Daniel Miller | UCL Anthropology - UCL - London's Global UniversityFranz Uri Boas [a] — was a German-born American  anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology who has been called the "Father of American Anthropology". Studying in Germany, Boas was awarded a doctorate in in physics while also studying geography. He then participated in a geographical expedition to northern Canada, where he became fascinated with the culture and language of the Baffin Island Inuit. He went on to do field work with the indigenous cultures and languages of the Pacific Northwest. In he emigrated to the United States, where he first worked as a museum curator at the Smithsonian, and in became a professor of anthropology at Columbia University , where he remained for the rest of his career. Through his students, many of whom went on to found anthropology departments and research programmes inspired by their mentor, Boas profoundly influenced the development of American anthropology.
Sociology Research Methods: Crash Course Sociology #4
Anthropology and Modern Life
Fields of Anthropology. There are now four major fields of anthropology: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. Each focuses on a different set of research interests and generally uses different research techniques. The methods range from those commonly used by the social sciences and humanities to those of biology and geology. Biological anthropology and archaeology are generally the closest to the biological and physical sciences in methods and approach to learning about the human experience.
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Franz Boas: Review of Franz Boas, Anthropology and Modern Life (1929)
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Anthropologist Franz Boas was a stalwart fighter for human rights and against racism. He was passionately concerned about individual liberty, freedom of inquiry and speech, equality of opportunity, and the defeat of prejudice and chauvinism. His Anthropology and Modern Life shows how Boas uses science in the service of humanity, hoping to break down racial and cultural barriers. From the book's very opening, Boas shatters the myth that anthropology is simply a collection of curious facts about exotic peoples and their customs and belief systems. He asserts that a clear understanding of the principles of anthropology illuminates the social processes of our own times and may show us the book's what to do and what to avoid. Boas proceeds to discuss issues that have had resounding significance in our own time: the problem of defining race; the subjective view of racial types; heredity versus environment; alleged physiological and mental differences between races; the significance of intelligence tests; the importance of one's cultural experience; open versus closed societies; nationality and nationalism; the mixed descent of European nations; eugenics; social conditions versus heredity in the committing of crimes; intolerance; and the influence of race and sex on a successful education. While he outwardly acknowledges that his book runs contrary to popular prejudices, Boas was an optimist, and hoped that dissenters, in reading Anthropology and Modern Life, would come to reexamine their own viewpoints dispassionately and critically.