Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture

ISBN-10: 0822346982
ISBN-13: 9780822346982
Edition: 2010
Authors: Lee D. Baker
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Description: In the late nineteenth century, if ethnologists in the United States recognized African American culture, they often perceived it as something to be overcome and left behind. At the same time, they were committed to salvaging "disappearing" Native  More...

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Book details

List price: $21.99
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 3/3/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

In the late nineteenth century, if ethnologists in the United States recognized African American culture, they often perceived it as something to be overcome and left behind. At the same time, they were committed to salvaging "disappearing" Native American culture by curating objects, narrating practices, and recording languages. InAnthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture, Lee D. Baker examines theories of race and culture developed by U.S. anthropologists during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth. He investigates the role that ethnologists played in creating a racial politics of culture in which Indians had a culture worthy of preservation and exhibition while African Americans did not. Baker argues that the anthropological concept of culture developed to understand American Indian languages and customs in the nineteenth century formed the basis of the anthropological concept of race eventually used to confront "the Negro problem" in the twentieth century. As he explores the implications of anthropology's different approaches to African Americans and Native Americans, and the field's different but overlapping theories of race and culture, Baker delves into the careers of prominent anthropologists and ethnologists including James Mooney Jr., Frederic W. Putnam, Daniel G. Brinton, and Franz Boas. His analysis takes into account not only scientific societies, journals, museums, and universities, but also the development of sociology in the United States, African American and Native American activists and intellectuals, philanthropy, the media, and government entities from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Supreme Court. InAnthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture, Baker tells how anthropology has both responded to and helped shape ideas about race and culture in the United States, and how its ideas have been appropriated (and misappropriated) to wildly different ends.

Preface: Questions
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Research, Reform, and Racial Uplift
Fabricating the Authentic and the Politics of the Real
Race, Relevance, and Daniel G. Brinton's Ill-fated Bid for Prominence
The Cult of Franz Boas and His "Conspiracy" to Destroy the White Race
Notes
Works Cited
Index

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