The Father Of American Anthropology By Franz Boas Essay

The Father Of American Anthropology By Franz Boas Essay

Length: 1133 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Beginning with historical particularism, it is the first American-born school of anthropology, founded by the “father of American Anthropology” Franz Boas. It was also born out of rejecting the previous social ideas of scientific racism as well as parallel evolution. Boas was originally trained in the physical sciences and shifted toward anthropology when he began to study Inuit migration patterns (McGee & Warms 2012: 112). He became an advocate of fieldwork, encouraging his students to collect detailed, in-depth studies of the culture being studied. Boas trained a number of great anthropologists that drew inspiration from him, one that included Alfred Kroeber. Kroeber was a theorist in historical particularism; however, he did stray from Boas in a few details. Boas favored studying the individual in a role while Kroeber was interested in the role of an individual (McGee & Warms 2012: 116). He was also more interested in a regional approach to studying cultures. This method differed from Boas’s way of thinking since he valued each culture as a unique concept. Kroeber wrote the Handbook of the Indians of California that looked at the geographic and cultural distribution that related to Native American cultures (McGee & Warms 2012: 116). Boas would not have written about something this broad, instead he would have likely focused on only one of the cultures and wrote in-depth about them. Kroeber simply combined the cultures together to compare them regionally.
Historical particularism was also interested in questioning how cultures changed over time as well as relying on both oral and written histories. Boas argued, “…cultures could only be understood with respect to their unique historical development,” (McGee & Warms 2012: 116). H...


... middle of paper ...


...anguage. Benjamin Whorf, a linguist who developed the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, also promoted the importance of language. He states that language shapes how humans perceive the world around them and also influence how they behave (Whorf 2012: 117). This idea of fieldwork is still valued and practiced in today’s anthropological studies. However, Boas’s student Kroeber differs slightly with this idea. Kroeber was not as interested with the idea of focusing on a single community but preferred a regional, super-organic view of cultures. A super-organic view of culture simply means to focus on the structure of the culture rather than the individuals inside the culture. Kroeber was still a supporter of historical particularism, but he would rather combine the area cultures together to find similarities and differences instead of focusing on one culture like Boas and Radin.

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)

Franz Boas Discuss the Contribution of Anthropology Essay

- Franz Boas has been considered by many as the "Father of American Anthropology", as he was a pioneer in breaking down the American isolationism, intolerance and misinformation about and biological diversity and linguistics. Born in Minden, Westphalia, Germany, in 1858, from a Jewish family, Boas early thinking was based on the ideals of the 1848 German revolution and followed his parents’ intellectual freedom (Stocking, 1974). However, Boas did not set out with the specific ambition to study human cultures, and after attending the universities of Heidelberg, Bonn and Kiel, in 1881 he earned a PhD....   [tags: Deconstructing, Discrediting, Concept of Race ]

Strong Essays
1247 words (3.6 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 about The Man Of American Anthropology

- In the field of Anthropology there have been many men and women whom have made significant contributions. While there have been many well known contributors two of the most well known are Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski. In the United States Franz Boas is known as the “Father of American Anthropology”. Boas believed that the study of people and their culture should be conducted scientifically, using the scientific method. Bronislaw Malinowski is especially known for his revolutionary field work methods....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Sociology]

Strong Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

The Man Of American Anthropology Essay

- Many men and women have made significant scholarly contributions in the discipline of Anthropology. While there have been many well known contributors, two of the most significant are Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski. Commonly known “Father of American Anthropology”. Boas believed that the study of people and their culture should be conducted using the same scientific method as the physical sciences. Bronislaw Malinowski is especially known for his revolutionary field work methods and developments in ethnographic techniques....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Sociology]

Strong Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Franz Boas : The American Museum Of Natural History Essay

- Franz Boas was a world renowned anthropologist he helped to pioneer what is known as modern anthropology. People who studied under his work referred to him as the "Father of American Anthropology". He was born in Germany in the year 1858 and then passed away in New York in 1942, but not before making several contributions to anthropology. One of those things was collection artifacts and allowing them to be displayed for other to use as educational tools. These Items are located at the American Museum of Natural History in New York....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Cultural anthropology]

Strong Essays
716 words (2 pages)

Essay on Anthropology And Its Impact On Society

- Anthropology, ‘a discipline with a rich and distinguished history of studying the everyday life of other cultures’, cited ou e214 intro tounit 4 analysing ‘social relationships’ kehily p163, corresponding to ‘family, religion, political and economic lives and how society works’. Anthropology was initially lectured in 1884 at Oxford, overlapping with geography and archaeology, heavily influenced by evolution. The majority of anthropology was studied at a distance, people studied were never encountered....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Sociology, Adolescence]

Strong Essays
1271 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about The Evolutionary Approaches Of Anthropology

- Since its inception, the academic discipline of anthropology has gone through constant paradigm shifts. In the nineteenth century, anthropology began as a nomothetic study based upon the development of cultures and societies through the process of evolution. Later on, several anthropologists particularly Franz Boas shifted the nomothetic approach of American anthropology into an idiographic approach, which focuses on assessing the development of cultures individually as their own separate entity....   [tags: Anthropology, Culture, Leslie White]

Strong Essays
1167 words (3.3 pages)

Cultural Anthropology : Sociology, Intervention, And Policy Development ( Gwynne Pp )

- Applied cultural anthropology is known to be “the use of ideas, techniques, and data derived from the field of cultural anthropology in the attempt to contribute to solutions to social problems” (Gwynne pp. 6). To be an applied anthropologist, you must have the basic skills of doing research, intervention, and policy development (Gwynne pp. 7-8). Applied anthropology has existed since the 19th century, but was not technically termed “applied anthropology.” Though researchers and anthropologists were interested in studying different cultures they also worked in academia....   [tags: Anthropology, Sociology, Cultural anthropology]

Strong Essays
1613 words (4.6 pages)

Comparing How Various Anthropologists Discovered Anthropology as a Career

- Comparing How Various Anthropologists Discovered Anthropology as a Career Anthropologists have reasons for entering a field of work just like any other person has reasons for Choosing science over music or medicine over business. The reason a person may enter a particular career can be from stumbling upon a field that they knew little. Once discovering it they have ambitions of being the best they can be. It could also stem from a desire as a child to know more about a specific subject. Reasons may be distinct or similar to another person's in the same field....   [tags: Compare Contrast Comparison Essays]

Strong Essays
2273 words (6.5 pages)