History of Anthropology

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    Societies are alike becuase they pass through evolutionary stages. We move from the primative to the civilized e.g you cannot have industrial farming before simple farming. (Morgan)
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    Different groups are similar because they all learnt, however indirectly, from one another. (Grafton Elliot Smith)
  • MARX

    He showed that society is organised along class lines. That all social interaction maintains the wealth of a small elite.
  • Lewis Henry Morgan

    Lewis Henry Morgan
    • Morgan practically invented the field of kinship studies and became one of the most prominent theorists of linear social evolution. He produced some of the earliest and most valuable ethnographic studies of American Indian tribes.
    • He was also important in the development of the concept of cultural evolution, which describes civilization as the final and logical conclusion of all savage societies.
    • Wrote 1850’s – 1860’s.
  • Sir Edward Burnett Tylor

    Sir Edward Burnett Tylor
    • English anthropologist regarded as the founder of cultural anthropology.
    • Culture, he said, is “...that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”
    • His work on primitive people’s mentality, in particular on animism made great advances to the understanding of primitive religions.
    • Wrote 1860’s – 1880’s.
  • Julian Steward

    Julian Steward
    Criticised cultural evolution - instead he found that societies adapt to their environments. Modernization of anthropology - In the past, anthropology had been dominated by armchair anthropologists (never conducted first hand research). He took a more scientific approach which involved personally analyzing specific cultures.
  • Franz Boas

    Franz Boas
    • The "Father of American Anthropology" and “The Father of Modern Anthropology”.
    • "If we were to select the most intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and emotionally stable third of mankind, all races would be present."
    • Boas is the early-twentieth-century scholar most responsible for discrediting the then-dominant scientific theories of racial superiority.
    • It was Boas who gave modern anthropology its rigorous scientific methodology.
    • Wrote 1930-1940
  • Ray Birdwhistell

    Ray Birdwhistell
    Ray Birdwhistell
    American anthropologist
    • Found most of his studies through observing people’s interactions in films. He had a strong interest in ‘kinesics’- the way people used their body or bodily gestures to communicate nonverbally.
    • His observations concluded that people use eye movement, facial expressions and their chest to convey information.
    • Published 2 books: ‘introduction to kinesics’ and ;kinesics and context’
  • Marvin Harris

    Marvin Harris
    • His work period was from about 1955-1970
    • Main focus was the study of ideological features of culture.
    • Did fieldwork in Mozambique focusing on human behaviour.
    • Famous for his work on Indian cultures ‘sacred cow’.
    • Fieldwork in Brazil, Mozambique, India and Ecuador.
    • Wrote over 16 books.
  • Napoleon Chagnon

    Napoleon Chagnon
    • His work period was from about 1960-1995
    • Best known for his ethnographic work with the Yanomamö tribe (Amazon)
    • Had a major role in the development of the evolutionary theory of cultural anthropology
    • He was a pioneer in the fields of socio-biology, visual anthropology and human behavioural ecology.
    • Has been credited as the ‘destroyer of culture’ (through the spread of disease) and ‘Shaki’ (pesky-bee)
    • Made over 22 films.
  • Paul Farmer

    Paul Farmer
    Medical anthropologist – he counteracted the negative effects in healthcare caused by social and structural violence. He introduced the idea of “pragmatic solidarity” – he worked to meet the needs of victims while advocating for social change.
  • Ruth Benedict

  • Key Dates & 'Schools of Thought'

    Ethnology is a branch off of anthropology where the divisions of humanity (e.g. origins, race and ethnicity) are immensely considered. Therefore ethnologists have a special interest in why people living in different parts of the worlds often have similar beliefs and practices.
    19th Century – 2 Schools of Thought
    • Grafton Elliot Smith (ethnologist): different groups somehow learned from one another because cultural traits diffused from one place to another. Sin