Cultural anthropology is also called socio-cultural anthropology or social anthropology (especially in the United Kingdom). It is the study of culture, and is based mainly on ethnography. Ethnography can refer to both a methodology and a product of research, namely a monograph or book. As methodology, ethnography is based upon long-term fieldwork within a community or other research site. Participant observation is one of the foundational methods of social and cultural anthropology. Ethnology involves the systematic comparison of different cultures. The process of participant-observation can be especially helpful to understanding a culture from an emic point of view, which would otherwise be unattainable by simply reading from a book. In some European countries, all cultural anthropology is known as ethnology (a term coined and defined by Adam F. Kollár in 1783).
The study of kinship and social organization is a central focus of cultural anthropology, as kinship is a human universal. Cultural anthropology also covers economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, material culture, technology, infrastructure, gender relations, ethnicity, childrearing and socialization, religion, myth, symbols, values, etiquette, worldview, sports, music, nutrition, recreation, games, food, festivals, and language (which is also the object of study in linguistic anthropology).