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An anthropologist is a social scientist who studies the origins and development of human societies and cultures. Anthropologists use a variety of research methods, such as fieldwork, participant observation, and analysis of artifacts, to study the diversity of human cultures and the ways in which people live in different parts of the world. Anthropologists may study a particular culture or group of people, or they may focus on a specific aspect of human society, such as language, religion, or economic systems. Anthropologists often work in academic settings, but may also be employed in government agencies, NGOs, or private companies.