Why History is considered as a Part of Anthropology? – Essay

This obliged history to give up its scope to ethnology or rural sociology. In some cases, as in Britain, ancient and modern history gave place to so­cial anthropology and ethnology.

Thus, anthropology took to the study of regional or local societies through direct observation and vis­ible enquires. When Hutton wrote about the caste system in India, he generated data through verbal enquiries. So was done by Evans- Pritchard in the study of Nuer, and Malinowski of Argonouts or

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Trobriand. In the beginning, when anthropology parted company with history, it studied historically known western societies through the method of observation and verbal enquiries. Godlier observes:

At the same time, and for the same reasons, entire sections of west­ern history, ancient and modern, were abandbned to ethnology or rural sociology… Anthropology was handed over the study of all as­pects of regional or rural life which appeared to be survival of pre-capitalist and pre-industrialist modes of production and social or­ganization or which had very old ethnic and cultural characteristics.

In France, and also the rest of Europe, anthropology was consid­ered not necessarily to be a study of primitive people only. It focused on all groups which did not have written documents and which were cast aside by historians.

It is because of this that Hutton and Risley paid little attention to tribes and greater attention to castes. The study of caste was beneficial for the strengthening of British regime. The ob­jective of the study of non-western, pre-capitalist and pre-industrialist man was two-fold: (i) colonial exploitation, and (ii) extension of mar­ket.