Anthropology and Modern Life

ISBN-10: 0486252450

ISBN-13: 9780486252452

Edition: Reprint 

Authors: Franz Boas

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Great anthropologist’s classic treatise on race and culture. Biological and cultural inheritance; fallacy of racial, cultural or ethnic superiority; scientific basis for human individuality, much more. One of the most influential books of the century, now in inexpensive paperback. Introduction by Ruth Bunzel.
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Book details

List price: $12.95
Publisher: Dover Publications, Incorporated
Publication date: 2/1/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 255
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

Franz Boas, a German-born American anthropologist, became the most influential anthropologist of his time. He left Germany because of its antiliberal and anti-Semitic climate. As a Columbia University professor for 37 years (1899-1936), he created both the field of anthropology and the modern concept of culture. Boas played a key role in organizing the American Anthropological Association (AAA) as an umbrella organization for the emerging field. At both Columbia and the AAA, Boas encouraged the "four field" concept of anthropology; he personally contributed to physical anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, as well as cultural anthropology. His work in these fields was pioneering. Both directly and through the influence of such students as Ruth Benedict, Melville J. Herskovits, Alfred L. Kroeber, and Margaret Mead, he set the agenda for all subsequent American cultural anthropology. In His lifetime Boas had many leadership roles including: Assistant curator at the American Museum of Natural History; editor of The Journal of American Folklore; president of the New York Academy of Sciences, and founder of the International Journal of American Linguistics. Boas is the author of hundreds of scientific monographs and articles. He died in 1942.

Transaction Introduction
What is Anthropology?
Anthropology treats of man as a member of a racial or social group
Pure and applied anthropology
The Problem of Race
Significance of the term "Race"
Overlapping of racial types
Subjective existence of types
Racial heredity and family lines
Inbred and heterogeneous types
Attempts to determine constituent races of a population
Genetic differences between individuals of the same bodily form
Environmental influences upon bodily form
Races considered from an evolutionary viewpoint
Relation between the size of the brain and intelligence
Man as a domesticated form
Physiological and mental differences between races
Difficulty of distinguishing between hereditary and environmental conditions
Significance of intelligence tests
Tests of American Negroes
Relative importance of cultural experience and racial descent
Racial descent disregarded by ethnologists
The Interrelation of Races
Race consciousness
Open and closed societies
Race a type of closed society
Intermingling of races
Conditions under which race antipathies break down
Confusion between the terms "Race" and "Nationality"
Racial segregation within a nation
Mixed descent of European nations
Language as basis of national groupings
Nationality, political and cultural
Culture and political organization as basis of nationality
Fictitious groupings based on distant relation of speech
History of nationalism
Increase in size of political units
Early development of tribal units
The function of nationalism
Effects of selection
Effect of environment and heredity
General degeneracy
Selection for development of specific qualities
Social effects of eugenic legislation
Elimination of the unfit
Dangers of eugenic procedure
Criminals as a class
Criminals as defectives
Social conditions and crime
Relative importance of hereditary and environmental factors
Stability of Culture
Acceleration of cultural development
Periodicity of the rate of change
Automatic habits
Negative effect of automatism
Causes of conformity
Relation between material inventions and automatic habits
The relation between language and thought
Effect of uniformity of culture
The influence of individuals upon culture
Actions are more stable than their interpretations
Stability of patterns of thought
Phenomena of growth and development
Influence of heredity
Retardation and acceleration
Comparison of sexes
Application of generalized observations to the establishment of educational standards
Racial characteristics
Generalized standards are not applicable to individuals
Cases in which standards are applicable
Prediction of individual development
Cultural effects of education
Effect of education upon mental freedom
Conflicts in educational aims
Effect of education upon crises in the life of the individual
The cultural outlook of classes
Cultural outlook of educated class
Cultural outlook of the masses
Modern Life and Primitive Culture
Valuation of different cultural aims
Objective study must be based on different cultures
Anthropology an historic science
Primitive cultures as historic growths
General social laws
Prediction of development of culture impossible
Progress in inventions and knowledge
Effect of leisure
Stability of moral ideas
Progress in ethical behavior
Progress in social organization
Position of women
Georgraphic determinism
Economic determinism
Is the direction of cultural development predetermined?
Culture not superorganic
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