West Bengal SET Anthropology Syllabus

Unit – I

History, development, aim and scope of Anthropology, relationship with other sciences,
different branches of Anthropology (including Linguistic Anthropology) and their
Research methodology and methods: Concepts of epistemology, ontology and theoretical
perspectives. Types of research (qualitative and quantitative), research design, hypothesis.
Fieldwork and fieldwork tradition; Ethnography, Observation, Interview, Case Study, Life
History, Focus group, PRA, RRA, Genealogical Method, Schedules and Questionnaires,
Grounded Theory, Exploration and Excavation, GIS.
Statistics: concept of variables, sampling, measures of central tendency and dispersion,
parametric and nonparametric bivariate and multivariate (linear regression and logistic
regression) statistical tests.
Techniques of Analysis: Content analysis, Discourse analysis and Narratives.

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Unit – II

Lamarckism, Neo-Lamarckism, Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, Synthetic theory, neutral
theory of molecular evolution, concept of cladogenesis and anagenesis, punctuated
equilibrium, selection.
Trends in Primate radiation; Primate classification and distribution of extinct and extant
species. Characteristics of primates: morphological (hair), skeletal (cranial, post cranial,
dental, brain), physical (opposability of thumb), locomotion (quadrupedalism, brachiation
and bipedalism) and posture, Primate social behaviour.
Extant Primates
Distribution, characteristics and classification. Prosimii (Tarsiioidea, Lorisoidea,
Lemuroidea), Anthropoidea (Ceboidea, Cercopithecoidea, Hominoidea). Morphological and
anatomical characteristics of Human, Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Orangutan and Gibbon
Fossils of extinct Primates
Oligocene-Miocene fossils – Parapithecus; Gigantopithecus, Aegyptopithecus,
Dryopithecus, Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus.
Pre-hominid groups: Sahelanthropus tchadensis (Toumai), Orrorin tugenensis, Ardipithecus

Early Hominids: Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus ramidus, Australopithecus
africanus, Australopithecus (Paranthropous) boisei, Australopithecus (Paranthropous)
robustus, Australopithecus bahrelghazali.
Early Transitional Human: Homo habilis.
Hominid Evolution
Characteristics and distribution of Homo erectus in general, Special reference to the fossil
evidences discovered from Africa (Turkana boy), Asia (Java man and Peking man), Europe
(Dmanisi), Homo floresiensis (Dwarf variety)
Characteristics of Archaic sapiens with special reference to Europe (Homo heidelbergensis),
Africa (Rhodesian Man), Asia (China, Jinniushan; India, Narmada Man).
Neandertal man: Distribution, salient features and phylogenetic position.
Characteristics of anatomically Modern Homo sapiens with special reference to Africa
(Omo), Europe (Cro-magnon, Chancelade, Grimaldi), Asia (Jinniushan) and Australia (Lake
Dispersal of modern humans: Out of Africa hypothesis, Multiregional hypothesis, Partial
Replacement hypothesis.

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Unit – III

Modern Human Variation: Typological Model, Populational Model and Clinal Model;
overview of Classification proposed by Blumenbach, Deniker, Hooton, Coon, Garn and
Ethnic Classification and distribution of Indian Populations: H.H. Risley; B. S. Guha; S. S.
Linguistic distribution of ethnic groups.
Methods of studying Human Genetics: Cytogenetics, Mendelian Genetics, Twin Genetics,
Sib Pair methods, Population Genetics, Molecular Genetics.
Cytogenetics: cell cycle, standard karyotyping and banding techniques (G, C and Q),
chromosomal abnormalities, fluorescent in situ hybridization, Lyon’s hypothesis, importance
of telomere and centromere.
Linkage and chromosome mapping, genetic imprinting.
Modes of inheritance: Autosomal (dominant, recessive, codominance), sex linked, sex
influenced, sex limited, modifying genes, suppressor genes, selfish gene, multiple allelic
inheritance, multifactorial inheritance (stature and skin colour), polygeneic
(dermatoglyphics- Finger-ball Pattern types, Dankmeijer’s Index, Furuhata’s Index and
Pattern Intensity Index, Total Finger Ridge Count, Absolute Finger Ridge Count, Palmar
formula and mainline index, transversality, atd angle and flexion creases.
Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, definition and application; mating
patterns (random, assortative and consanguineous), inbreeding coefficient, genetic load,
genetic isolate, genetic drift, genetic distance); genetic polymorphisim (balanced and

Molecular genetics: DNA, RNA, genetic code, protein structure and synthesis, concepts of
RFLPs, VNTRs, STRs, and SNPs, Mitrochondrial DNA, genic and genomic mutations.

Unit – IV

Human Growth, development and maturation: definition, concepts. Basic principles of
growth; phases of growth: Prenatal and postnatal (growth and development of different body
parts, subcutaneous tissues and physiological variables). Growth curves: Velocity, Distance,
Acceleration and Scammon’s Growth curve. Catch up and Catch down growth.
Aging and senescence with special reference to somatic, skeletal and dental maturation
Factors affecting growth: Genetic and Environmental. Secular trends in growth.
Methods of studying human growth: Longitudinal, Cross-sectional, Mixed longitudinal,
Linked longitudinal.
Body composition: Bone mass, body mass, percentage of body fat, segmental fat, body age.
Human Adaptation: Allen’s and Bergmann’s rule; Human Adaptability Programme; human
adaptation to heat, cold, high altitude.
Somatotyping: Concept, Development (Kretschmer, Sheldon, Parnoll, Health-Carter) and its
Demography: Multidisciplinary nature of demography and its relation with other disciplines.
Relationship between demography and anthropological demography. Fertility (concept and
determinants), Morbidity and mortality (concept and determinants), Migration (concept and
determinants), Selection intensity.

Unit – V

Concept of prehistoric archaeology; ethno-archaeology, experimental archaeology,
environmental archaeology, settlement archaeology, cognitive archaeology, geo-archaeology,
action archaeology. Theoretical paradigms – descriptive to scientific period to interpretative
Typology, seriation, geo-archaeological, obsidian, hydration, chemical dating of bones,
oxygen isotope, fluorine estimation, dendrochronology, radio-carbon, fission track, thermoluminescence, potassium-argon, varve clay, cross dating, amino acid racemization,
Major geological stages (Tertiary, Quaternary, Pleistocene, Holocene). Major climatic
changes during Pleistocene and post Pleistocene periods, glacial and interglacial periods, ice
age, pluvial and inter-pluvial climatic phases. Evidences of quarternary climatic changes
(moraines, varve, river terraces, loess, sea level changes, beach sequences, sea core, fluviatile
deposits, palynology, palaeontology). Site formation.

Lithic tool typology and technology:
Lower Palaeolithic (pebble tools, chopper and chopping tools, bifaces, handaxes and
cleavers); Middle Palaeolithic (Clactonean, Levalloisian and Mousterian flakes, discoid
cores, tortoise core, fluted core, scrapers, point); Upper Palaeolithic (blade, knife, blunted
back, borer, burin, points); Mesolithic (microliths); Neolithic (ring stone, grind stone, celt,

Overview of Lithic Cultures of Europe:

Lower Palaeolithic: Acheulian culture.
Middle Palaeolithic: Mousterian culture.
Upper Palaeolithic: Perigordian, Chatelperronian, Gravettian, Aurignacian, Solutrian,
Mesolithic: Azilian, Tardenoisean, Maglamosean, Kitchen Midden, Natufian.
Early Farming Cultures and Neolithic of the Near East: Sites like Jericho, Jarmo, Çatal
Huyuk, Shanidar.

Unit – VI

Lower Palaeolithic Period in India
Pebble tool culture: Soan
Acheulian culture: Madrasian (Kortalayar Valley), Attirmpakkam, Didwana, Belan Valley,
Bhimbetka, Chirki-Nevasa, Hunsgi, Krishna Valley. Importance of Hathnora, Narmada
Middle Palaeolithic period in India: Belan valley, Bhimbetka, Nevasa, Narmada valley.
Upper Palaeolithic period in India: Renigunta, Billa Surgam, Patne, Bhimbetka, Son and
Belan Valleys, Visadi, Pushkar, Gunjan Valley.
Mesolithic period in India: Mesolithic economy and society. Post Pleistocene
environmental changes. Development in microlithic technology, composite tools and bows
and arrows. Sites include Bagor, Tilwara, Langhnaj, Adamgarh, Bagor, Chopani Mando,
Bhimbetka, Sarai Nahar Rai, Birbhanpur.
Neolithic Period in India: Economic and social consequences of food production.
Settlements, population growth, craft specializations, class formation and political
institutions. Sites like Burzahom, Gufkral, Ahar, Gilund, Nagada, Kayatha, Navdatoli, Eran,
Nevasa, Chandoli, Daimabad, Inamgaon, Prakash, Maski, Brahmagiri, Sangankallu,
Tekkalkota, Piklihal, Nagarjunakonda, Daojali Hading, Kuchai, Sarutadu.
Prehistoric Cave art from India: Bhimbetka, Adamgarh.
Indus Civilization: Expansion of village sites. Development of metal technology, art and
writing. Architecture and city planning. Stages and theories of decline. Sites like Amri, Kot
Diji, Kalibangan, Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Lothal, Dholavira, Rakhigarhi.
Pottery and Traditions: Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP), Black and Red ware, Painted Grey
Ware (PGW), Northern Black Polished Ware (NBP). Distribution of the pottery types and
Bronze/Copper Age: General characteristics, distribution, people.
Iron Age and Urban Revolution: General characteristics, distribution, people.
Megaliths: concept and types (menhir, dolmen, topical, cist, cairn circle, sarcophagi)

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Unit – VII

Conceptual Understanding of Social Anthropology:
Culture: Attributes, Holism, Universals, Acculturation, Enculturation, Transculturation,
Culture Change, Culture Shock, Cultural Relativism, Civilization, Folk-Urban Continuum,
Great and Little Tradition, Cultural Pluralism and World-View.
Society: Groups, Institutions, Associations, Community, Status and Role. Incest. Endogamy
and Exogamy. Rites of passage.
Social Institutions:
Family: Definitions, universality of the family. Typological and Processual methods of
studying the family. Types of family – conjugal-natal, consanguineal, nuclear, joint,
extended. Rules of residence – Patrilocal, Matrilocal, Ambilocal, Bilocal, Neolocal,
Avunculocal, Virilocal, Amitalocal, Uxorilocal. Functions of family, Trends of change –
urbanization, globalization, industrialization, feminist movements.
Marriage: Definition, universality, types and functions (monogamy, polygamy – polyandry,
polygyny, hypogamy, hypergamy, levirate, sororate). Preferential and Prescriptive types.
Types and forms of marital transactions – bride price and dowry. Marriage as exchange.
Kinship: Definition, Descent, kinship terminology, matrilineal puzzle. Joking and
avoidance. moiety, phratry, clan and lineage. Types of kinship systems.
Economic Anthropology: Definition and relationship with Anthropology and Economy.
Theories (Malinowski, Formal, Substantivist, Marxist). Livelihoods, Subsistence, Principles
of production, distribution, consumption; division of labour in hunting-gathering, pastoral,
swidden and agricultural communities. Exchange, reciprocity, gifts and barter systems. Kula,
Potlatch and Jajmani – Anthropological explanations.
Legal Anthropology: Anthropology of Law, Social Sanctions.
Political Organization: Definitions, political processes in band, tribe, chiefdom and state
systems. Conflicts and social control. Nations and Nation-state, democracy.
Religion and Belief Systems: Definitions, animism, animatism, manaism, bongaism,
totemism, taboo. Religious specialists – witch, shaman, priest, medicine-man, sorcerer.
Magic – definitions, types, approaches. Rituals.
Social Change: Basic ideas and concepts (Assimilation, Integration, Syncretism, Dominance
and Subjugation), Approaches.


Theories in Social Anthropology
Evolutionism – Tylor, Morgan, Fraser, Maine, McLennan.
Diffusionism – Three schools (Austro-German, British, American).
Historical Particularism – Boas.
Functionalism – Malinowski.
Structural-Functionalism – Radcliffe-Brown, Firth, Fortes, Eggan, Parsons.
Structuralism – Levi-Strauss.
Culture and Personality/Psychological Anthropology – Mead, Benedict, DuBois, Linton,
Kardiner, Whiting and Child.
Cultural Ecology, Environmental Anthropology, Neo-evolutionism (Leslie White, Julian
Steward, Marshall Sahlins).
Cultural Materialism – Marvin Harris.
Symbolic Anthropology – Victor Turner, Raymond Firth, Mary Douglas.
Cognitive Anthropology – Roy D’Andrade, Stephen Tyler, Ward Goodenough.
Deep Ethnography, Interpretive Anthropology – Clifford Geertz.
Anthropology and Gender – Leela Dube, Renato Rosaldo, Marilyn Strathern, Zora Neale
Postmodernism, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism – Foucault, Derrida, Bourdieu.
Ethnicity – Barth, Jeffery, Weber.


Stages in the Development of Indian Anthropology
Concepts: Social Stratification (eg. Caste), Scheduled Caste (SC), Dalit, OBC, Nomadic
Groups. Revivalist/Nativist movements, Peasant movements (Malabar and Telengana
Tribe, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Particularly Vulnerable Groups (PVTGs), Tribal movements (Birsa and Naga
movements), Tribal Development, Distribution.
Indian Village and Village Studies in India (S.C. Dube, McKim Marriott, Weiser, Scarlett Epstein, M.N. Srinivas,
F.G. Bailey)
Constitutional Safeguards for SC and ST, Inclusion and Exclusion. Panchayati Raj Institutions and other
traditional community political organizations, Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
Theoretical ideas: Sanskritization, Westernization, Modernization, Globalization, Sacred Complex, NatureMan-Spirit Complex.
Early Indian Anthropologists and their contributions: G.S. Ghurye, B.S. Guha, S.C. Roy, Iravati Karve, L.P.
Vidyarthi, S.C. Dube, M.N. Srinivas, N.K. Bose, Surajit Sinha, D.N. Majumdar, S.R.K. Chopra, Verrier Elwin,
S.S. Sarkar, Dharani Sen, T.C. Das, P.C. Biswas.

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Unit – X

Concepts and Theories: Applied Anthropology, Action Anthropology, Engaged
Anthropology, Experimental Anthropology, Urban Anthropology,Public Anthropology,
Public Archaeology, Anthropology of Development, Medical Anthropology, Visual
Anthropology, Genomic Studies, Genetic Screening and Counseling, Forensic Anthropology,
Food and Nutritional Anthropology, Ergonomics, Kinanthropometry, Business
Community Development Projects (Rural, Urban and Tribal); Revisits, Re-studies,
Reinterpretations, Intervention, Research Process and Social Impact Assessment (SIA).
Anthropological approaches in community studies: public health, education, nutrition, land
alienation, bonded labour, housing, alternative economy, livelihood, gender issues, relief,
rehabilitation and relocation, identity crisis, communication, training and management, aging
and the aged.
Development Strategies (Plan/Sub Plan).
Role of NGOs in Development. Anthropology and NGOs.
Empowerment of Women, LGBT groups.

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