Anthropologists are concerned with their own society, but only as one among many. When anthropology seeks to understand economics, politics, religion, violence, child-rearing or art, it aims eventually at a broad comparative knowledge which does not assume that the contemporary Western expressions are the most important, or even the most revealing, in the quest for an understanding of human cultures and societies.
In fact, anthropologists have been led to examine in detail societies which are very different from their own, where ideas about beauty, morality, authority and dignity vary markedly from those with which they are familiar.
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