A Brief History of Anthropology BEFORE SOCIAL/CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 1st edition published April 25, 1719 first, I let him know his name should be Friday, which was the day I saved his life. I likewise taught him to say Master; and then let him know that was to be my name … as soon as it was day I beckoned to him to come with me, and let him know I would give him some clothes; at which he seemed very glad, for he was stark naked The Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London, 1st May to 15th October 1851. Over 13,000 exhibits were displayed and viewed by over 6,200,000 visitors to the exhibition the Great Exhibition of 1851. Visitors marveled at the industrial revolution that was propelling Britain into the greatest power of the time. 1850 inventions/discoveries •first cast iron bridge •2nd law of thermodynamics •first submarine formulated •First electronic (telegraphic) •theory of primary numbers transmission of an image (FAX) formulated •measurement of speed of light to •speed of nervous impulses within 1% of true speed determined •Theory of continental drift first •refrigeration to -30C proposed •first cast iron railway bridge •first delivery of piped water •first submarine telegraph cable under pressure •first flash photograph •first description of ion exchange •first typewriter with a ribbon and •first use of a thermometer to keyboard measure a patients temperature •first daily weather maps (in USA) •discovery that anthrax caused by •first rubber hoses a bacterium •steam hammer invented •first public health organization •first photographic paper (replacing (in USA) “anthropology is that great science which is now engrossing the attention of all thinking men and women' (anon. Anthropological Review 1868). `at no previous time has the mind of thinking men been fixed on the subject of human origin, so generally, so intently, so discordantly, and, on the whole, so rationally as now' (anon. Anthropological Review 1869: 4). The value of science and the superiority of Western civilization was confirmed by the evidence of material progress The rapidly expanding European empires the contrast with less advanced civilizations It was self-evident to most that European civilization was far better than the savage condition. Three Problems 1.Degenerationism Versus Progress “We have no reason to believe any community ever did, or ever can, emerge, unassisted by external helps from a state of utter barbarism into anything that can be called civilisation. Man has not emerged from the savage state; the progress of any community in civilisation, by its own internal means, must always have begun from a condition removed from that of complete barbarism, out of which it does not appear that men ever did or can raise themselves.” Richard Whately, the Archbishop of Dublin, On the Origin of Civilization (1857) ancient ruins in Egypt, Rome, Greece and Central America seemed to confirm Degenerationism 2.Monogenism Versus Polygenism Oliver Goldsmith’s (1728-74) illustrated races (1774) Did the various races have a single, or monogenic origin, or did they have a multiple or polygenic one? Polygenesis threatened the notion of progress If the diversity of cultures was due to the diversity of human minds then `primitive' humans lacked the capacity for selfimprovement and no theory of progress could arise 3. Diffusion vs. Independent Invention Was culture the product of independent invention or was it the result of borrowing or diffusion Diffusion supported the degenerationist argument and suggested that savages lacked the capacity for selfimprovement and had to borrow ideas from civilized cultures Edward Gibbon (1737-94) One of the favourite pastimes of historians in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was to write histories of civilization Most `Histories of Civilization' were concerned primarily with synchronizing the history of Greek, Roman, Egyptian and other civilizations, with biblical history. Based on a correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and Holy scriptures, Ussher established the first day of creation as Sunday 23 October 4004 BC. James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland This date was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible printed in 1701, and came to be regarded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. Dr. John Lightfoot (1602-1675) Vice-Chancellor of the University The short chronology posed an of Cambridge refined the date to obstacle to the development of October 23, 4004 B.C., at nine `prehistory'. Indeed, there was o'clock in the morning no `prehistory' - only history Uniformitarianism Lyell's uniformitarian assumption, by demonstrating that even the largest geological formations could be accounted for by ordinary laws of nature given sufficient time, broke the yoke of biblical interpretation and firmly established the great antiquity of the earth. Acceptance of Lyell's theory made his time scale available to other sciences such as biology and anthropology. But establishing the great age of the earth was one thing establishing the great age for Human beings was another. “the low [i.e. recent] antiquity of our species is not controverted by any experienced geologist. It is never pretended that our race co-existed with assemblages of animals and plants of which all or even a large proportion of species are extinct” (Lyell 1837: 249; emphasis original). Anthropology: A Branch of History `the history, not of tribes or nations, but of the condition of knowledge, religion, art, custom, and the like among them' (Tylor 1871 I: 5). "no conception can be understood except through its history is a maxim which all ethnographers may adopt as a standing rule". (Tylor 1871). `the past is continuously needed to explain the present and the whole to explain the part' (Tylor 1865: 2). `there seems no human thought so primitive as to have lost its bearing on our own thought, nor so ancient as to have broken its connection with our own life' (Tylor 1871). Australia The Savage Becomes the Primitive Making Stone Tools New Guinea `the master-key to the investigation of man's primeval condition is held by Prehistoric Archaeology. This key is the evidence of the Stone Age, proving that men of remotely ancient ages were in the savage state' (Tylor 1871 I: 58). “Looking over a collection of their [quaternary man's] implements and weapons on a museum shelf we may fairly judge by analogy that in their moral habits, as in their material arts, they had much in common with the rudest savages of modern times, users like them of chipped stone and flint.” (Tylor 1873a: 702) “The condition of savage and barbarous tribes often more or less fairly represent stages of culture through which our own ancestors passed long ago' (Tylor 1871) Central tenet “The condition of savage and barbarous tribes often more or less fairly represent stages of culture through which our own ancestors passed long ago' (Tylor 1871) Anthropologists could then use the `indirect evidence' provided by contemporary savagery `as a means of re-constructing the lost records of early or barbarous times' (1865: 5). universal sequence of “stages” through which it was hypothesized all societies will sooner or later pass unless their development is arrested by some exogenous circumstance (extinction, conquest, absorption by another society or achieving a perfect equilibrium with the environment) CIVILIZATION: Writing, urban life; flowering of arts, architecture BARBARISM: settled life; markets, rise of chiefs and kings, agriculture, arts develop SAVAGERY: hunting and gathering; no surplus production; no permanent cohesive unit wider than band, stone tools Uniformitarian principle The same kind of development in culture which has gone on inside our range of knowledge has also gone on outside it, its course of proceeding being unaffected by our having or not having reporters present. If any one holds that human thought and action were worked out in primæval times according to laws essentially other than those of the modern world, it is for him to prove by valid evidence this anomalous state of things, otherwise the doctrine of permanent principle will hold good, as in astronomy or geology. That the tendency of culture has been similar throughout the existence of human society, and that we may fairly judge from its known historic course what its prehistoric course may have been, is a theory clearly entitled to precedence as a fundamental principle of ethnographic research. (1871a I: 32-33) The phenomena of Culture may be classified and arranged, stage by stage, in a probable order of evolution” p. 6 Hand Gonne c.1400 Matchlock 1400-1700 Wheellock 1500-1820 Flintlock 1608-1865 UNIFORMITY OF STAGES A present day society in the stage of Barbarism (e.g. Hawai’i or Samoa) could shed light on the distant past when northern European society was in the stage of Barbarism just as an Australian Aboriginal society could inform Europeans of their history in the stage of Savagery Hawai’i Australian Aborigines Europeans Survivals Among evidence aiding us to trace the course which the civilization of the world has actually followed, is that great class of facts to denote which I have found it convenient to introduce the term”Survivals”. Maypole Dancing Outskirts of London, 1891 These are processes, customs, opinions, and so forth which have been carried on by force of habit into a new state of society different from that in which they had their original home, and they thus remain as proofs and examples of an older condition of culture out of which a newer has evolved…. Such examples lead us back to the habits of hundreds and even thousands of years ago, p. 16. “games, popular sayings, customs, superstitions, and the like”. E.B. Tylor 1832-1917 1871 Primitive Culture correlates the three levels of social evolution to types of religion: •Savagery — animatism •barbarism — polytheism •civilization — monotheism Also linked to morality John Ferguson McLennan, (1827-81) 1865 Primitive Marriage: An Enquiry into the Origin of the Form of Capture in Marriage Ceremonies first stage was a time of sexual promiscuity Female infanticide led to a shortage of women, who had to be shared in a polyandrous matriarchal situation Because men don’t like to share wives they captured them from neighbors (exogamy) – patriarchy and monogamy Lewis Henry Morgan 1851 League of the Iroquois (1818 – 1881) 1871 Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity 1877 Ancient Society Assumptions of Nineteenth Century Evolutionism 1. Like the natural world the cultural world is governed by laws that science can discover. 2. These laws operated on the distant past as they do on the present. - Uniformitariamism 3. The present grows out of the past by a continuous process - developmentalism 4. This growth is simple to complex. 5. All humans share a single psychic nature. 6. The moving force of cultural development is interaction with the environment. Assumptions of Nineteenth Century Evolutionism Continued 7. Different development is due to different environments. 8. These differences can be measured. 9. In these terms cultures can be ordered in a hierarchical manner. 10. Certain contemporary cultures are like earlier stages. 11. In the absence of data these stages can be reconstructed by the comparative method. 12. The results of the comparative method can be confirmed by the study of survivals. What was wrong with evolutionism? EVOLUTION VS. DIFFUSION EVOLUTION = the directional nature of the pattern of change of human societies and cultures over time — in the direction of increasing complexity, internal integration, and control over Nature DIFFUSION = the movement of cultural phenomena (inventions, objects, ideas, or even whole cultures) in space, from one place to another DIFFUSIONISM: a conception of human cultural development which sees diffusion as a more common source of evolutionary change in societies than independent evolution — that is, the forces that lead to change are more commonly external rather than internal The criticism of the Diffusionists vis-à-vis the Evolutionists was not that social evolution did not occur… They believed it did — but not nearly so regularly as the Evolutionists believed Most human history, they believed, was shaped by diffusion borrowing migration Important advances (agriculture, animal domestication, metallurgy, state organization) were not invented multiple times in different places — they were typically invented once, then widely diffused Human Nature Evolutionists saw humans as inventive, opportunistic, questing, possessing a “psychic unity” which made disparate groups equally likely to invent Diffusionists saw humans as much more conservative… clinging to old cultural patterns and with a bias against accepting new patterns… and, when they did change, more inclined to borrow than to invent EXAMPLE: EAST AFRICAN CATTLE COMPLEX A typical diffusionist culture complex: • an item of technology which diffused into Africa from the Middle East circa 1100 CE — husbandry of dairy cattle • first appears in Horn and Eastern Sudan, then diffuses progressively southward to the Cape (with exception of zone or tse tse fly infestation in Central Africa) • everywhere social values become oriented to and expressed in terms of cattle (wealth, power, beauty, and even God) • “cattle complex” cultures share a broad similarity of economic structure, social organization and values THE SEVEN CULTURE CIRCLES 4 2 1 5 3 6 7 In the Vienna School view, the human race had originated in Asia, and the earth settled by processes of migration, which could be traced thanks to the great conservatism of the “culture circles”, which retained their basic patterns despite subsequent borrowing THE BRITISH DIFFUSIONISTS Finally, the diffusionist idea was taken up in England by a pair of Cambridge professors: GRAFTON ELLIOT SMITH WILLIAM J. PERRY Smith and Perry carried the diffusionist idea to its ultimate conclusion — all cultural advancement came from one single source, the ancient Egyptians, who made the great leap forward to civilization, and who (through migration and borrowing) diffused it throughout the world GRAFTON ELLIOT SMITH 1871-1937 HELIOCENTRIC DIFFUSIONISM The British diffusionist school is usually called “heliocentric” because of the centrality of sun symbolism in ancient Egyptian religion Smith and Perry cited as “evidence” of these cultural connections the frequency of pyramids and sun symbolism among world civilizations (e.g. Aztec, Cambodian, Chinese, Dravidian and Hindu, Greek) Much of their theory suggested that most of the cultures of the world, having once been “civilized” through contact with the Egyptians, “degenerated” to more “primitive” stages of organization The Growth of Fieldwork N. Chagnon in Brazil with the Yanomamo 3 Impetuses 1. Increasing knowledge of other cultures 2. dissatisfaction with the quality and quantity of much of the data contained in the ethnological writings 3. the belief that the `savage' tribes in their `natural' state were rapidly disappearing in the face of contact with the more civilized nations Increasing knowledge of other cultures Explorers and travellers were replaced by government officials and missionaries who formed a closer association with the people they were in contact with. Appearance of Literary journals such as •The Fortnightly Review (1865-1934), •The Nineteenth Century (1877), •The Academy (1871) •The Contemporary Review (1866- ) First Monographs Eg. The Native Tribes of Central Australia (1899), B. Spencer and F. Gillen's Questionnaires Notes and Queries on Anthropology 1874 Purpose: `to promote accurate anthropological observation on the part of travellers, and to enable those who are not anthropologists to supply the information, which is needed for the scientific study of anthropology at home' (BAAS 1874: vii). Fear that “primitive” tribes were rapidly disappearing Ona family of Tierra Del Fuego `In view of the fast vanishing "primitive" cultures, and the rapid extinction of some of the more primitive and ethnologically interesting races the importance of such efforts to secure information ere it is too late cannot be over-estimated' (Balfour 1905: 15). Alfred Court Hadddon (1855-1940) W H R Rivers 1864-1922 1898 Cambridge Expedition to the Torres Straits Survey Versus Intensive Fieldwork A typical piece of intensive work is one in which the worker lives for a year or more among a community of perhaps four or five hundred people and studies every detail of their life and culture; in which he comes to know every member of the community personally; in which he is not content with generalized information, but studies every feature of life and custom in concrete detail and by means of the vernacular language. It is only by such work that one can fully realise the immense extent of the knowledge which is now awaiting the inquirer, even in places where the culture has already suffered much change. It is only by such work that it is possible to discover the incomplete and even misleading character of much of the vast mass of survey work which forms the existing basis of anthropology” Rivers 1913 Still Evolutionary Theory Rivers’ “the goal of anthropology is the reconstruction of the history of `primitive' peoples Balfour “the ethnographer's purpose determine their `place in time' (1905: 18) is to Haddon's aim “to elucidate the `nature, origin and distribution of the races and peoples of a limited ethnological area and to define their place in the evolutionary tree‘ Two things were absent from fieldwork at this time 1. participation `at Bendiyagalge we were particularly well situated to observe their behaviour, our camp being out of sight of the Vedda camp but within two hundred yards of it, here we could listen to their unrestrained chatter and laughter' (Seligman and Seligman The Vedda 1911: 85). Most ethnographers at this time also relied heavily on translators Fieldwork conducted under an evolutionary paradigm did not necessitate participation. Since ethnographers were interested in establishing historical links with other cultures, the meanings which the myths and ceremonies they were describing had for the people concerned was of little interest 2. sociological theory Emile Durkheim 1858 - 1917 The Division of Labour in Society 1893 Rules of the Sociological Method 1895 Suicide 1897 Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, 1912 What is a Social Fact? “A social fact is every way of acting, fixed or not, capable of exercising on the individual an external constraint; or again, every way of acting which is general throughout a given society, while at the same time existing in its own right independent of its individual manifestations” Social Facts Characteristics External to the Individual • found ready-made at birth • Objective Leaned •Relative Endowed with coercive power A new variety of phenomena •source is not the individual but in society a collective phenomenon Rules of the Sociological Method Society is part of nature and a science of society must be based on the same principles as those of the natural sciences Social facts must be treated as things I.e. objectively The properties of the totality cannot be deduced from those of the individuals who combine to form it. Rejection of “methodological individualism” Social facts have to be explained in terms of their function Functional Explanation Functional function of a social item refers to its correspondence with “the general needs of the social organism not the individual Function must be clearly distinguished from intention or purpose The root idea in functionalism: Human societies consist of a number of institutions which over time achieve a harmonious “fit” to one another integration serve adaptive ends — i.e. contribute to the survival of the overall society function do not just reflect universal human nature, but shape it in distinctive ways determinism Functionalist view of a society (1) INSTITUTIONS SOCIETY PERSON • A society consists of a distinct set of institutions which introject distinctive motivations into its members from earliest childhood Functionalist view of a society (2) • Different institutions produce different persons with different motivations Functionalism in a Nutshell how does a social phenomenon contribute to the survival of the society as a whole BRONISŁAW MALINOWSKI 1884 - 1942 1884 born in Kraków, Poland, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire 1910: emigrates to England to begin postgraduate work in anthropology at the LSE 1912 receives a Ph.D from the LSE for a library dissertation on the Australian aborigines 1914 travels to the British Association for the Advancement of Science’s meeting in Melbourne Sept 1914 War is declared while en route and Malinowski is classified as an enemy alien. spends 2 ½ years in the Trobriands Trobriand Is. “Imagine yourself suddenly set down surrounded by all your gear on a tropical beach close to a native village while the launch or dinghy which has brought you sails away out of sight”. “Imagine yourself then, making your first entry into the village” “Some natives flock around you, especially if they smell tobacco” “He ought to put himself in good conditions of work, that is, in the main, to live without other white men, right among the natives” “One step further in this line can be made by the Ethnographer who acquires a knowledge of the native language and can use it as an instrument of inquiry.” (p. 23) The Goal of Ethnography The goal [of the Ethnographer] is, briefly; to grasp the native's point of view, his relation to life, to realise his vision of his world” P. 25 Perhaps through realising human nature in a shape very distant and foreign to us, we shall have some light shed on our own. P. 25 Participant • It is good for the Ethnographer sometimes to put aside camera, note book and pencil, and to join in himself in what is going on p. 21 inside view Observation • An ethnographic diary, carried on systematically throughout the course of one’s work in a district would be the ideal instrument for this sort of study outside (analytical) view A functional account is an analyst’s account which asks what is the `sociological function of these customs what part do they play in the maintenance and development of civilization?” Functional accounts don’t worry about how an institution arose –most institutional origins lost in the mists of time –can at most speculate about them (“conjectural history” For functionalists, what is important is not how things originated but how they work (function)… –how they contribute to peoples’ lives Various Institutional Functions language binds the community together Magic warrants a myth's truth, Myth expresses, enhances, and codifies belief; it safeguards and enforces morality' Scientific knowledge ensures Man's survival Religion establishes, fixes, and enhances all valuable mental attitudes, such as reverence for tradition, harmony with environment, courage and confidence in the struggle with different cultures and at the prospect of death law curbs certain natural propensities, to hem in and control human instincts and to impose a non-spontaneous, compulsory behaviour' Malinowski’s Hierarchy of needs ‘Basic’ needs Food, shelter, sex, etc. universal this supplies a certain commonality to all human cultures and is ultimately what makes them comparable. Also makes ethnology scientific each culture responds to the particular needs of its members through institutions every institution centers around a fundamental need For example, tools function to provide Man's food, and construct his shelters The variation in the form of the institution is culturally determined instrumental’ needs but tools require skilled artisans and trade groups etc. In a sense, the tools themselves have needs. These are instrumental needs the three primary ones being economic organization, law, and education integrative needs these institutions must in turn be functionally adjusted to each other in order to form a more or less consistent pattern… this produces requirements not of individuals but of the cultural system itself 2. STRUCTURAL FUNCTIONALISM The dominant theoretical paradigm of the British school of social anthropology, 1930–1955. Associated with the theoretical writings of A. R. Radcliffe-Brown in Structure and function in primitive society A. R. Radcliffe-Brown 1881-1955 Biopsychological Functionalism or “Needs” Functionalism (Malinowski) Structural Functionalism (Radcliffe-Brown) Exchange Functionalism (Mauss) Structural Functionalism Structuralism: theory examines cultures in terms of systems of structured relationships between social phenomena. Functionalism: theory that all social facts can and should be explained by their function in relation to society. Structural Functionalism: societies seen as having structure and order, and all phenomena occurring within the culture are seen to have the underlying goal of maintaining the overall societal structure and order, despite individual motivation.. FIVE BASIC PRINCIPLES 1. Society is seen as an organically structured whole akin to a biological organism. 2. Society has a social structure - an ordered arrangement of parts. 3. Structure is ideally integrated, unified, and exists in equilibrium. 4. This structure is the object of analysis; the most valued data is the structure you can abstract. 5. The function of Social activities and institutions is ultimately interpreted in terms of maintaining the whole social structure of the society THE STRUCTURE IS INTEGRATED INSTITUTIONS: Distinguishable sets of roles, norms, and statuses within a social system e.g. kinship system it is to institutions that the concept of “function” is applicable the function of an institution is its contribution to the overall perpetuation and adaptation of the society For social life to persist or continue the various institutions must exhibit some kind of measure of coherence or consistence THE FUNCTION OF INSTITUTIONS IS TO MAINTAIN THE STRUCTURE The problem for society is to survive — to maintain its structure But basic human nature is inherently selfish and is therefore inimical to that survival. Therefore the behaviour of individuals must be molded to the requirements society needs to survive Conflict must be restrained and the conduct of persons in their interrelations with each other must be controlled by norms or rules of behaviour Failure of the individual to follow these norms results in sanctions. MALINOWSKI: Society seen as a nurturing, comforting, cocoon emanating from, and responding to, human needs RADCLIFFE-BROWN: Society seen as a tyrannical entity, often at odds with human nature, which controls humans by injecting fears and anxieties into their psyches, and if necessary sacrificing them for its own sake REACTION AGAINST EVOLUTIONARY THEORY 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL SCHOOLS 1930 1940 AMERICAN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY Boas EVOLUTIONISM BRITISH SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY DIFFUSIONISM Malinowski FUNCTIONALISM Radcliffe Brown DURKHEIMIAN SOCIOLOGY PERIOD OF GRAND THEORY FRENCH ETHNOLOGIE MODERN PERIOD CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM What is the Functionalist view of Human Nature? What is the Relationship between the individual and the society? How do Functionalists account for change? How do functionalists deal with conflict? How is the function of a given institution determined? Must all institutions have a function? FRANZ BOAS 1858-1942 Boas en route to Baffin Island 1883 and Central Inuit; to study of reflectivity of sea-water CENTRAL ESKIMO (IGULIK) STUDY Inuit can perceive and name hundreds of colors and qualities of sea-water and surfaces unknown in European languages… • distinctions which can be described ‘scientifically’ in physics and optics • and which are of adaptive value to a sea-mammal hunting culture Boas’ study: earliest anthropological attempt to describe a non-European ‘ethno-science’ in phenomenological terms Analyst seeks to understand phenomena by grasping how they make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively posing as a Kwakiutl dancer for a National Museum diorama, 1895 1885: First expedition to Northwest Coast (Bella Coola) 1886: First collecting trip for American Museum of Natural History (New York City) to Nootka and Kwakiutl — massive documentation of Northwest Coast culture Anti-Evolutionist Evolutionism assumes what it is trying to prove Order of cultural traits is arbitrary, eg representative and geometric art forms positioning individual cultures on the savagerybarbarism-civilization ladder discounts their particularity and integrity sidesteps the important task of reconstructing unwritten histories for non-Western peoples Rational psychological explanation is misleading i.e. people did not reason themselves out of their primitive state because one of the fundamental characteristics of people is that they act automatically and unconsciously Anti-Diffusionist Claims for historical contact for enormously large areas unlikely Improbable that cultural traits remained unchanged for thousands of years traits are arbitrarily selected only to prove the theory No attempt to demonstrate whether similar cultural traits are due to independent invention eg. Marriage patterns Uninterested in how cultures change CULTURAL/HISTORICAL PARTICULARISM Three pillars explain cultural customs 1. Cultures can only be understood with reference to their particular historical development. Therefore each culture is unique 2. Environmental conditions 3. Individual psychological factors CULTURAL/HISTORICAL PARTICULARISM idea was not to make a preconceived hypothesis, but to collect as much data about a particular culture without any theory general theories of human Behaviour would arise once enough data had been collected “We refrain from the attempt to solve the fundamental problem of the general development of civilization until we have been able to unravel the processes that are going on under our eyes” Hallmark of historical particularism became the intensive study of specific cultures through long periods of fieldwork BOASIAN CONCEPT OF CULTURE • superorganic —the product of collective or group life; but the individual has an influence • unconscious — a filter through which reality is perceived, but which is not itself the object of attention • adaptive — culture ultimately helps indivudlas adapt to their environment. Four Field Approach SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ARCHAEOLOGY ANTHROPOLOGY PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY LINGUISTICS Influential generation of anthropologists trained under Boas at Columbia University and established Boasian doctrines in North American universities: Alfred A. Kroeber Ruth Benedict Margaret Mead Rhoda Métraux Robert Lowie Edward Sapir Paul Radin Alexander A. Goldenweiser Clark Wissler FRANZ BOAS Cultural/historical particularism “race, language, and culture” as independent variables Relativism superorganic Cultural Determinism Data Collection “without” theory Emphasis on Fieldwork 4-field approach Alfred Louis Kroeber (1876-1960) 1897 enrolled in a course in American Indian languages at Columbia University offered by Franz Boas 1901 completed his dissertation on symbolism in Arapaho art in Montana and received the first doctorate in anthropology to be awarded by Columbia 1901-1946 first instructor of newly created anthropology dept. at U of California, Berkeley “ no culture is wholly intelligible without reference to the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it is in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205). Arapaho camp with buffalo meat drying near Fort Dodge, Kansas 1870. William S. Soule “cultures occur in nature as wholes; and these wholes can never be entirely formulated through consideration of their elements. ARCTIC NORTHWEST COAST Cultural and natural areas of Native North America (1939) SUBARCTIC PLATEAU PLAINS BASIN PRAIRIE CALIFORNIA BAJA CALIFORNIA SOUTHWEST NATIVE NORTH AMERICA: CULTURE AREAS EASTERN WOODLANDS N-E MEXICO MESOAMERICA The Superorganic “The superorganic or superspsychic or super-individual that we call civilization appears to have an existence, an order, and a causality as objective and as determinable as those of the subpsychic or inorganic” individuals have very little if any impact on a culture’s development and change Culture plays a determining role in individual human behaviour. Culture has an existence outside of us and compelled us to conform to patterns that could be statistically demonstrated e.g. changes in fashion show that cyclical patterns of change have occurred beyond the influence or understanding of any given individual. Kroeber showed that hem length, height, and width tended to move up and down in regularcycles, Alfred Kroeber Culture Areas Superorganic Deterministic First American Textbook in anthropology (1923) Culture and Personality seeks to understand the growth and development of personal or social identity as it relates to the surrounding social environment Ruth Benedict Margaret Mead 1922 begins teaching at Barnard College as assistant to Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead 1934 Patterns of Culture 1946 The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture Ruth Fulton Benedict 1887-1948 Patterns of Culture 1934 Demonstrated the primacy of culture over biology in understanding the differences between people Contrasted the ways of life of the Zuni, Natives of Dobu and Kwakiutl Zuni – Wealth is a sign of greediness. – Individual fame is a sign of selfishness – Solutions • Share all the wealth with other members of the tribe. • Dare not to do anything that brings them individual fame. – Extremely passive. Dobuan The Dobuan…is dour, and passionate, consumed with jealousy and suspicion and resentment. Every moment of prosperity he conceives himself as having wrung from a malicious world by a conflict in which he has worsted his opponent. The good man is one which has many such conflicts to his credit… paranoiac and mean spirited Kwakiutl Overbearing Vigorous Zest for life Strive for ecstasy in ceremonies self-aggrandizing Megalomaniac paranoid Why are they so different? Can’t be “fixed human nature.” Why not? Suppose - Newborn Zuni baby is raised by Dobu parents (or vice versa). How would this baby behave when he or she becomes adult? Like their adopted parents. Culture and Personality A set of core values shapes larger cultural practices resulting in a distinctive pattern of culture cultural differences were multifaceted expressions of a society’s most basic core values cultural values relative Societies have a dominating cultural personality Culture is “Personality writ large” The goal of anthropology was to document these different patterns Culture and Personality “We have seen that any society selects some segment of the arc of possible human behaviour”… and in so far as it achieves integrations its institutions tend to further the expression of its selected segment and inhibit opposite expressions”. Integrated Holistic Deterministic Individual psychology is plastic, i.e. Is molded principally by cultural experience During World War II, Benedict worked for the Office of War Information, applying anthropological methods to the study of contemporary cultures. 1946 The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture Culture and Personality - Critique Where’s the history? How are culture & individual psychology related? For example, does culture somehow 'cause' individual personality? Is individual behaviour patterned? How? What best accounts for the observed patterns? Circular -- Basic personality structure was inferred from some aspects of behaviour then used to explain other behaviour linked anthropology with psychology 1922 Barnard College under Boas, Meets Ruth Benedict. 1925-26 8 months Fieldwork in Samoa Margaret Mead 1901-1978 Coming of Age in Samoa 1926 Is adolescence a universally traumatic and stressful time due to biological factors or is the experience of adolescence dependent on one's cultural upbringing? nature vs nurture based on a detailed study of 68 girls between 8 and 20 in three contiguous villages Mead described sexual relations as frequent and usually without consequence – or issue The basic conclusion was that adolescence in Samoa was not a stressful period for girls Because, in general, Samoan society lacked stresses “This tale of another way of life is mainly concerned with education with the process by which the baby, arrived cultureless upon the human scene, becomes a full-fledged adult member of his or her society. The strongest light will fall upon the ways in which Samoan education, in its broadest sense, differs from our own. And from this contrast we may be able to turn, made newly and vividly selfconscious and self-critical, to judge anew and perhaps fashion differently the education we give our children (1928: 13) 1983 Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth Mead did not spend enough time in Samoa and lived in naval dispensary with an American family rather than in a Samoan household was not familiar with the Samoan language ignored violence in Samoan life, Derek Freeman (1916-2001) Failed to consider the influence of biology on behavior Mead had been lied to by two of her female informants and thus came to erroneous conclusions about Samoan culture and the sexual freedom of the girls She also went to Samoa with preconceived intention of showing that culture, not biology, determined human responses to life’s situations. Growing Up in New Guinea 1930 Mead wanted to study the thought processes of children in preliterate cultures and the way they were shaped by adult society. developed psychological tests to administer to the children of Pere New Guniea collected approximately 35,000 pieces of children's artwork. central idea: that differences between peoples are usually cultural differences imparted in childhood specific childrearing practices shape personalities that in turn give specific societies their essential natures Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935) sought to discover extent temperamental differences between the sexes were culturally determined rather than innate biological Mead found a different pattern of male and female behavior in each of the cultures she studied, all different from gender role expectations in the United States at that time. The gentle mountain-dwelling Arapesh Arapesh child-rearing responsibilities evenly divided among men and women The fierce cannibalistic Mundugumor a natural hostility exists between all members of the same sex”. Mundugumor fathers and sons, and mothers and daughters were adversaries. The graceful headhunters of Tchambuli, While men were preoccupied with art the women had the real power, controlling fishing and manufacturing Mead's contribution in separating biologicallybased sex from socially-constructed gender was groundbreaking, gender roles." 1942 And Keep Your Powder Dry, a book on American national character for War effort National Character studies •Small scale techniques applied to large scale societies •Culture at a distance •guide government and military policy early 1960s a vocal commentator on contemporary American life. Characteristics of Mead’s anthropology Relativism Ahistorical Holistic Participant observation Romanticism Humans select their culture, choosing some traits and ignoring others.