Thursday, January 24, 2008


Ethnology (from the Greek ethnos, meaning "family, lineage, people") is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyses the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity. Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct contact with the culture, ethnology takes the research that ethnographers have compiled and then compares and contrasts different cultures.

The term ethnology is credited to Adam Franz Kollár who used and defined it in his Historiae ivrisqve pvblici Regni Vngariae amoenitates published in Vienna in 1783. Kollár's interest in linguistic and cultural diversity was aroused by the situation in his native multi-lingual Kingdom of Hungary and his roots among its Slovaks, and by the shifts that began to emerge after the gradual retreat of the Ottoman Empire in the more distant Balkans.


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