A key concept in Cultural Anthropology is Culture. Every organization (i.e. society) has a distinctive "Culture"; each has an unique cognitive structure (e.g. thoughts, world view), rules of moral conduct (e.g. norms, ethos) and patterns of social interactions (e.g. social structure, family). Cultures are often expressed via the medium of symbols (e.g. narratives, dreams, myth, ritual and icons). The field of anthropology that researches symbols is called Symbolic Anthropology.
Cultural Anthropology is a method of studying global cultures via participant observation and cross-cultural comparison (e.g. Japan and United States).
An anthropologist researches global cultures by fieldwork which is accomplished by immersion into a society's socio-cultural environment. It is study by "doing" (participating) and "analyzing" (observation).
An anthropologist often asks questions such as: How are we different and how are we similar? However, the philosophy is to go beyond ethnocentrism, the judgmental idea that one culture is superior than others. When each society's cognitive structure, rules of moral conduct and patterns of social interactions are placed in its own socio-cultural context, these become meaningful despite how "bizarre" or "strange" they seem to other cultures looking in. Unlike ethnocentrism, the concept of cultural relativism emphasizes that there are no superior or inferior cultures; all cultures are meaningful when placed in their own socio-cultural context.
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