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Unformatted text preview: Living in our Globalized World: Notes 8 Cultural relativism and determinism; academic imperialism: Steckley Chapter 2 Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Steckley: White Lies About the Inuit: Chapter 2, pp. 31-49 - Steckley introduces Four Major White Figures - Franz Boas: American anthropologist - Diamond Jenness: Canadian anthropologist and government official - Vilhjalmur Stefansson: American adventurer - Farley Mowat: Canadian writer of subjective non-fiction - All are interesting and important background for the book - but for us, the broader anthropological points mostly come up in the discussion of Boas - Boas (1858-1942) - one of the founders of American anthropology - p. 32: a proponent of historical particularism- what is this point of view? - in opposition to evolutionism (now often called unilinear evolutionism ) - the idea that all cultures evolve from a primitive state to an advanced one - as in savagery to barbarism to civilization - clearly an ethnocentric, even insulting viewpoint, placing ourselves as the only pinnacle of advancement towards which all others are still struggling - the newer term unilinear evolutionism leaves the door open for other, less simplistic kinds of evolutionary thinking - by implying that what was wrong was the idea of a single, progressive line of evolution - not the idea of cultural evolution in itself - note that Steckley is again writing with an eye to the social production of knowledge - the reason for Boass emphasis on historical particularism was that it was a useful counterpoint to the obviously troubling view of evolutionism - useful (and new) ideas are often overstated in order to make the point...
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course ANTHRO 340.101 taught by Professor Owen during the Fall '11 term at Sonoma.
- Fall '11