Franz Boas - Franz Boas The emergence of American...

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Unformatted text preview: Franz Boas The emergence of American anthropology Monday, January 24, 2011 Background • German/American • 1858-1942 • Hugely infuential Fgure in American anthropology • Physics, geography, culture, language, economics, visual, etc... Monday, January 24, 2011 Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and many others Monday, January 24, 2011 Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and many others Berkeley Monday, January 24, 2011 Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and many others Berkeley Northwestern Monday, January 24, 2011 Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and many others Berkeley Northwestern Chicago Monday, January 24, 2011 Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and many others Berkeley Northwestern Chicago U Penn Monday, January 24, 2011 When Boas began his ethnographic work in 1883, anthropology had neither a solid base of data nor a scientiFc theoretical approach. Anthropologists relied on travelers’ accounts, missionary reports, and popular stereotypes for their information about non-Western peoples. Out of these dubious materials, they constructed elaborate theories of evolution, racial types, and the primitive mind. With a missionary’s zeal, Boas fought to replace such practices with reliable information and careful theorizing. To the extent that anthropology became a science in the early twentieth century, it was due to Boas’s work. (Andrew Buckser, "¡ranz Boas” in BarFeld 1997:43). Monday, January 24, 2011 1. Boas (and Malinowski) rejected the armchair method for direct, sustained participant-observation . That is, you will recall that 19th-century anthropologists came after explorers, soldiers, missionaries, merchants, colonialists—if they came at all. Despite a few notable exceptions (LH Morgan, Baldwin Spencer), 19th-century anthropologists tended to be armchair scholars, at the higher end of a scholarly division of labor between data collection and theorizing. 2. They rejected social-evolutionary theory (ascending typological stages of societal complexity) for other explanations of the diversity of human collective lifeways (e.g., diffusion, history, and functionalism). 3. They Frmly opposed the racial ideologies that were both a motive force and an idiom in which were cast the evolutionary explanations for human behavioral and mental variability, and they postulated instead the "psychic unity of mankind ." Monday, January 24, 2011 Psychology Anthropology Sociology Individual based work Small group and community based work Large scale based work (National/State populations) Data generally gathered in a controlled setting Data generally gathered at any time in numerous settings Data generally gathered from surveys and polls Consent comes from the individual being examined Consent comes from individuals when interviewed and numerous other settings Data often collected anonymously or without any means of determining an individual involved What is anthropology?...
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2011 for the course ANTH 152 taught by Professor Cooper,n during the Spring '08 term at University of Hawaii, Manoa.

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Franz Boas - Franz Boas The emergence of American...

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