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The Methods of Ethnology by Franz Boas, edited and with an introduction by Alex Golub

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Title: The Methods of Ethnology by Franz Boas, edited and with an introduction by Alex Golub
Authors: Boas, Franz
Golub, Alex
Keywords: theory
cultural change
LC Subject Headings: Ethnology
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942
Issue Date: 21 Jan 2014
Series/Report no.: Savage Minds Occasional Papers No. 9
Abstract: “The methods of ethnology” is among the two most taught and anthologized essay by Franz Boas, the founder of American anthropology, and I include it here to give you a sense of who Boas was and what he thought. Boas is famous for doing ethnography, not talking about it. As a result it is extremely difficult to find explicit theoretical statements from him regarding what anthropology is or should be. There are three main texts that represent Boas at his most explicit: “the study of geography” is Boas’s earliest and most general statement, followed by “limitations” in the 1890s. “Methods” was written in 1920, and represents Boas’s views at the time that he had finally achieved institutional dominance in anthropology.
Pages/Duration: 11
Rights: This original work is copyright by Alex Golub, 2013. The author has issued the work under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license. You are free: to share - to copy, distribute and transmit the work; and to remix - to adapt the work, under the following conditions: attribution - you must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author; noncommercial - you may not use this work for commercial purposes; share alike - if you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. This work includes excerpts from Boas, Franz. 1920. The methods of ethnology. American Anthropologist 22 (4): 311-321. This work is in the public domain. The author has taken care to respect the rights of all copyright holders and welcomes communications regarding the copyright status of this work. Please contact him at
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Mana'o - Papers on Anthropology

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