Franz Boas's Anthropology and modern life PDF

By Franz Boas

The nice anthropologist's vintage treatise on race and tradition. Discusses organic and cultural inheritance, the fallacy of racial, cultural or ethnic superiority, the scientific foundation for human individuality, and masses extra. some of the most influential books of the century, now in a value-priced variation. advent via Ruth Bunzel.

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If we different individuals into the may, therefore, sponses and become we may bring two organically same environment they alike in their functional re- gain the impression of a func- tional likeness of distinct anatomical forms that is due to environment, not to their internal structure. Only in those cases in which the environment acts with different intensity or perhaps even in different directions upon the organism may we expect increased unlikeness under the same environmental conditions. When, for instance, for one individual the margin of safety is so narrow that the environmental conditions are excessive, for another one so wide that adequate adjustment is possible, the former will become sick, while the other will remain healthy.

We must conclude that individuals of the same THE PROBLEM OF RACE bodily appearance, if sprung from populations of tinct type, are genetically For this reason it is 33 dis- not necessarily the same. quite unjustifiable to select from a population a certain type and claim that it is identical with the corresponding type of another population. Each individual must be studied as a member of the group from which he has sprung. We may not assume that the round-headed or brunette individuals in Denmark are identical with the corresponding forms from Switzerland.

The frizzliness of the Negro hair and the curli- ness of the hair of other races, the long hair of the head, do not occur in wild mammals. The permanence rather than periodicity of the sexual functions and of the female breast; the anomalies of sexual behavior THE PROBLEM OF RACE 43 are in most cases characteristics of domesticated animals. The kind of domestication of man Hke that that do not is by primitive tribes by selection. Nevertheless, forms of the animals raised breed certain strains from the wild forms develop in their herds.

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Anthropology and modern life by Franz Boas


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