The Info List - Ethnology

--- Advertisement ---

(from the Greek ἔθνος, ethnos meaning "nation"[1]) is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyses the characteristics of different peoples and the relationship between them (cf. cultural, social, or sociocultural anthropology).[2]


1 Scientific discipline 2 Scholars 3 See also 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

Scientific discipline[edit] Further information: Ethnicity Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct contact with the culture, ethnology takes the research that ethnographers have compiled and then compares and contrasts different cultures.

Adam František Kollár, 1779

The term ethnologia (ethnology) is credited to Adam Franz Kollár (1718-1783) who used and defined it in his Historiae ivrisqve pvblici Regni Vngariae amoenitates published in Vienna
in 1783.[3] as: “the science of nations and peoples, or, that study of learned men in which they inquire into the origins, languages, customs, and institutions of various nations, and finally into the fatherland and ancient seats, in order to be able better to judge the nations and peoples in their own times.” [4] Kollár's interest in linguistic and cultural diversity was aroused by the situation in his native multi-ethnic and multilingual Kingdom of Hungary and his roots among its Slovaks, and by the shifts that began to emerge after the gradual retreat of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in the more distant Balkans.[5] Among the goals of ethnology have been the reconstruction of human history, and the formulation of cultural invariants, such as the incest taboo and culture change, and the formulation of generalizations about "human nature", a concept which has been criticized since the 19th century by various philosophers (Hegel, Marx, structuralism, etc.). In some parts of the world ethnology has developed along independent paths of investigation and pedagogical doctrine, with cultural anthropology becoming dominant especially in the United States, and social anthropology in Great Britain. The distinction between the three terms is increasingly blurry. Ethnology has been considered an academic field since the late 18th century especially in Europe and is sometimes conceived of as any comparative study of human groups.

Claude Lévi-Strauss

The 15th-century exploration of America by European explorers had an important role in formulating new notions of the Occidental, such as, the notion of the "Other". This term was used in conjunction with "savages", which was either seen as a brutal barbarian, or alternatively, as "noble savage". Thus, civilization was opposed in a dualist manner to barbary, a classic opposition constitutive of the even more commonly shared ethnocentrism. The progress of ethnology, for example with Claude Lévi-Strauss's structural anthropology, led to the criticism of conceptions of a linear progress, or the pseudo-opposition between "societies with histories" and "societies without histories", judged too dependent on a limited view of history as constituted by accumulative growth. Lévi-Strauss often referred to Montaigne's essay on cannibalism as an early example of ethnology. Lévi-Strauss aimed, through a structural method, at discovering universal invariants in human society, chief among which he believed to be the incest taboo. However, the claims of such cultural universalism have been criticized by various 19th and 20th century social thinkers, including Marx, Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida, Althusser
and Deleuze. The French school of ethnology was particularly significant for the development of the discipline since the early 1950s with Paul Rivet, Marcel Griaule, Germaine Dieterlen, Claude Lévi-Strauss
Claude Lévi-Strauss
and Jean Rouch.

Izmir Ethnography
Museum (İzmir Etnografya Müzesi) seen from the courtyard.


List of scholars of ethnology

See also[edit]

Anthropology Ethnography Cultural survival Culture Ethnocentrism Evolutionism Indigenous peoples

Intangible cultural heritage Marxism Meta-analysis Modernism Post-Modernism Postcolonial Primitive culture

Primitivism Scientific Racism Secondary research Society Structural anthropology Structural functionalism Ethnobiology Ethnopoetics


^ "ethno-". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 March 2013.  ^ "ethnology". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 March 2013.  ^ Zmago Šmitek and Božidar Jezernik, "The anthropological tradition in Slovenia." In: Han F. Vermeulen and Arturo Alvarez Roldán, eds. Fieldwork and Footnotes: Studies in the History
of European Anthropology. 1995. ^ Kollár, Adam František − Historiae jurisque publici regni Ungariae amoenitates, I-II. Vienna., 1783 ^ Gheorghiţă Geană, "Discovering the whole of humankind: the genesis of anthropology through the Hegelian looking-glass." In: Han F. Vermeulen and Arturo Alvarez Roldán, eds. Fieldwork and Footnotes: Studies in the History
of European Anthropology. 1995.


Forster, Johann Georg Adam. Voyage round the World in His Britannic Majesty’s Sloop, Resolution, Commanded by Capt. James Cook, during the Years 1772, 3, 4, and 5 (2 vols), London (1777). Lévi-Strauss, Claude. The Elementary Structures of Kinship, (1949), Structural Anthropology
(1958) Mauss, Marcel. originally published as Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l'échange dans les sociétés archaïques in 1925, this classic text on gift economy appears in the English edition as The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. Maybury-Lewis, David. Akwe-Shavante society (1967), The Politics of Ethnicity: Indigenous Peoples
in Latin American States (2003). Clastres, Pierre. Society
Against the State (1974). Pop, Mihai and Glauco Sanga. "Problemi generali dell'etnologia europea", La Ricerca Folklorica, No. 1, La cultura popolare. Questioni teoriche (April 1980), pp. 89–96.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ethnology.

What is European Ethnology? Webpage " History
of German Anthropology/ Ethnology
1945/49-1990 Languages describes the languages and ethnic groups found worldwide, grouped by host nation-state. Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History
- Over 160,000 objects from Pacific, North American, African, Asian ethnographic collections with images and detailed description, linked to the original catalogue pages, field notebooks, and photographs are available online. National Museum of Ethnology
- Osaka, Japan Texts on Wikisource:

Rhyn, G. A. F. Van (1879). "Ethnology". The American Cyclopædia.  McGee, W. J. (1905). "Ethnology". New International Encyclopedia.  "Ethnology". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. 1907.  " Ethnology
and ethnography". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.  "Ethnology". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914.  Butler, Amos W. (1920). "Ethnology". Encyclopedia Americana.  "Ethnology". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921. 

v t e


Related concepts

Clan Ethnic group

Ethnolinguistic group Ethnoreligious group

Indigenous peoples Ingroups and outgroups Meta-ethnicity Metroethnicity Minority group Monoethnicity Nation Nationality Panethnicity Polyethnicity Population Race Symbolic ethnicity Tribe


Anthropology Ethnic studies Ethnoarchaeology Ethnobiology

Ethnobotany Ethnozoology Ethnoecology

Ethnocinema Ethnogeology Ethnography

Autoethnography Clinical Critical Cyber- Netnography Online Person-centered Salvage Transidioethnography Video

Ethnohistory Ethnolinguistics Ethnology Ethnomathematics Ethnomethodology Ethnomuseology Ethnomusicology Ethnophilosophy Ethnopoetics Ethnoscience Ethnosemiotics Ethnotaxonomy

Groups by region


Arab League


Indigenous Canada Mexico United States Central America South America


Central Asia East Asia Northern Asia South Asia Southeast Asia West Asia



Europe Oceania

Indigenous European

Identity and ethnogenesis

Cross-race effect Cultural assimilation Cultural identity Demonym Development Endonym Ethnic flag Ethnic option Ethnic origin Ethnic religion Ethnicity
in census Ethnofiction Ethnonym Folk religion Historical Imagined community Kinship Legendary progenitor Lineage-bonded society Mythomoteur Mores Nation-building Nation state National language National myth Origin myth Pantribal sodality Tribal name Tribalism Urheimat

Multiethnic society

Consociationalism Diaspora politics Dominant minority Ethnic democracy Ethnic enclave Ethnic interest group Ethnic majority Ethnic media Ethnic pornography Ethnic theme park Ethnoburb Ethnocracy Indigenous rights Middleman minority Minority rights Model minority Multinational state

Ideology and ethnic conflict

Ethnic bioweapon Ethnic cleansing Ethnic hatred Ethnic joke Ethnic nationalism Ethnic nepotism Ethnic penalty Ethnic slur Ethnic stereotype Ethnic violence Ethnocentrism Ethnocide Ethnosymbolism Indigenism Separatist movements Xenophobia

Authority control

LCCN: sh85045198 GND: 4078931-7 BNF: cb13318485j (data) HDS: