anthropology

Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

Robert Redfield and the Folk-Urban Continuum

On December 4, 1897, American anthropologist and ethnolinguist Robert Redfield was born. Redfield‘s ethnographic work in Tepoztlán, Mexico is considered a landmark Latin American ethnography. From his studies of Mexican communities, Redfield developed a theory (1956) of a folk-urban continuum, to account for the differences between folk society and urban society. Robert Redfield was the son-in-law of University of Chicago sociologist Robert E. Park. In 1923 he and his wife…
Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

Colin Turnbull and the Forest People

On November 23, 1924, British-American anthropologist Colin Turnbull was born. Turnbull came to public attention with the popular books The Forest People on the Mbuti Pygmies of Zaire and The Mountain People on the Ik people of Uganda, and one of the first anthropologists to work in the field of ethnomusicology. Colin Turnbull studied politics and philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford and joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II.…
Earnest A. Hooton and Physical Anthropology

Earnest A. Hooton and Physical Anthropology

On November 20, 1887, Jewish-American physical anthropologist Earnest Hooton was born. Hooton investigated human evolution and racial differentiation, classified and described human populations, and examined the relationship between personality and physical type, particularly with respect to criminal behaviour. Earnest Hooton earned his Ph.D. in 1911 on “The Pre-Hellenistic Stage of the Evolution of the Literary Art at Rome” at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. After a period of studying in England,…
Clark Wissler and the Normative Aspect of Culture

Clark Wissler and the Normative Aspect of Culture

On September 18, 1870, American anthropologist Clark David Wissler was born. Wissler devised the age-area concept which held that the age of cultural traits could be found by correlating the diffusion of those traits throughout their associated area. He was the first anthropologist to perceive the normative aspect of culture, to define it as learned behavior, and to describe it as a complex of ideas, all characteristics of culture that…
Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet and Man’s Prehistoric Cultural Development

Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet and Man’s Prehistoric Cultural Development

On August 29, 1821, French archaeologist and anthropologist Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet was born. De Morillet was the first to organize man’s prehistoric cultural developments into a sequence of epochs. Based on the idea that older specimens of man were more primitive structurally and culturally, he created a ladder-like model of the evolution of man. This model was the basis for the idea of linear evolution of men. De…
Davidson Black and the Peking Man

Davidson Black and the Peking Man

On July 25, 1884, Canadian anatomist and paleoanthropologist Davidson Black was born. Black is best known for his postulation of the existence of a distinct form of early man, Sinanthropus pekinensis, popularly known as Peking man and now Homo erectus pekinensis. It is believed that Davidson Black already enjoyed to collect fossils along the banks of the Don River when he was a child. Further, he probably became friends with…
Ruth Benedict and Cultural Anthropology

Ruth Benedict and Cultural Anthropology

On June 5, 1887, American anthropologist and folklorist Ruth Fulton Benedict was born. Benedict’s theories had a profound influence on cultural anthropology, especially in the area of culture and personality. Her major contribution to anthropology, compares Zuñi, Dobu, and Kwakiutl cultures in order to demonstrate how small a portion of the possible range of human behaviour is incorporated into any one culture. Ruth Fulton Benedict first attended lectures at the New…
The Native American studies of Horatio Hale

The Native American studies of Horatio Hale

On May 3, 1817, American-Canadian ethnologist, philologist and businessman Horatio Hale was born. Hale studied language as a key for classifying ancient peoples and being able to trace their migrations. He was the first to discover that the Tutelo language of Virginia belonged to the Siouan family, and to identify the Cherokee language as a member of the Iroquoian family of languages. Horatio Hale attended Harvard College and in 1834,…
Bronisław Malinowski and Social Anthropology

Bronisław Malinowski and Social Anthropology

On April 7, 1884, Polish anthropologist Bronisław Kasper Malinowski was born. Malinowski is widely recognized as the founder of social anthropology and often considered one of the most important 20th-century anthropologists. Bronisław Malinowski earned his doctorate in philosophy from Kraków’s Jagiellonian University in 1908. Malinowski began reading James Frazer’s The Golden Bough which inspired him to focus his research towards ethnology. Malinowski attended the University of Leipzig and studied under economist Karl Bücher…
Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

On March 29, 1869, Czech anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka was born. Hrdlicka is known for his studies of Neanderthal man and his theory of the migration of American Indians from Asia. He was the one of the first scientists to argue the Americans originated in Asia and came across the Bering Strait, and participated in numerous archeological expeditions which contributed a great amount of information and physical evidence. Aleš Hrdlička was…
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