Download Visionary Observers: Anthropological Inquiry and Education by Jill B. R. Cherneff, Eve Hochwald, Sydel Silverman PDF

By Jill B. R. Cherneff, Eve Hochwald, Sydel Silverman

Visionary Observers explores the connection among anthropology and public coverage, reading the careers of 9 twentieth-century American anthropologists who made very important contributions to debates approximately race, ethnicity, socialization, and schooling. incorporated are Franz Boas, the founding father of American anthropology; Ruth Benedict, who analyzed sleek societies in the course of and after international conflict II; Margaret Mead, anthropology's so much famous public educator; Gene Weltfish, whose “pragmatic anthropology” located schooling on the center of tradition; Hortense Powdermaker, whose fieldwork embraced Black the USA, Hollywood, and the Pacific; Solon Kimball, who studied the impression of desegregation; Ruth Landes, who followed a cultural method of teaching academics; Jules Henry, who analyzed the institutional effects of enforcing middle-class tradition; and Eleanor Leacock, who pioneered “advocacy anthropology.”
The questions they asked—about tradition and human habit, democracy and inequality, and systemic functionality and disjunction—and the dilemmas they confronted as citizen-scientists are recurrent ones. the subjects they addressed illustrate how the lens of yank anthropology has lengthy been eager about family matters. via its emphasis on anthropologists as practitioners in addition to theorists, this anthology provides a brand new size to the heritage and improvement of anthropology within the United States.

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Additional resources for Visionary Observers: Anthropological Inquiry and Education (Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)

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Our own soci- regna darnell 19 ety as well followed habits learned in childhood. Educational methods were dependent upon “our ideals” (187), despite rare consciousness of the conflict in democratic society between individual freedom and the teaching of shared symbols restricting such freedom. Boas argued, in the same year that his former student Margaret Mead published Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), that traumatic adolescence might be a product of such cultural conflict for the individual rather than a cultural universal.

2. Ruth Benedict Relativist and Universalist Virginia Heyer Young Ruth Benedict in the American Southwest in the 1930s. Courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution (86-1323). Among the many accomplishments of Ruth Benedict (1887–1948) are developing the concept of cultural configuration, applying psychology to the study of culture, and using anthropological insights to interpret complex cultures. Closely associated with Franz Boas, her teacher, and Margaret Mead, her student, she shared with them the belief that the anthropological perspective is vital to understanding human behavior and to improving our own society; and a commitment to scientific activism that furthers tolerance, democracy, and human acceptance of difference based on culture but not race.

Somewhat more than half the book preceded its turn to culture. Although the rate of change in so-called primitive societies was quite gradual, culture could be understood as stable. Moreover, both “primitive” and “civilized men” [sic] were wont to rationalize the forms of their culture. Rational and irrational elements coexisted in both. Boas turned next to education, in the narrow sense of schooling and socialization, gradually broadening his definition to include the continuing education of citizens.

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