and often unwilling to draw broader conclusions from the meticulously detailed monographs that anthropologists produced. Steward is notable for moving anthropology away from this more particularist approach and developing a more nomothetic, social-scientific direction. His theory of "multilinear" cultural evolution examined the way in which societies adapted to their environment. This approach was more nuanced than Leslie White's theory of "uni- versal evolution," which was inﬂuenced by thinkers such as Herbert Spencer. Steward's interest in the evolution of society also led him to examine processes of modernization. He was one of the first anthropologists to examine the way in which national and local lev- els of society were related to one another. He questioned the possibility creating a social theory which encompassed the entire evolution of humanity; yet, he also argued that an- thropologists are not limited to description of specific, existing cultures. Steward believed it is possible to create theories analyzing typical, common culture, representative of specific eras or regions. As the decisive factors determining the development of a given culture, he pointed to technology and economics, while noting that there are secondary factors, such as political systems, ideologies, and religions. These factors push the evolution of a given society in several directions at the same time. 51
History of Anthropological Theory 3.3.10 Paul Farmer Figure 27 A quite serious looking Paul Farmer. Paul Farmer is a medical anthropologist as well as a medical doctor. He was born in 1959 and began working to provide health care to the poor populations while still in graduate school at Harvard. After graduating in 1990, he continued to work to provide health to the poor populations around the world. He specialized in infectious disease while in school and today focuses on those that disproportionately affect the poor, such as tuberculosis. Farmer has been awarded several honors; including the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, American Medical Association's International Physician Award, and the 2007 Austin College Leadership Award. Back in 1987, Farmer helped put together a nonprofit called 52
References Partners in Health, whose mission is both medical and moral. Now, the group treats 1,000 patients daily for free in the Haitian countryside. The group also works to cure drug-resistant tuberculosis among prisoners in Siberia and in the slums of Lima and Peru. Farmer has devoted his life to providing medical services to the underprivileged. He uses his anthropological knowledge and ethnographic analysis to create sustainable and practical health care services for those in need. He works to offset the negative effects in those societies caused by social and structural violence. Farmer is well known for the concept of "pragmatic solidarity", the idea of working to meet the needs of the victims while advocating for positive social change.
- Fall '15