Alfred Louis Kroeber 's Influence On The Field Of Anthropology Essay

Alfred Louis Kroeber 's Influence On The Field Of Anthropology Essay

Length: 1223 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Alfred Louis Kroeber was born in New Jersey in 1876 and later grew up in New York City where he attended a New York prep school. Kroeber was not only well-educated as a child, but he was also multilingual. It was arguably this strong educational background and history of assiduousness and discipline that contributed to Kroeber’s later success in an academic setting and in the field of Anthropology.
By 1917, Alfred Kroeber was already flourishing in his field. By 1897, Kroeber received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English from Columbia College. He then spent the summers of 1899 and 1900 in Wyoming studying and living among the Arapaho, Shoshone, Ute, and Bannock peoples. Also in 1900, Kroeber became the curator of the California Academy of Sciences Museum, a position he returned to from 1903 to 1911. In 1901, Kroeber received the first doctorate degree awarded in Anthropology at Columbia University under the direction of Franz Boas. In that same year, he became a founding member and the first professor of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkley, where he remained until 1946. Kroeber was also the director of UC Berkley’s Museum of Anthropology in 1908 and the president of the American Anthropological Association from 1917 to 1918.
During the extent of Kroeber’s career, several events and figures greatly influenced his ideas and actions. One of the most influential moments in Alfred Kroeber’s life occurred in 1911 when a “wild” man was found and eventually brought to the Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley. Upon meeting the man and realizing he was of the Yana native population, Kroeber named him Ishi, meaning “the man” in the Yana language. Shortly after Ishi’s arrival to Berkeley, the Yana ...

... middle of paper ...

... historical approach and the scientific method. He begins by describing the four underlying levels that exist in every human situation: the body, mind, society, and culture. He explains that both the scientific method and the historical approach can be applied to all levels; however, the scientific method is most useful for the lower-level ‘body,’ whereas the historical approach is most applicable to the upper-levels of ‘mind,’ ‘society,’ and ‘culture.’ This is because the lower the level, the more predictable it is and the easier it is to manipulate using the scientific method. On the other hand, “translevel reductionism” is needed to understand the causality of mind, society, and culture. He also notes that the historical approach considers context and a wide array of causality, whereas science uses a more myopic view and pinpoints specific regularities in nature.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Father Franz Boas--Father of American Anthropology Essays

- Father Franz Boas--Father of American Anthropology Franz Boas is often referred to as the father of American anthropology because of the great influence he had in the lives and the careers of the next great generation of anthropologists in America. He came at a time when anthropology was not considered a true science or even a meaningful discipline and brought an air of respectability to the profession, giving those who followed a passion and an example of how to approach anthropology. Boas directed the field studies and trained such prominent anthropologists as Alfred Louis Kroeber, Robert Lowie, Margaret Mead, as well as others....   [tags: essays papers]

Strong Essays
1361 words (3.9 pages)

Summary : ' The Handbook Of The Indians Of California ' Essay

- ALFRED LOUIS KROEBER 1876-1960 Idealistic. Kroeber one of three students who decided to make his seminar in American Indian languages at the University of Columbia with Boas; the results obtained of the fieldwork with the "Arapajos" of Wyoming, "Shoshone", "Utes", and “bannocks". With this work Kroeber a broad and influential Anthropology book:, "The Handbook of the Indians of California," where he did an incredible amount of ethnographic case and become one of the major reference book on American ethnology, in most parts of the globe, Mexico and Peru, India and east and Southeast Asia....   [tags: Anthropology, Franz Boas, Professor]

Strong Essays
1485 words (4.2 pages)

History, Anthropology, And Cultural Anthropology Essay

- Anthropology encompasses four main aspects in the field: archaeology, linguistics, physical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. All four areas must collect data and find a way to interpret the data collected. Data is then interpreted with the use of theories. The data would be useless to any anthropologist without any meaning. Theory helps an anthropologist choose what data to collect and how to interpret the results. Authors McGee and Warms assert that theory “helps us think about who and what we are as human beings,” (2)....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Sociology]

Strong Essays
1358 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Anthropology And Its Impact On Anthropology

- When trying to figure out what the field of applied anthropology is Sillitoe says that there is still some debate as to what the meaning of applied anthropology is and since anthropology is such a huge field and is considered to be the ‘study of humankind’, there is a threat that it could possibly too big and possibly collapsing on itself or how Sillitoe says, “such a broad church that there is a danger the walls are now too far apart and the roof falling in” (Sillitoe 2007). With such a big topic, there’s discussions as to how to define applied anthropology without able to agree on a single definition because it is “a very odd subject”, “hard to say what it is the study of”, and “it is not...   [tags: Anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Ethnography]

Strong Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about The World Of The Field Of Anthropology

- It should hopefully be understood that the continued studying of these tribes should continue. Any sort of information that can be gleaned about the past, even if the only living examples may not be “true examples” should be sought out to learn. Those who encourage a stopping of such gathering of information, I feel is only setting up future generations to fail in the acquisition of knowledge. In the opening aspect of Lees article, he admits that the study of “primitive” people within the field of Anthropology is a contested one (Lee 1992: 31)....   [tags: Social sciences, Scientific method, Sociology]

Strong Essays
866 words (2.5 pages)

The Feminist Perspective Of Anthropology Essay

- The feminist perspective of anthropology, as the question alludes to, has made many contributions to the world of anthropology. Including, but not limited to: the idea of ‘male bias’, the study of women, and the study of gender. Within these broad topics of feminist anthropology, further contributions can be seen, for instance the deconstruction and exploration of naturalisation and the universality of inequality. Although, ultimately it could be argued that the biggest contribution of the feminist perspective of anthropology is the existence of an alternative perspective, one that strives for a less objective reality and aims to open a dialogue enabling the exploration of a hugely diverse...   [tags: Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural anthropology]

Strong Essays
712 words (2 pages)

Contemporary Theories On Religious Anthropology Essay

- In the third chapter of the Scupin book, contemporary theories on Religious Anthropology are discussed. Unlike both the Rational and Antirationalist of the past, contemporary theorist attempted to gain a more empirical understanding of religion. Leading the fight against the 19th century unilinear evolutionists was Franz Boss. Boss focused his studies with the Kwakiutl tribe in Canada, and he focused on the importance of field work. He was outspokenly critical of past anthropologists claiming that their “arm chair” tendencies lead to falsified data and forged conclusions....   [tags: Anthropology, Cultural anthropology, Culture]

Strong Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Anthropology and Gender Essay

- Though women have played an integral part in the history of the discipline of anthropology, it was not until the early 1970’s that the field of anthropology and gender, or feminist anthropology emerged. Sex and gender roles have always been a vital part of any ethnographic study, but the contributors of this theory began to address the androcentric nature of anthropology itself. The substantial gap in information concerning the study of women was perceived as a male bias, a prejudice made more apparent because what little women-centered fieldwork was done received insufficient attention from the academic community....   [tags: Feminist Anthropology ]

Strong Essays
1582 words (4.5 pages)

Ishi, The Last of His Tribe by Theodora Kroeber Essay

- Ishi, the Last of His Tribe by Theodora Kroeber Chapter 1      This book begins when it's main character Ishi is just thirteen years of age. He is one of the remaining Yahi Indians in the world. The people in his tribe now living are Ishi, grandfather and grandmother, Tushi, Timawi, his mother and his father. They have been hiding from the Saldu, white men as the Yahi called them. This chapter had much to do with the Harvest Season. We know this season as autumn. They had to hunt and forage for many items to survive through the winter....   [tags: Theodora Kroeber Ishi Last Tribe Essays]

Strong Essays
1608 words (4.6 pages)

Anthropology Today Essay

- Anthropology Today In society today, the discipline of anthropology has made a tremendous shift from the practices it employed years ago. Anthropologists of today have a very different focus from their predecessors, who would focus on relating problems of distant peoples to the Western world. In more modern times, their goal has become much more local, in focusing on human problems and issues within the societies they live. This paper will identify the roles anthropologists today play, such as where they perform the bulk of their work, and what it is they do in both problem solving, as well as policy making....   [tags: Anthropology]

Strong Essays
1735 words (5 pages)