Topics: Anthropology, Franz Boas, Ethnology Pages: 1 (293 words) Published: December 22, 2012
What contributions did historical particularism make to anthropological thought and method? Historical particularism appeared in response of 19th century evolutionism. It was an attack on nineteenth century evolutionism by an American Anthropologist Franz Boas (1858-1942) who is also called father of American anthropology. Boas argued that each culture has its unique historical background and it is not necessary for each culture to pass through same three stages (savagery, barbarism and civilization) mentioned by nineteenth century evolutionists.

“The history of human civilization does not appear as determined entirely by a uniform evolution the world over. Rather each group has its own unique history. It would be quite impossible to understand, on the basis of a single evolutionary scheme, what happened to any particular people” Boas . Boas, Franz. 1911. The mind of primitive man. New York: Macmillan. Boas, Franz. 1928. Anthropology and modern life. New York: Norton. Boas, Franz. 1940. Race, language, and culture. New York Macmillan. Goldschmidt, Walter, Ed. 1959. "The anthropology of Franz Boas: Essays on the centennial of his birth." American Anthropologist 61(5). Kroeber, Alfred L. 1917. "The superorganic" American Anthropologist 19: 207-236. Kroeber, Alfred L. 1944. Configurations of culture growth. Berkley: University of California Press. Kroeber, Alfred L. 1952. The nature of culture. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Lowie, Robert H. 1920. Primitive society. New York: Boni & Liveright. Lowie, Robert H. 1937. The history of ethnological theory. New York: Farrar & Rinehart. Radin, Paul. 1933. The method and theory of ethnology: An essay in criticism. New York: Basic Books. Radin, Paul. 1953. The world of primitive man. New York: Grove Press Sapir, Edward. 1916. Time perspectives in Aboriginal American culture. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau. Sapir, Edward. 1915. "Do we need a superorganic?" American Anthropologist 19: 441-449.
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