Contributions of Famous People to Socio-Anthropology

Topics: Anthropology, Sociology, Culture Pages: 2 (355 words) Published: November 30, 2012
E.B. Taylor
* He defined the context of the scientific study of anthropology through his book Primitive Culture and Anthropology. * Considered by many to be a founding figure of the science of social anthropology. * He reintroduced the term animism (the faith in the individual soul or anima of all things, and natural manifestations) into common use. * Introduced the concept of “survivals” in human development.

Franz Boas
* Father of Modern Anthropology
* Father of American Anthropology 
* He pioneered the concept of life group displays, commonly known as dioramas. * He argued the diminished significance of theories of racial distinction between humans. * He developed his theory of relativism, debunking the prevailing beliefs that Western Civilization is superior to less complex societies. * He introduced the principle of "cultural relativism". The idea that each culture was the product of a unique and particular history.

Henry Lewis Morgan
* He introduced a critical link between social progress and technological progress. * Developed the theory of social evolution.
* He emphasized the centrality of family and property relations. * He invented the study of kinship terminology.
* He recognized three stages in the cultural evolution of man: savagery, barbarism, and civilization. * He developed the theory of cultural evolution of man.
* He postulated that there were also stages in the development of family structures—from promiscuity and incestuous relationships through group marriage, and polygamy to the most advanced stage of monogamous marriage

Ruth Benedict
* First to apply anthropology to the study of advanced societies. * She studied the culture of Japan “at a distance”.
* She argued that morality was relative to the values of the culture in which one operated. * Created the “Culture and Personality” approach.
* Author of “Patterns of Culture”, “The Races of Mankind" and “The...
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