and other interests are not the aspects that are criticized and condemned.
As a result, by means of accumulated experience and knowledge, the modern structure of society and, in particular, American University can be regarded as a logical course of anthropological development. Under the influence of trends formed over a long history, people can live in peace and study the history of their native territory.
When applied directly to the district of Washington, for a long time, this land was inhabited by various nations that contributed to the formation of cultural diversity. Williams remarks that this territory, like many other areas of the country, shares the rich history of the African-American migration that occurred after World War II (410). As a result, it is difficult to argue that this stage has become the key to the formation of an ethnic background and anthropological culture.
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Nevertheless, such experience is a significant part of the district’s historical development, and the status of the administrative center has largely influenced the mixing of cultures and the role of migration policies supported for years.
When going back to even earlier sources of the formation of Washington’s current look, it is possible to note the role of the city and district as a whole in maintaining trade relations with indigenous peoples. As Williams notes, the Indians were well aware that the east coast of the country was the place where people from different cultures came together (412). As a result, the representatives of the indigenous population looked for an opportunity to benefit and entered into trade relations with colonists, which was one of the factors for the financial development of the district.
According to Williams, archaeological excavations carried out on the territory of the land of modern Washington prove that quite many antiquities have been preserved from different cultures (413). Therefore, it can be noted that the process of studying anthropology as a science about the interaction of people with past generations and the influence of the experience of predecessors is valuable and useful. In the process of studying the historical prerequisites for the formation of society, many factors need to be taken into account, and the examples of findings in Washington prove this assumption.
Historical Outcomes of Anthropological Development
In general, the development of society and civilization is a natural anthropological process, and the predominance of certain phenomena can be considered the consequence of the formation of different factors. According to Stewart, the diverse forms of culture that emerged in the United States have become the result of a corresponding democratization policy and the promotion of interethnic interaction (81).
As a result, today, on the territory of American University, many principles of communication are maintained, which took place in the past years. Certainly, various concepts and notions have changed or been erased completely, for instance, racial prejudices or movements for the freedom of speech. However, when analyzing the course of history, it can be noted that the modern progressive scientific community of Washington has formed largely due to the experience of past generations and the establishment of diplomatic ties.
As practice shows, the principles of democratization laid down at the initial stage of the formation of the American nation made it possible to develop a culture in the modern academic environment. Dunbar-Ortiz argues that in the 19th century, the Washington administration sought to avoid using forces to resolve conflicts (93). As a result, the methods of diplomatic interaction that are supported today are the result of a qualified and oriented policy of intercultural interaction. Therefore, despite the rather difficult stages of development, the modern development of the district and its academic environment is largely due to positive anthropological steps.
The modern character of the territory of Washington and, in particular, American University is the result of many years of political, trade, and cultural changes. The historical background of the development of the academic community is due to a developed communication system, and the migration policy maintained by centuries has influenced the current appearance of the district. In general, the anthropological process of development is the consequence of a civilization approach to the formation of national background and self-identity.
Bangstad, Sindre, et al. “Anthropological Publics, Public Anthropology.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, vol. 7, no. 1, 2017, pp. 489-508.
Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Beacon Press, 2014.
Kroskrity, Paul V. “Some Recent Trends in the Linguistic Anthropology of Native North America.” Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 45, 2016, pp. 267-284.
Stewart, Charles. “Historicity and Anthropology.” Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 45, 2016, pp. 79-94.
Williams, Brett. “A River Runs Through Us.” American Anthropologist, vol. 103, no. 2, 2001, pp. 409-431.