Anthropology Optional

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Anthropology knowing about ourselves and our evolution

Feature of our Anthropology course

  • Class Notes will be given and regular Hand outs will be distributed.
  • Mains writing practice is the unique feature of our Course.
  • Each and every word in the syllabus will be covered comprehensively. Completed coverage of all the topics in both paper 1 and 2, plus value added topics like case studies etc.
  • Special emphasis will be on PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. Special care will be taken on Non science background students for physical anthropology.
  • The focus will be on Interaction and not on Monologue.
  • One on One discussion with mentor with focus on Answer writing improvement. The focus will be on building concepts and answer writing especially for first time aspirants with focus on competing with experienced candidates on equal footing in Mains 2020
  • Classroom based programme spanning 6 months (Starting August- 2020)
  • Anthropological analysis of Current affairs and application based approach. Special Focus on integrating Anthropological Theories with each and every topic in paper 1 and paper 2.
  • Notes will be in easy answer writing format to score high MARKS in Mains-2020.
  • Anthropology subject is not new to students because the topics present in the syllabus are the things which we observe in our daily life like marriage, kinship, family, Religion, society and economy etc. Hence the subject will be interesting and the syllabus will be connected to each and every individual
  • Anthropology classes will be taken by Reputed National faculty P. VISHNU VARDHAN sir (M.A and Ph.D in Anthropology ).  He has an experience of teaching Anthropology since last 8 years at various reputed institutions at Hyderabad, Bangalore and Trivandrum. Under his guidance several civil aspirants have cleared with flying colours with anthropology optional by scoring high marks.



Anthropology Syllabus



Paper 1 consists of 6 Modules

1)Introduction to Anthropology and Evolution of Man

2)General & Indian Archaeology

3)Socio-Cultural Anthropology

4)Anthropological Theories

5)Physical Anthropology

6)Applications of Anthropology

Paper 2 consists of 6 Modules

1)Evolution of Man in India

2)Indian Social System

3)Development of Anthropology in India

4)Indian Village Study

5)Tribal India

6) Indian Social issues and applications of anthropology on these issues.


paper 1

Module 1: Introduction to Anthropology and Evolution of Man:

1.1 Meaning, scope and development of Anthropology.

1.2 Relationships with other disciplines: Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences, Earth Sciences and Humanities.

1.3 Main branches of Anthropology, their scope and relevance:

  1. Social- cultural Anthropology.
  2. Biological Anthropology.
  3. Archaeological Anthropology.
  4. Linguistic Anthropology.

1.4 Human Evolution and emergence of Man:

  1. Biological and Cultural factors in human evolution.
  1. Theories of Organic Evolution (Pre- Darwinian, Darwinian and Post-Darwinian).
  2. Synthetic theory of evolution; Brief outline of terms and concepts of evolutionary biology (Doll’s rule, Cope’s rule, Gause’s rule, parallelism, convergence, adaptive radiation, and mosaic evolution).

1.5 Characteristics of Primates; Evolutionary Trend and Primate Taxonomy; Primate Adaptations; (Arboreal and Terrestrial) Primate Taxonomy; Primate Behaviour; Tertiary and Quaternary fossil primates; Living Major Primates; Comparative Anatomy of Man and Apes; Skeletal changes due to erect posture and its implications.

1.6 Phylogenetic status, characteristics and geographical distribution of the following:

  1.  Plio-pleistocene hominids in South and East Africa - Australopithecines.
  2. Homo erectus: Africa (Paranthropus), Europe (Homo erectus heidelbergensis), Asia (Homo erectus javanicus, Homo erectus pekinensis).
  3. Neanderthal Man- La-Chapelle-aux-saints (Classical type), Mt. Carmel (Progressive type).
  4. Rhodesian man.
  5. Homo sapiens — Cromagnon, Grimaldi and Chancelede.


Module 2:  General & Indian Archaeology

1.8 (a) Principles of Prehistoric Archaeology (Paper 1). Chronology: Relative and Absolute Dating methods.

 (b) Cultural Evolution- Broad Outlines of Prehistoric cultures: (i) Paleolithic (ii) Mesolithic (iii) Neolithic (iv) Chalcolithic (v) Copper-Bronze Age (vi) Iron Age.

Indian Archaeology (Paper 2): 1.1 Evolution of the Indian Culture and Civilization — Prehistoric (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Neolithic Chalcolithic). Protohistoric (Indus Civilization): Pre- Harappan, Harappan and post Harappan cultures. Contributions of tribal cultures to Indian civilization.

Module 3: Socio-Cultural Anthropology

2.1 The Nature of Culture: The concept and characteristics of culture and civilization; Ethnocentrism vis-à-vis cultural Relativism.

2.2 The Nature of Society: Concept of Society; Society and Culture; Social Institutions; Social groups; and Social stratification.

2.3 Marriage: Definition and universality; Laws of marriage (endogamy, exogamy, hypergamy, hypogamy, incest taboo); Types of marriage (monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, group marriage). Functions of marriage; Marriage regulations (preferential, prescriptive and proscriptive); Marriage payments (bride wealth and dowry).

2.4 Family: Definition and universality; Family, household and domestic groups; functions of family; Types of family (from the perspectives of structure, blood relation, marriage, residence and succession); Impact of urbanization, industrialization and feminist movements on family.

 2.5 Kinship: Consanguinity and Affinity; Principles and types of descent (Unilineal, Double, Bilateral, Ambilineal); Forms of descent groups (lineage, clan, phratry, moiety and kindred); Kinship terminology (descriptive and classificatory); Descent, Filiation and Complimentary Filiation; Descent and Alliance.

 3. Economic organization: Meaning, scope and relevance of economic anthropology; Formalist and Substantivist debate; Principles governing production, distribution and exchange (reciprocity, redistribution and market), in communities, subsisting on hunting and gathering, fishing, swiddening, pastoralism, horticulture, and agriculture; globalization and indigenous economic systems.

4. Political organization and Social Control: Band, tribe, chiefdom, kingdom and state; concepts of power, authority and legitimacy; social control, law and justice in simple societies.

 5. Religion: Anthropological approaches to the study of religion (evolutionary, psychological and functional); monotheism and polytheism; sacred and profane; myths and rituals; forms of religion in tribal and peasant societies (animism, animatism, fetishism, naturism and totemism); religion, magic and science distinguished; magico-religious functionaries (priest, shaman, medicine man, sorcerer and witch).

Module 4: Anthropological Theories

6. Anthropological theories: (a) Classical evolutionism (Tylor, Morgan and Frazer) (b) Historical particularism (Boas); Diffusionism (British, German and American) (c) Functionalism (Malinowski); Structural-functionlism (Radcliffe-Brown) (d) Structuralism (L’evi - Strauss and E.Leach) (e) Culture and personality (Benedict, Mead, Linton, Kardiner and Cora – du Bois). (f) Neo - evolutionism (Childe, White, Steward, Sahlins and Service) (g) Cultural materialism (Harris) (h) Symbolic and interpretive theories (Turner, Schneider and Geertz) (i) Cognitive theories (Tyler, Conklin) (j) Post- modernism in anthropology

7. Culture, language and communication: Nature, origin and characteristics of language; verbal and nonverbal communication; social context of language use.

8. Research methods in anthropology:

 (a) Fieldwork tradition in anthropology

 (b) Distinction between technique, method and methodology

(c) Tools of data collection: observation, interview, schedules, questionnaire, Case study, genealogy, life history, oral history, secondary sources of information, participatory methods.

 (d) Analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.

Module 5: Physical Anthropology

1.7 The biological basis of life: The Cell, DNA structure and replication, Protein Synthesis, Gene, Mutation, Chromosomes, and Cell Division.

9.1 Human Genetics: Methods and Application: Methods for study of genetic principles in man-family study (pedigree analysis, twin study, foster child, co-twin method, cytogenetic method, chromosomal and karyo-type analysis), biochemical methods, immunological methods, D.N.A. technology and recombinant technologies.

9.2 Mendelian genetics in man-family study, single factor, multifactor, lethal, sublethal and polygenic inheritance in man.

9.3 Concept of genetic polymorphism and selection, Mendelian population, HardyWeinberg law; causes and changes which bring down frequency – mutation, isolation, migration, selection, inbreeding and genetic drift. Consanguineous and non-consanguineous mating, genetic load, genetic effect of consanguineous and cousin marriages.

 9.4 Chromosomes and chromosomal aberrations in man, methodology. (a) Numerical and structural aberrations (disorders). (b) Sex chromosomal aberrations – Klinefelter (XXY), Turner (XO), Super female (XXX), intersex and other syndromic disorders. (c) Autosomal aberrations – Down syndrome, Patau, Edward and Cri-du-chat syndromes. (d) Genetic imprints in human disease, genetic screening, genetic counseling, human DNA profiling, gene mapping and genome study.

 9.5 Race and racism, biological basis of morphological variation of non-metric and metric characters. Racial criteria, racial traits in relation to heredity and environment; biological basis of racial classification, racial differentiation and race crossing in man.

9.6 Age, sex and population variation as genetic marker- ABO, Rh blood groups, HLA Hp, transferring, Gm, blood enzymes. Physiological characteristics-Hb level, body fat, pulse rate, respiratory functions and sensory perceptions in different cultural and socio-economic groups.

9.7 Concepts and methods of Ecological Anthropology. Bio-cultural Adaptations – Genetic and Non- genetic factors. Man’s physiological responses to environmental stresses: hot desert, cold, high altitude climate.

 9.8 Epidemiological Anthropology: Health and disease. Infectious and non-infectious diseases. Nutritional deficiency related diseases.

10. Concept of human growth and development: stages of growth - pre-natal, natal, infant, childhood, adolescence, maturity, senescence. - Factors affecting growth and development genetic, environmental, biochemical, nutritional, cultural and socio-economic. - Ageing and senescence. Theories and observations - biological and chronological longevity. Human physique and somatotypes. Methodologies for growth studies.

11.1 Relevance of menarche, menopause and other bioevents to fertility. Fertility patterns and differentials.

11.2 Demographic theories- biological, social and cultural.

11.3 Biological and socio-ecological factors influencing fecundity, fertility, natality and mortality.

Module 6: Applications of Anthropology

12. Applications of Anthropology: Anthropology of sports, Nutritional anthropology, Anthropology in designing of defense and other equipment’s, Forensic Anthropology, Methods and principles of personal identification and reconstruction, Applied human genetics – Paternity diagnosis, genetic counseling and eugenics, DNA technology in diseases and medicine, serogenetics and cytogenetics in reproductive biology.


Module 1 : Evolution of Man in India :

1.2 Paleo – anthropological evidences from India with special reference to Siwaliks and Narmada basin (Ramapithecus, Sivapithecus and Narmada Man).

1.3 Ethno-archaeology in India : The concept of ethno-archaeology; Survivals and Parallels among the hunting, foraging, fishing, pastoral and peasant communities including arts and crafts producing communities.

Module 2 : Indian Social System :

2. Demographic profile of India — Ethnic and linguistic elements in the Indian population and their distribution. Indian population – factors influencing its structure and growth.

3.1 The structure and nature of traditional Indian social system — Varnashram, Purushartha, Karma, Rina and Rebirth.

3.2 Caste system in India- structure and characteristics, Varna and caste, Theories of origin of caste system, Dominant caste, Caste mobility, Future of caste system, Jajimani system, Tribe- caste continuum.

3.3 Sacred Complex and Nature- Man-Spirit Complex.

 3.4 Impact of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity on Indian society.

Module 3 : Development of Anthropology in India :

4. Emergence and growth of anthropology in India-Contributions of the 18th, 19th and early 20th Century scholar-administrators. Contributions of Indian anthropologists to tribal and caste studies.

Module 4 : Indian Village Study :

5.1 Indian Village: Significance of village study in India; Indian village as a social system; Traditional and changing patterns of settlement and inter-caste relations; Agrarian relations in Indian villages; Impact of globalization on Indian villages.

5.2 Linguistic and religious minorities and their social, political and economic status.

5.3 Indigenous and exogenous processes of socio-cultural change in Indian society: Sanskritization, Westernization, Modernization; Inter-play of little and great traditions; Panchayati raj and social change; Media and social change.



Module 5 : Tribal India :

6.1 Tribal situation in India – Bio-genetic variability, linguistic and socio-economic characteristics of tribal populations and their distribution.

 6.2 Problems of the tribal Communities — land alienation, poverty, indebtedness, low literacy, poor educational facilities, unemployment, underemployment, health and nutrition.

6.3 Developmental projects and their impact on tribal displacement and problems of rehabilitation. Development of forest policy and tribals. Impact of urbanization and industrialization on tribal populations.

 7.1 Problems of exploitation and deprivation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Constitutional safeguards for Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.

 7.2 Social change and contemporary tribal societies: Impact of modern democratic institutions, development programmes and welfare measures on tribals and weaker sections.

7.3 The concept of ethnicity; Ethnic conflicts and political developments; Unrest among tribal communities; Regionalism and demand for autonomy; Pseudo-tribalism; Social change among the tribes during colonial and post-Independent India.

 8.1 Impact of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and other religions on tribal societies.

 8.2 Tribe and nation state — a comparative study of tribal communities in India and other countries.

 9.1 History of administration of tribal areas, tribal policies, plans, programmes of tribal development and their implementation. The concept of PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups), their distribution, special programs for their development. Role of N.G.O.s in tribal development.

Module 6 : Indian Social issues and application of Anthropology on this issues:

9.3 Contributions of anthropology to the understanding of regionalism, communalism, and ethnic and political movements.

9.2 Role of anthropology in tribal and rural development.

  • Reference Books:
  • Anthropology by Ember and Ember [ 14th edition]
  • Prehistoric human colonization of India by V.N.Misra
  • Physical Anthropology by Shukla and Rastogi
  • Tribal India by Nadeem Hasnain
  • Physical Anthropology by Stein and Rowe
  • Xaxa Committee Report
  • State, Society and Tribes by Virginius Xaxa
  • Anthropological Theories by Upadhyaya and pandey
  • An introduction to socio-cultural Anthropology by D.N.Majumdhar
  • Indian Pre-History By Bhattacharya
  • Tribal Culture of India by L.P Vidyarthi and Binay kumar rai
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Annual Reports of Ministry of tribal affairs