GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: Kaplan

Modern anthropology in the United States and the United Kingdom is frequently divided into four sub-fields: cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, physical anthropology, and archeology. Likely as a result of the diverse origins of the field as a whole, this division has led to noticeable rifts in the field. In many universities in the UK, these sub-fields are separated into entirely different departments -- while physical anthropology, which focuses on the study of human populations from an evolutionary perspective, is sometimes absorbed into other departments, linguistics (which studies human language), archeology (the study of human material culture through artifacts), and cultural or social anthropology (commonly referred to as simply "anthropology," it focuses on the study of human culture through ethnography) all possess departments of their own.

Although these distinctions have allowed for the development of unique techniques and theories within each sub-field, at the same time this separation of sub-fields has perhaps gone too far in disassembling the field of anthropology. If the goal of the field is to provide understanding about humanity and its culture, downplaying any of these sub-fields will inevitably cripple any study. Any attempt to define and understand what makes us human cannot forgo an investigation of our language, of our evolution, of our material goods, or of our interpersonal interactions.

Question List: 1 2

Based on the passage, what is commonly the focus of the anthropology department at a university in the United Kingdom?

  • A archeology
  • B cultural anthropology
  • C physical anthropology
  • D linguistic anthropology
  • E a synthesis of all four sub-fields

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