Developments in Anthropology, 1900-1949 - Research Article from Science and Its Times

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Developments in Anthropology, 1900-1949

Overview

Before 1900 anthropology was in one way a racist science. The nineteenth-century idea of evolution gave some European peoples (including those in North America) a reason to believe they had a superior culture because they had "evolved" more than other races. In the early twentieth century, the German anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942) challenged the conception that non-European cultures were inferior. He inspired a number of anthropologists in America and Europe to study all cultures with the belief that every culture is unique and should be studied on its own terms, instead of within the all-encompassing and judgmental evolutionary scheme. The variety of approaches that anthropologists developed in the period 1900-1949 reveals that they did as Boas suggested. Thus, by 1949, the notion that Europeans were superior to other cultures and races had been significantly challenged by anthropologists.

Background

Anthropology appeared as...

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This section contains 1,628 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Developments in Anthropology, 1900-1949 Encyclopedia Article
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Developments in Anthropology, 1900-1949 from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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