Humanities-Social Sciences  (300)

Anthropology is the study of humanity or mankind.  It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences.  Anthropology is divided in four sub-fields: 1) cultural, 2) archaeology, 3) linguistic, 4) biological.

Archaeology is the study of human society through the recovery and analysis of the material culture (artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes).  It is considered to be both a science and humanity.  In the U.S. the archaeology is branch of anthropology. Archaeology studies human history from the development of the first stone tools in eastern Africa 3.4 million years ago up until recent decades. 99% of total human history does not have a written record past (from the Paleolithic until the advent of literacy). Archaeology draws upon anthropology, history, art history, classics, ethnology, geography, geology, linguistics, physics, information sciences, chemistry, statistics, paleoecology, paleontology, paleozoology, paleoethnobotany, and paleobotany.

Communication studies involves many fields from personal face-to-face communication to speech making to mass media (newsprint, radio, television).  In the United States, the National Communication Association (NCA) recognizes nine disciplines: Communication & Technology, Critical-Cultural, Health, Intercultural-International, Interpersonal-Small Group, Mass Communication, Organizational, Political, and Rhetorical. The International Communication Association (ICA) recognizes a wide range of disciplines including among others Communication History; Communication Law and Policy; Ethnicity and Race in Communication; Feminist Scholarship; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies; Global Communication and Social Change; Information Systems; Instructional/Developmental Communication; Journalism Studies; Language and Social Interaction; Organizational Communication; Philosophy of Communication; Political Communication; Popular Communication; Public Relations; and Visual Communication Studies.

Cultural Studies
Cultural studies attempts to interpret public communication or mass/news media in the context of ideology, social class, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality or gender.  It seeks to understand the way in which meaning is generated, disseminated and produced through various practices, beliefs, institutions and political, economic or social structure within a given culture.  Cultural Studies is grounded in critical theory and literary criticism while also influenced by feminist theory, social theory, political theory, history, philosophy, media theory, film/video studies, communication studies, political economy, translation studies, museum studies and art history.

Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are through social institutions to govern behavior.  The different types of legal disciplines include: contract law, property law, trust law, tort law, constitutional law, administrative law, international law.  The ‘Rule of Law’ is a legal maxim stating that no person is above the law, that no one can be punished by the state except for a breach of the law, and that no one can be convicted of breaching the law except in the manner set forth by the law itself.  The rule of law stands in contrast to the idea that the leader is above the law (such as in Roman or Nazi law).

Linguistics is the study of human language which is has three key categories: 1) language form (grammar, phonetics), 2) language meaning (logical structures), language in context (semantics).

Psychology is the study of human behavior and mental processes.  Psychologists explore concepts such as perception, cognition, attention, emotion, phenomenology, motivation, brain functioning, personality, behavior and interpersonal relationships.  Depth psychologists study the unconscious mind. 
The ‘Positive Psychology’ began in 1998 when Martin Seligman chose it as the theme for his term as president of the American Psychological Association.  Not an original idea - the term originates with Maslow (‘Motivation & Personality).  Seligman claimed that "for the last half century psychology has been consumed with a single topic only - mental illness".  Expanding on Maslow, Seligman urged psychologists to continue the earlier missions of psychology of nurturing talent and improving normal life.  Seligman's theory of "learned helplessness" is widely respected among scientific psychologists.

Sidenote:  the word ‘paranoia’ means that you think there is a ‘conspiracy’ against you.  Interestingly, there is an opposite word, although archaic: ‘pronoia’ -  that the universe acts in your behalf.

Technology is the making, usage and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function.  The word comes from Greek, techne, meaning “art, skill, craft” and –logia, meaning “study of”.  There is a vast array of technology subcategories including: banking, cybernetics, drilling, educational, electronics, energy, environmental, explosives, film & video, geographical, law enforcement, lubrication, machinery, media, microtechnology, military, mining, missile, mixing, music, nanotechnology, radio, rail, roller coaster, sound, space, telecommunication, transport, travel, vehicle and waste treatment.