BoasWeek2 - Amanda McCaffrey 21300774 Section 113 Reader...

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Amanda McCaffrey 21300774 Section 113 Reader Response #1 Boas, F. (1920) The Methods of Ethnology -- Blackwell Publishing. PART 1 Keywords European triumphalism: the notion that societies evolve in one direction along one path (Tylor: from savagery to barbarism to civilization), and that civilized Europe is at the pinnacle of modern societal evolution Monogenesis: humankind finds its origins in one moment in history Polygenesis: humankind originated in several moments: 1)Biblical creation 2)Other moments of creation of lesser peoples (non-whites) This 19th century theory is now rejected Historical Particularist [Boas]: believes cultural development to be contingent on/the result of many factors. and unpredictable -Determinism: a limiting factor of a society or an individual, the notion that something (envir- onment, language, etc.) determines, to an extent, one’s life path, or the evolution of a soci- ety Argument Universalizing laws for the development of culture are inherently flawed One formula which can produce the answers to the questions of history and anthropology does not exist European standards for evaluating a culture’s position along a development continuum are biased; no such continuum exists, for each culture evolves uniquely, and is not necessarily com- parable to any other Principles of individual psychoanalysis cannot be assumed to be relevant to the study of societ- al evolution Symbolism’s applicability is reasonably doubtable Many factors not considered by theories of evolutionary, diffusion/migration, and psychoana- lytical cultural development include: Environmental determinism (Cushing)
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BoasWeek2 - Amanda McCaffrey 21300774 Section 113 Reader...

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