Anthropologists and the Rediscovery of America, 1886-1965 by John S. Gilkeson

By John S. Gilkeson

This booklet examines the intersection of cultural anthropology and American cultural nationalism from 1886, whilst Franz Boas left Germany for the us, until eventually 1965, whilst the nationwide Endowment for the arts used to be confirmed. 5 chapters hint the advance inside of educational anthropology of the techniques of tradition, social category, nationwide personality, worth, and civilization, and their dissemination to non-anthropologists. As american citizens got here to think about tradition anthropologically, as a "complex entire" a long way broader and extra inclusive than Matthew Arnold's "the most sensible which has been idea and said," so, too, did they arrive to work out American groups as stratified into social sessions unique through their subcultures; to characteristic the making of the yank personality to socialization instead of start; to find the uniqueness of yankee tradition in its subconscious canons of selection; and to view American tradition and civilization in an international viewpoint.

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Beardsley, ‘‘The American Scientist as Social Activist: Franz Boas, Burt G. : Greenwood, 1990), chap. 5. S. Government Printing Office, 1911); Franz Boas to Gustaf Retzius, 3 May 1910, Professional Correspondence of Franz Boas, American Philosophical Society (B/B61) (hereafter Boas Papers). Boas summarized his findings in ‘‘Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants,’’ American Anthropologist 14 (1912): 530–562; reprinted in Boas, Race, Language, and Culture, 60–75. Culture in the American Grain 33 ‘‘as though an intelligent Indian was going to develop the forms of his own thought by an analysis of his form of speech’’ – rather than in terms of IndoEuropean linguistic categories.

Calling into question the evolutionary framework then prevailing in American anthropology, Boas declared in 1896 that any attempt to construct ‘‘a grand system’’ of evolution was doomed to failure. Even a cursory review revealed that similar phenomena often had different antecedents. , New York: Free Press, 1966), 639–647. On Boas’s debts to German thought, see Bunzl, ‘‘Franz Boas and the Humboldtian Tradition’’; Julia E. Liss, ‘‘German Culture and German Science in the Bildung of Franz Boas,’’ in ‘‘Volksgeist’’ as Method and Ethic, 155–184.

Early centers of anthropological activity included the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, and the American Ethnological Society in New York. A new center arose in 1846 with the founding of the Smithsonian Institution. Under the energetic direction of the physicist Joseph Henry, the Smithsonian sponsored a number of collecting expeditions designed to diffuse ‘‘useful knowledge’’ about the United States. 38 38 Raymond D. Fogelson, ‘‘Nationalism and the Americanist Tradition,’’ in Theorizing the Americanist Tradition, ed.

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