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Stocking 1976

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    Ideas and Institutions in American Anthropology:Thoughts Toward a History of the Interwar Years

    I. A ROLE FOR THE HISTORY OF ASSOCIATIONSThose who suffer the annual anomie of American professional association meetingsmay doubt they could ever really be significant in the development of an intellectual

    discipline. Nonetheless, their present disjointed multiplexity is itself an historicalphenomenon. Some elders of our tribe can recall an age when most anthropologistsknew each other personally, and corroborees could be held, if not around a singlecampfire, then at least in one meeting hall of modest size. No doubt many gatheringsof the good old gemeinschaft days had something of the timeless rhythmic characterof the tribal rite. Surveying the proceedings of the American AnthropologicalAssociation during the interwar years, one gets a sense that any given annual meetingwas pretty much like all the rest. And yet there are dearly points at which theorganizational history of the discipline becomes the focus for significant historicalchange-the place where the divergent threads of intellectual and institutionaldevelopment, embodied in the interaction of particular individuals, responding to theimpact of broader forces from "outside" the discipline, can all be grasped at once.Whether by happy historical coincidence or determinist design, two such momentscome very near to marking the period of this anthology: the censure of Franz Boas at

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    a reaction against cultural anthropology in the Waspish "hard"-science establishment,the forces of resentment accumulated in the course of the Boasian redefinition ofAmerican anthropology exploded in brief eruption. For a time they threatened, if no tto reverse the paradigm shift, then at least to fragment the somewhat problematic andhistorically conditioned unity of American anthropology, with serious potentialconsequences for the scientific status and the funding of cultural anthropologicalresearch.The critical issue was the representation of anthropology on the National ResearchCouncil established in 1916 to support the preparedness effort. During the war, thefunctions of its Committee on Anthropology had been defined in physical anthropological terms, and its personnel included several racialist anthropologists-as well astwo leading eugenicists who had been given places at the insistence of leadingbiological scientists on the NRC. The issue of by whom and to what end anthropologywould be represented on the Council surfaced again in the course of its conversion topermanent peacetime status. The then Council chairman, John C. Merriam, felt thatAmerican anthropology could no longer afford to occupy itself solely with AmericanIndians. Instead, it must follow American interests overseas, and at home it must dealwith the pressing problem of the racial composition of the American population,studied in close cooperation with psychology, biology, and neurology. As the Boasiansinterpreted the message, it was that "our cultural stuff was getting nowhere, that weweren't scientists anyway, that it is time to take things out of our hands and really getdown to business." From their point of view, the issue was the "self-determination ofscience." They had fought hard for what they regarded as professional standardswithin the discipline, and they insisted on the right of the discipline, which at thispoint they controlled, to define these standards for itself. These standards were broadenough to include men quite antagonistic to the Boasians, but they were not so broadas to include Madison Grant (one of the men coopted to the NRC Committee onAnthropology).For a time, Boas was able to maintain a professional united front in the face of thisoutside challenge, and early in 1919 won the principle that representatives to the NRCshould be elected by the Association. However, in the hysterical aftermath of hisNation letter, this somewhat fragile unity was fractured. At the December annualmeeting the "breeds" and the "weaker brethren" combined with Boas' enemies tocensure him, strip him from office, and force his resignation from the NRC. Thefollowing year, the counterrevolutionaries attempted to complete their coup bycapturing control of the American Anthropologist. However, this time the Boasiansby mobilizing all their forces, adeptly politicking with the neutrals, and seizing acritical moment to force a compromise-were able to split the so-called "MayaWashington crowd" and save the unity of the Association. Pliny Goddard, whosepolicies had been somewhat controversial, was replaced as editor of the Anthropologistby the placid and marginally Boasian John Swanton until 1923, when the Boasiansregained control and Robert Lowie took over.

    The maintenance of the organizational unity of the discipline-which had they beendefeated completely, some of the Boasians were quite willing to sacrifice-hadimportant consequences. The "scientific" status of anthropology, which was to aconsiderable extent the heritage of its association with the evolutionary tradition andits ties to the biological sciences, was sustained-not just for physical anthropology,but for all the component subdisciplines, and most importantly, for the culturalanthropological orientation that was to dominate the profession.



    III. THE WORLD VIEW OF BOASIAN ANTHROPOLOGYThis orientation derived of course from Franz Boas, who more than anyone else

    shaped the character of American anthropology in the 20th century. This is certainlynot to say that, even in 1920, all the characteristics of American anthropology weredue to Boas' infhlence. Aside from the numerous continuities in his own work withwhat had gone before, or the perpetuation in Washington and Cambridge andelsewhere of lines that fall outside a strictly Boasian framework, or the input of otherspecific intellectual influences, much that was characteristic of the Boasians wassimply a reflection of the prevailing circumstances of anthropological work in theUnited .States. Thus the special character of "salvage ethnography" was largely theproduct of a generalized tradition of ethnographic assumption, the limitations offunding, the object-orientation of museums, the document-orientation of humanisticdisciplines and the hard-"fact" elementalist empiricism of much contemporaryscience-as well as the condition of American Indians, who after three centuries ofethnocidal conflict had been reduced to a marginal reservation eXistence, theirtraditional cultures surviving more vividly in memory than in the drab reality of dailylife. No doubt the character of salvage ethnography would have retroacted uponanthropological theory whether or no t Boas had settled in the United States. But evenmaking such allowances, it is hard to overstate the weight of Boas' influence, andabsolutely necessary to have an understanding of its underlying assumptions.Boas' anthropological views are perhaps most easily described negatively, in termsof what he rejected. His intellectual journey from physics to ethnology under theinfluence of neo-Kantian philosophy in the 1880s had involved a rejection of his ownearly materialism and geographic determinism. By 1896, when his anthropologicalposture was fairly well set, he had begun systematically to confront the dominantevolutionary orientation. At once a kind of disciplinary paradigm and an expression ofgeneral cultural ideology, this more or less integrated body of assumption attemptedto explain in scientific terms the presumed superiority of white-skinned civilized mento dark-skinned savages by placing them both on a single developmental ladderextending upward from the apes. Comparing existing cultural forms, evolutionists triedto reconstruct the process of development and to subsume it within a deterministicscientific framework, thereby legitimating the cultural superiority that had beenassumed at the outset, as well as the physical domination on which that assumptionhad been based.

    For those who felt no serious alienation from the machine-driven civilizationcelebrated at universal exhibitions, there was apparent reason enough for such anassumption. But Boas' cultural marginality as Jewish German, his early field experience,and his difficulties establishing himself professionally in the United States helped tocreate an experiential standpoint from which a systematic critique could be developed.Arguing that the minds of savages an d civilized men were alike not only in underlyingprinciple but in present practice, Boas saw human psychic unity less as a process ofever-growing utilitarian rationality than as the retrospective rationalization ofunconsciously derived categories and emotionally charged and largely automaticcustomary behavior. Rejecting the regularity of rational response to external stimuli,he questioned also the regularity of human cultural development. Cultural "achievement" was not so much a function of cumulative reason, preserved in anever-expanding braincase, as of historical processes of diffusion, borrowing, andreinterpretation. Because cultural phenomena were affected by diverse historical


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    influences, they did not march in lockstep. Their development followed no uniformsequence, nor could it be correlated with any presumed hierarchy of racial types.Although general evolutionary processes no doubt eXisted, the attempt to reconstructtheir course or define their laws by comparison must depend on a prior study of theirspecific historical manifestiations. It must not be forejudged by the easy assumptionthat one single cultural type provided a standard by which to evaluate or classify allothers.Boas' thinking about the problem of classification may in fact be interpreted ascontaining in germ most of the assumptions of his anthropology, both in its critical,and less obviously, in its constructive aspects. In response to the evolutionists'insistence that in human cuiture, as everywhere else, "like causes produce like effects,"Boas argued that this axiom could no t be converted-that one could no t reason fromthe likeness of effects to the likeness of causes, since apparently similar phenomenamight in fact be the outcome of dissimilar processes. Boas' anthropological writingsring changes on this problem: the same cultural form might have different functions; agiven normal distribution might conceal two different "types"; the same sound mightactually be heard differently by observers of different nationalities. In ethnology, Boasinsisted, "all is individuality." Individuality, however, was not something that inheredin the single cultural element; it, too, was a reflection of historical process, and couldonly be understOOd in the context of the total culture of a given tribe.

    For Boas, the greatest danger confronting the student of man was "premature" or"arbitrary" classification. On the one hand, classification was complicated by the priorexperience of the observer; on the other, by the historical processes conditioning thephenomenon observed. Because the latter were various and not necessarily correlated,classification would be the more arbitrary the larger the number of factors itattempted to include, and classification in terms of one factor might produce quitedifferent results from classification in terms of another. Only once one had gone behindappearances and untangled the historical complexity of the processes affecting humanlife to arrive at categories that were no t founded "in the mind of the student" butwere somehow derived from and in a sense internal to the phenomena themselvesonly then could one turn to comparison and generalization about causal processes.Building from assumptions such as these, Boas developed the systematic critique ofevolutionism which, along with the puritanical methodological posture implicit in it, isoften seen as comprising almost the whole of his anthropological viewpoint. Butalthough never systematically elaborated, there was implicit in this negative critique amore positive orientation. By a kind of inversion of the process of anthropologicalunderstanding, one could generate a picture of the fundamental processes of culture.The phenomenal world revealed to human senses was essentially a continuum, onwhich order was imposed by unconscious processes of categorization. Althoughreflecting at a certain level universal psychic processes, the categories thus producedwould vary in their content from group to group, and once established wouldconstitute a distinctive screen or sieve through which new experiences must pass to beassimilated. Cultural process was thus both divergen t and reintegrative; similarly,cultural categories were in a sense both a posteriori and a priori. Although they werehistorical products, they "develop at present in each individual and in the wholepeople entirely sub-consciously, and nevertheless are most potent in the formation ofour opinions and actions." j 'he resulting in tegration of culture was a psychologicalphenomenon, founded essentially on ideas rather than On external conditions)Basically non-utilitarian, its obligatory character was the result of unconsciously

    intcrnalized categories, of processes of imitation and socialization, and of deceptivelyself-conscious secondary explanations. Furthermore, the integration of culture was anhistorical more than a logical phenomenon. The accidental accretions of culturecontact, the constant manipulation of elements, and the retrospective systematizationof secondary explanation pulled in various directions to create a dynamic, processualintegration which was never fully stable, but subject to movement and drift. Itscharacter might best be described in such terms as "theme," "focus," "style," or"pattern," rather than those of "structure" or "system." In all of this it reflected itsorigin in the romantic conception of the "genius" or geist of a people.

    Boas' scientific orientation must be understood in terms of his peculiar relation tothc two traditions of inquiry that he described in "The Study of Geography" at thevery beginning of his career as an anthropologist: the physical and the historical. Thephysicist did not study "the whole phenomenon as it represents itself to the humanmind, bu t resolves it into its elements, which he investigates separately." Similarly,facts were important to him only as they led to general laws: by comparing a series ofsimilar facts, he attempted to "isolate the general phenomenon which is common to allof them." In contrast, the historian insisted on the equal scientific validity of thestudy of complex phenomena whose elements seemed "t o be connected only in themind of the observer." He was interested no t in the elements, but in the "wholephenomenon," and in general laws only insofar as they helped explain its actualhistory. He sought the "eternal truth" through the method of "understanding,"seeking, like Goethe, "lovingly to penetrate" the secrets of the whole phenomenon,"without regard to its place in a system," until its "every feature is plain and clear."

    By inclination and training Boas was a natural scientist, grounded in the tradition ofatomistic analysis of elements and mechanistic causal determination. He came of age,however, in a period when this tradition was beginning to undergo a process ofepistemological self-examination, of which his own early work may be seen as anexpression; and he was also profoundly influenced by the historicist tradition, whichwas simUltaneously undergoing reformulation. But though he must have read Machand surely read Dilthey, he did not accept a conventionalist view of scientific law or anunqualified assertion of the independence of the geistes- from the nuturwissenschaften.The physical and the historical approaches, each conceived in rather traditional terms,remained in tension, if not mutual inhibition, in his work. Scientific laws must awaitthe study of histories of growth; but history, pursued in rather positivistic termsthrough the study of the distribution of elements, was in practice so difficult andcomplex as to be almost impossible to realize. In the long run, Boas retreated bothfrom scientific law and historical reconstruction, until in the mid-1930s RobertRedfield could say with justice that "he docs not write histories, and he does no tprepare scientific systems."

    Despite his reaction against evolutionism, Boas' anthropology was deeply rooted in19th century tradition. As he himself was aware, its goal was essentially that ofpre-evolutionary diffusionist ethnology, refashioned in the context of late 19thcentury science: "the genesis of the types of man." Its basic orientation was historical,but the history it sought to reconstruct (and hopefully to subject to scientific law) wasthe history of human variability in all of its aspects. Boas' anthropology was thereforein principle embracive, including within its scope linguistics, physical anthropology,and archaeology as well as the study of human culture-although in practice culturalanalysis (o r ethnology) was the central Boasian domain. Above all, Boas' anthropologywas empirical. Although ultimately it sought to explain why "the tribes and nations of

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    the world" differed, it must first trace how "the present differences developed"-andbefore that it must accurately describe and if possible classify them. At this level, too,there was considerable continuity with what had gone before: on the one hand, theoft-noted "natural history" orientation of Boasian fieldwork; on the other, thesubstantive continuity, down to about 1920, implicit in completing the Powellianprogram of basic ethnographic description and "mapping" of the North Americancontinent.In contrast, however, to the 19th century anthropological tradition, Boas'empiricism was systematically critical, attacking prevailing classificatory and typological assumptions in all areas from a relativistic point of view, both in themethodological and evaluative sense. The privileged cases were the complex ones, orthe ones offering the single exception that would, from Boas' point of view, invalidatea law. In science, if not in politics, Boas was staunchly conservative. In this context,there is no denying that his rigorously inductive approach had the effect of inhibitingnot only scientific generalization, but even the establishment of a systematicconceptual framework. But there is also little doubt that his puritanical preoccupationwith method was a "great reformatory movement" in American anthropology.

    Indeed, one is tempted to go beyond "reform" to "revolution," and to suggest thatthis was one of those moments in the history of the social sciences that may, up to apoint, be illuminated by the concept of "paradigm" change. Certainly, the Boasianssaw themselves as scientific innovators-paradoxically, in view of the anti-scientificcurrent in their thinking, as the only propagators of a really "scientific" anthropology.Their recruitment from outside, their youth, their creation and capture of institutionalbases, their close community life, their tendency to rewrite the history of thediscipline-in these and other "sociological" dimensions, their innovation had adefinitely Kuhnian character. Substantively, the conception of culture and of culturaldeterminism implicit in Boas' critique of evolutionism provided the basis for aradically different disciplinary world view, although its implications were slow to bedeveloped. And although at this level Boasian anthropology may be seen as simply onemanifestation of a broader intellectual movement that was revolutionizing almostevery area of social scientific inquiry, its assumptions are clearly differentiable fromthose of its most important congener within that movement: the tradition flowingfrom Durkheim through Radcliffe-Brown into modern British social anthropology. Incontrast to Boasian assumption, the latter was built on the principle that like effectshave like causes, that social facts could be "defined in advance by certain commonexternal characteristics," that social "species" could be classified in terms of "thenature of the component elements and their mode of combination," and that "onewell-constructed experiment often suffices for the establishment of a law." Withoutgoing into detail, it is perhaps enough to suggest that Alexander Goldenweiser's reviewof Durkheim's Elementary Forms and Kroeber's dispute with Rivers over the meaningof kinship terms, are clearly retrodictable in terms of differences in paradigmassumption (although in the latter case, it is the Morganian current within Britishanthropology which was the antagonist, and no t all Boasians would have agreed withKroeber).Going beyond the revolution to its resolution, however, it seems clear that Boasiananthropology had only an imperfectly paradigmatic character. There is no doubt thatit tended to develop in terms of the realization of programmatic positions laid downby Boas, first by carrying the critique of evolutionism into specific areas, then througha series of research problems that in many cases he defined. The underlying goal was to

    account for human variability in all its aspects, and often one can clearly see a unity ofapproach crosscutting particular subdisciplines. More specifically, Boasian fieldinvestigation was designed to produce evidence that would at once throw light on the"sociopsychological nexus of form and meaning" and provide a kind of documentation for historical reconstruction. The observation of behavior in the present was lessimportant than the informant's memory of the way things were, or the details ofpsychic life as they "had become fixed in language, art, myth and religion.,,2Similarly, as Dell Hymes has suggested, one can find in the analysis of culturalphenomena a common mode of attack in terms of "elements," "processes," and"patterns." Developed in Boas' folklore studies in the 1890s, it was manifest also in hisgrammars of the next decade, as well as in the work of his leading students: "with eachthe grammars can be seen to have been written by the [same 1 men who wrote theethnographies. ,3

    There were even moments when anthropology for the Boasians had something ofthe "puzzle-solving" character of "normal science"-as when Kroeber wrote to Sapirsuggesting that if he would prefer to be relieved of the task of proving Washo to beHokan, then Kroeber and Dixon would handle the job. By that time, however, theattempts of his students to establish genetic connections among American Indianlanguages were already causing methodological discomfort to Boas, whose approach tolanguage tended more and more to be constrained by the diffusionary assumptions ofhis cultural anthropology. The case thus suggests in fact the limits of the paradigmmetaphor. At Kroeber's suggestion, Sapir offered a codification of the rules ofhistorical reconstruction in 1916, and the next few years saw a series of attempts tosynthesize in textbooks the results of an inquiry that until then had been carried on inarticles and monographs. However, any tendency among the Boasians toward thedevelopment of "normal science" in the sense of the theoretical articulation of aparadigm was frustrated by Boas' methodological puritanism and generally atheoreticalstance, in the context of the tension between the scientific and the historical currentsin his thinking.

    It is in this framework that one should view the pseudo-issue of whether or not theBoasians constituted a "school." At least through the period of the censure episode,there is no doubt that they thought of themselves as such. Their resistance to theidentification dates from the 1930s. By then, the revolutionary phase had passed inwhich they had been united in the critique of evolutionism, the establishment of asounder empirical base, and the winning of institutional control. The inadequacy ofthe Boasian paradigm to provide the basis for "normal science," the consequent(perhaps "natural") tendency of the group to develop in divergent directions, and theemergence of alternative, critical, orientations from outside, as well as the institutionaldevelopments in which these were reflected, all combined to redefine the groupidentity. Kroeber, who in 1931 had himself spoken of "the Boas school," protested in1935 that such a thing had never existed.Perhaps a more illuminating metaphor is suggested in Kroeber's comment that Boaswas "a true patriarch"-a powerful and rather forbidding father figure who rewardedhis offspring with nurturant support insofar as he felt that "they were genuinelyidentifying with him," but who was indifferent and even punishing if the occasiondemanded it. In short, the Boasians may perhaps be better understood, as their ownusage would imply, in terms of a different model of human group identity: the family.There are obvious analogies to the psychodynamics of a large late-Victorian family:the oedipal rebellion of certain older male offspring, the rejected sons, the sibling


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    rivalries, the generational and sexual differentiations-most notable in the softening ofthe patriarch toward the younger generation of daughters, who called him "PapaFranz" and accepted the sometimes ambiguous benevolence of a man who facilitatedthe entry of many women into the discipline, but who still tended to assume that, inthe world as it was then constituted, wives and secretaries could no t enjoy all theprerogatives of professionalism.

    Quite aside from psychodynamics, however, there is another, quasi.biological,analogy to the family that may be helpful in understanding the Boasians-and perhapssome other intellectual movements as well. Thus Boas' basic anthropological viewpointmay be seen as a kind of intellectual genepool, containing a limited number of traits,some dominant, some recessive, whose manifestation in his descendants was affectedby the genetics of their affinal intellectual relationships and the environments in whichtheir phenotypes developed. The outcome might be a considerable divergence withinthe patriline, but this divergence was limited by the original genetic makeup of theintellectual father and by his continuing presence in the disciplinary environment, aswell as by a certain tendency to intellectual endogamy.

    In this context, one may perhaps see the basic Boasian tension between history andscience in terms of opposing pairs of genetic traits. At the theoretical level, scientificgeneralization contrasts with historical understanding; at the methodological level,rigorous induction from elements contrasts with the loving penetration of wholephenomena. In Boas, all four genes were prese nt, although the first and last wereclearly recessive. In his students, these traits were variously manifest. The mostcharacteristically Boasian tended to be heterozygous, either at the theoretical level(GoldenweisE'r), or the methodological (Spier), or both (Herskovits). Some, however,seem to have been homozygotically historical (Radin and Benedict). Some (notablyKroeber) went through phases in which now one, now another genetic tendency wasmost clearly manifest. Straining thE' mE'taphor slightly, we may perhaps speak ofgenetic influences from outside the patriline. LowiE', under the influence of Mach,received a double dose of neopositivist empiricism; Kroeber and Sapir, under thE'influence of Rickert and WindE'lband, recE'ived a second input of German historicism.Radin had a kind f affinal relation to AmE'rican pragmatism; Mead established tieswith British functIonalism. Whatever their individual genetic makeup, all were affectedby their Boasian upbringing-one feE'ls in Kroeber a Spengler struggling to break loosefrom the inhibitions of inductivism, which were at best recessive in his intellect, andmay simply have been imposed by early familial environment. Most of them continuE'dto respond-although in some cases reactively-to the patriarch's continuing criticalpresence. None of them, however, was untouched by the historicist strain, although itsphenotypic manifestations were quite varied. In none did the tendency to scientificgE'neralization manifest itself in undiluted form. When a changeling like Leslie Whitewas placed within the Boasian nursery, his true genetic makeup eventually asserteditself.

    No doubt this somewhat tenuous analogy should no t be pushE'd too far-althoughviewed in the context of the psychodynamics of the Boasian family, it may place inbetter perspective such family squabbles as that precipitated by KroebE'r's dogmaticpronouncements on the superorganic, or Radin's later assault on all his confreres. Theimportant point, however, is that the students of Boas manifested in different formsthe body of Boasian assumption that has been elaborated here, and that their workdeveloped largely along lines implicit in it-although sometimes to the point ofcarrying a particular line farther than Boas' own scientific and historical asceticism

    would allow. The history of American anthropology between the wars may thus beseE'n as the working out, in a changing intellectual and institutional context, of variousimplications of the position Boas had defined at the beginning of his anthropologicalcareer.

    IV. THE EVOLVING INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKThe important thing to keep in mind about the institutional framework of

    American anthropology in 1920 is'the extent to which research was carried out in nonor quasi-academic contexts.' Only about half thE' professional anthropologists wereemployed as college or university teachers; furthermore, the half dozen or so academicdE'partments of anthropology all existed in some kind of relation to an anthropologicalor general mUSE'um. In several cases friction had attenuated these relations, bu t in theone instance where no close relation ever developed (thE' University of Chicago),academic anthropology before 1920 never got off the ground. Even the governmentBureau of American Ethnology, which sincE' its founding in 1879 had probablysponsored more anthropological research than any other single institution, carried onits work in relation to the National Museum. Aside from the money appropriated forgovernment anthropology, research was supported largely by individual philanthropy,channeled through the museums; universities provided little if any money foranthropological research.

    At the same time, research institutions, although providing certain trainingfunctions, were consumers and no t producers of anthropological personnel. From thispoint of view, the role of the Columbia and Harvard departments was critical in theoverall institutional life of the discipline. Between them there was a de {aelo divisionof labor, Harvard specializing in archeology and physical anthropology, whilE'Columbia took care of ethnology and lingUistics. Together they produCE'd 30 of the 40doctorates granted by 1920, with the others scattered among six different institutions,of which only the UniversitiE'S of Pennsylvania and California (Berkeley) thenmaintained active instruction at thE' graduate level.

    Mapping the institutional terrain as a whole, one can see thrE'e major centers ofanthropological work-NE'w York, Cambridge, and Washington-each with its complexof interrelated institutions, its locally based disciplinary society, its publicationol:Uets, and to a certain E'xtent its subdisciplinary emphasis. Each of the three waslinked in complicated ways to thE' other two, and to institutions in other areas. Tw o ofthE' latter-Chicago and Berkeley-could bE' regarded as separate, independentinstitutional and research foci. A number of others-among them Yale and thE' severalinstitutions in PhiladE'lphia-are better viewed as satellites to one or another of thethreE' major centers. Off in the hinterlands, many of them without even satE'lliteconnections to the major centers, werE' the great majority of the rest of the 39 smallprivate colleges and state univE'rsities in which some anthropology was taught in someother departmental context. More often than not, this teaching was by pE'ople withoutdegrees in anthropology, most frequently by sociologists-in striking contrast to themajor anthropological departments, which WE'rE' rather slow in developing ties to thesocial sciences.

    This institutional framework had certain implications for the development of thediscipline. The relatively diversified institutional structure concentrated in three majorcenters madE' it possible for a small but coherent and committed group to have greatinfluE'nce in an Association which until 1920 had no more than 300 individual


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    members, only a very few of whom were likely to attend meetings of the Council inwhich the major business was carried on. With the passing of the older evolutionarygeneration and the penetration of Boasian influence into Washington and Cambridge,no coherent alternative grouping emerged except momentarily around the censuremotion. The establishment of a Central States Branch in 1922 provided a livelyregional forum for the midwestern schools which were a major growth area foracademic anthropology in the interwar years. During the same period, individualmembership of the Association more than doubled, with the Council grOWing by agradual cooptation of newly trained Ph.D.'s. Neither development, however, affectedthe control of the discipline. Once the Boasians had reestablished their position afterthe abortive counterrevolution, power in the Association tended to concentrate in thehands of "old-timers"-either Boasians or neutrals deprived of any alternativereference group-who one after another filled the largely honorific national offices.The most significant positions were those which actively represented the intellectual orprofessional interests of the discipline-most particularly, the editorship of theAnthropologist, and representation on the three national interdisciplinary researchcouncils. In all of these, the Boasian influence was especially strong, with Leslie Spiersucceeding Lowie as editor in 1933 and Boasians dominating the anthropologicalrepresentation on the councils save for a brief period in the early 1920s. The effect ofall of this was not simply to sustain Boasian power-to which there was perhaps no realalternative. More importantly, in the context of other trends which we shall consider,it facilitated the domination of the discipline by "ethnology."

    The character of ethnology, however, was itself affected by the institutionalframework through which anthropological research was carried on. Althougharchaeology was a secondary activity for Boasians, the customary linkage ofarchaeology and ethnology in the museum context surely reinforced the historicalorientation of anthropological theory, just as the object-orientation of museumcollections sustained a particular attitude toward ethnographic data. Moreimportantly, the whole culture-area approach, although in a sense the naturaloutgrowth of the Bureau of Ethnology program for mapping the continent, was veryheavily conditioned by the problems of museum exhibition. Beyond this, the museumcontext, in which all the subdisciplines save linguistics were visually represented,obviously helped to reinforce the embracive tendency of the discipline, as well as itsties to the natural rather than the social sciences. The impact of the museumorientation continued to be felt throughout the 1920s, which were still a period ofmuseum growth-although by the time the depression forced a sharp cutback inmuseum activities, their importance was already being undercut by other institutionaldevelopments.

    Some of these were already in evidence at the time of the censure episode. Theso-called "Maya crowd" was a group centered around the Department of Archeologythe Carnegie Institution of Washington had founded in 1913, and which it funded onan increasingly liberal scale in the 1920s. During that period, the peacetime NationalResearch Council, funded largely through grants from the Carnegie and otherphilanthropic foundations, supported a considerable amount of anthropologicalresearch. At the same time, the rising interdisciplinary movement in the social scienceshad led to the founding of the Social Science Research Council, supported largely byRockefeller philanthropic foundations. In 1925 anthropology accepted an invitationto join, and by 1930 the Association was admitted also to the American Council ofLearned Societies. Along with other foundation activities-such as the Rockefeller

    subvention of university departments, or their founding of the Laboratory forAnthropology in 1928-the result of all this by 1930 w a a considerable modificationin the economic basis of anthropological research. Government money continued toplaya role, shortly to be heightened by the social welfare policies of the New Deal.But there was a marked decline in the role of the individual benefactor, whose interestin anthropology had largely been channeled through museums-a traditional meetingground for the philanthropic and the acquisitive instincts. Henceforth, thephilanthropic contribution to anthropological research was to be channeled largelythrough foundation directorates, committed to more general cultural or social welfaregoals, and acting often through intermediate bodies in which professionalrepresentatives were influential.

    Another institutional change, which was only beginning in 1919, was to have aconsiderable impact along similar lines: the academic expansion of the discipline, andthe reorientation of its intra-university ties away from museums and toward the socialsciences. By the early 1930s new departments had emerged or were emerging atChicago, Northwestern, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Washington-almost all of them inrelation to departments of sociology. By the end of that decade the number ofseparate anthropology departments had risen to over twenty, with another dozen or socombined departments of anthropology and sociology. At Yale, anthropology wasreorganized in 1931 in close relation to sociology, and the establishment of a sociologydepartment at Harvard the same year helped to reorient anthropology there. In thecontext of the discipline's participation in the various research initiatives of the SocialScience Research Council, the effect was greatly to reinforce the social sciencecomponent of American anthropology, which had been somewhat attenuated duringthe period of the Boasian critique of evolutionism. One aspect of this development wasthe direct influence of British functionalism. Radcliffe-Brown spent six years atChicago and Malinowski later three at Yale; Lloyd Warner, a student of Lowie's whocame under Radcliffe-Brown's influence while doing fieldwork in Australia, was quiteinfluential at Harvard in the early 1930s. At the same time, the filling of many newacademic positions by Boasians and their continued presence in all the majordepartments helped to constrain the social science impulse within channels which, ifnot always traditionally Boasian, were nonetheless clearly distingUishable from Britishfunctionalism.

    These institutional developments had a definite impact on the focus and characterof anthropological research. In the context of the hard-science reaction against culturalanthropology and the widening arena of American interests overseas, certain alreadyincipient tendencies toward broadening the traditional North American focus ofanthropological research were greatly strengthened. The first Pan-Pacific ScienceCongress and the Bayard Dominick Expedition of 1920 opened up a continuing seriesof investigations in the Pacific extending as far east as the Philippines and DutchNew Guinea. Although American anthropological research in the Pacific was extremelyunevenly distributed geographically, by the end of the interwar period Polynesia wasan important research area, in which the Bernice Bishop Museum played the centralinstitutional role. The 1920s also saw research initiatives toward Africa by Harvard,the Field Museum and Columbia-although it was no t until after 1930 that Herskovitsbegan the African fieldwork which helped to establish African studies as a significantcomponent of American cultural anthropology.By 1934, Lowie's figures on the distribution of articles in the Anthropologist overthe previous decade indicated that approximately one-fifth dealt with areas outside theL

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    New World. However, a number of these were not based on field research, and animpressionistic analysis of doctoral dissertation topics suggests that despite the newinitiatives, overseas research did not bulk very large in American anthropology in theinterwar period as a whole. There were exceptions-notably Northwestern (which gaveonly five doctorates in the whole period) and Harvard, where a number of physical andarchaeological doctorates were done outside the Americanist orbit, and in the early1930s an anthropological survey of Ireland combined the community studies approachof Uoyd Warner with archaeological and physical anthropological researches. Ingeneral, however, Americanist interests predominated, and the most important singleethnographic area, both in terms of the amount and the significance of research, wasprobably the southwestern United States.

    At the same time, the range of Americanist activity was considerably broadenedwith the great expansion of archaeological work in the civilizations of CentralAmerica, and the opening of these and other regions by North Americanethnographers. As early as 1932, the project of a Handbook of South AmericanIndians was broached in the National Research Council, although the goal was thenfrankly as much to stimulate research as to summarize it, and lack of funds forestalledthe whole undertaking until the Smithsonian Institution revived it in 1939. By thattime, it is clear that a basis had been laid for the vast expansion of research intereststhat was to take place after the war. While American anthropology was stilloverwhelmingly Americanist, and with a few exceptions overseas research by Americananthropologists did not have a major impact on method and theory, the discipline wasno longer constrained within the Powellian framework that by and large defined theinterests of the Boasians before 1920 (cf. selections nos. 12 and 29).During this same period ethnographic work, which at critical moments in the 1920swas sustained by the ad hoc benefactions of Elsie Clews Parsons, was placed on a muchfirmer economic foundation. As the lengthy annual summaries in the Anthropologistby the NRC's Committee on State Archeological Surveys testify, the major portion ofanthropological research in the 1920s was archaeological. And al though thehard-science attempt to reshape anthropology was unsuccessful, the rest of the earlyanthropological work initiated by the NRC tended to be oriented toward practical"racial" problems, conceived in biological terms. The careers of several prominentcultural anthropologists who began in archaeology (Linton and Eggan) or physicalanthropology (Herskovits) perhaps reflect the research priorities of this era. By the endof the decade, however, the Boasian influence within the NRC and that of the newnational interdisciplinary social science establishment without had succeeded inredefining the "racial" research of the NRC in social or cultural terms. Simultaneously,the SSRC provided an additional basis of support for cultural research, and by 1930,the Carnegie Institution had decided to broaden the purely archaeological focus of itsCentral American researches. Taken together with the Rockefeller contributions tocultural research and the linguistic research supported through the ACLS, thesedevelopments placed the funding of cultural studies on a somewhat firmer basis. Thedecision of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1933 not to underwrite a worldwideprogram of salvage ethnography was certainly a blow, bu t Rockefeller moneycontinued to flow into already existing programs for several years more. In thiscontext, ethnology seems to have done rather better in the depression years than ithad in the early 1920s. The proportion of doctorates in archaeology and physicalanthropology, which had been nearly half in the 1920s, fell sharply in the next decade.

    were in ethnology, with another 20 in linguistics.In addition to these changes in the areal focus and subdisciplinary balance of theprofession, it seems quite likely also that institutional developments helped to mediatechanges in the substance and methods of anthropological research. The shift from

    museum to foundation and research council funding would by itself have tended toundercut somewhat the institutional basis for the older object-oriented, historicalethnology. But the change also had a more positive impact. The early interest of theNRC and the SSRC in practical social problems relating to race and immigrationclearly influenced the substantive focus of anthropological work. Herskovits' extendedprogram of Afro-American research, beginning with the physical anthropology of theAmerican Negro and eventuating in an intercontinental program for the study ofacculturation, was developed in this context; so also, Redfield's Tepoztl

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    ethnological thought, although as time wore on, its dimensions began to seem ratherless heroic.Already by the time Lowie wrote, certain issues in cultural theory had begun tosurface that in the longer run were to assume much greater significance. When Kroeberhad argued the autonomy of culture in even more extreme terms, several fellowBoasians reacted quite sharply to his conception of the "superorganic." At one withhim on the major part of his argument, Goldenweiser, Haeberlin, and Sapirnevertheless felt that Kroeber had gone much too far in arguing the separation ofhistory and science, in denying the psychological aspect of ethnological inquiry, ineliminating entirely the influence of the individual upon cultural development, and inreifying what was in fact merely a name for a certain selection of phenomena. It wassometime, however, before the implications of these conceptual issues were to be fullyfelt. The immediate pressures to which anthropology was subject in the next few yearsled no t to conceptual clarification bu t rather to what Boas would call "prematureclassification." Kroeber clearly felt these pressures in 1920, when he reviewed thework which marked the culmination of the critical phase of Boasiananthropology-Lowie's book-length critique of Morganian assumption, PrimitiveSociety. Despite the soundness of Boasian method, its products seemed to Kroeber"rather sterile": "as long as we continue offering the world only reconstructions ofspecific detail, and consistently show a negativistic attitude toward broaderconclusions, the world will find very little of profit in ethnology.,,2Building on assumptions developed in the arrangement of museum collections andin ethnological discussions over the previous several decades, and putting to one sidesome of the methodological cautions that guarded the pages of Sapir's TimePerspective in Aboriginal American Culture, Kroeber and Wissler led an attempt toraise Boasian historical ethnology to a level of generality that would validate its status"to the worker in remote fields of science, and to the man of general intellectualinterests.,,3 Starting from the geographical distribution and association of culturalelements in space, and assuming that the pattern of diffusion was uniformly from thecenter to the periphery of a "culture-area," so that the more widely distributed traitswere necessarily the older, they attempted to recreate sequences of development intime. The "age-area" principle, supplemented by traditional evolutionary notions oftypological complexity and by the limited archaeological evidence then available,provided the basis for arranging the cultures of the western hemisphere in stratigraphiclayers, with peaks in Central America, Peru, and the Northwest Pacific Coast (cf.selection no. 1). Despite Kroeber's earlier insistence on the complete separation ofscientific and historical inquiry, the whole approach was considerably influenced bybiological assumptio n, and led both Wissler and Kroeber to study the interrelations ofcultural and environmental areas. By 1929, Wissler had gone of f in a more sociologicaldirection, but Kroeber's culture-area interests were more systematically pursued. Inth e later 1920s several of his students attempted to develop quantitative approaches tothe problem, and in the 1930s a number of them were employed under Kroeber'sdirection in the "culture element survey"-most of them rather reluctantly, for lack ofalternative research support. By that time, the changing climate of anthropologicalopinion made the "laundry-list" approach to culture seem very much a dead-end to anambitious graduate student, and Kroeber's own underlying holistic historicism hadreasserted itself.

    One may doubtless elicit a variety of statements about the nature of culture fromthe CUlture-area syntheses of the 1920s, which were indeed influential in diffusing an

    anthropological orientation to the neighboring social sciences. Wissler's Man andCulture, for instance, offers in its "universal pattern" a framework of sorts forcomparing the "plan" or "pattern" of individual tribal cultures. In general, however,the methodologically significant unitsof this approach were the individual "traits" andthe "trait complexes" that helped to define culture-areal "types"-rather than the"mere social unit," which Wissler suggested at one point had "little value as a cultureunit.,,4 By objectifying cultural enti ties Whose epistemological and ontologicalstatuswas in fact rather questionable, the culture-element approach may have sustained akind of culturological orientation, and it could and did lead indirectly to a holistic orconfigurationalist view. It contributed little, however, to the understanding of culturalprocess, beyond the demonstration of diffusion, which in any case by 1920 hadalready been accomplished. No doubt the culture area notion provided a stimulus toecological thought, and continues still to be a useful general taxonomic device, but theattempt to arrive at genetic classifications from the analysis of essentially synchronicdata was already undergoing sharp criticism by the mid-1920s. Boas and Wallisattacked the assumptions underlying age-area analysis (cf. selection no. 3); and by1929 Leslie Spier, whose doctoral dissertation on the sun dance had provided animportant model for the whole approach, had explicitly rejected its utility forhistorical reconstruction (cf. selection no. 8). Dixon's moderate and somewhat criticalpresentation of the viewpoint the previous year (cf. selection no. 7), instead of placingit on a Surer foundation, was itself left stranded on the mudflats of history.

    The rather musty aura of the ethnology of the 1920s is largely an emanation fromthe sort of work just discussed, and reflects perhaps the institutional prominence ofKroeber, Dixon, and Wissler-who were the central figures at Berkeley, Harvard, andthe American Museum respectively, and who were each moreover particularlyresponsive to the hard-science critique of cultural anthropology. Already by 1920,however, alternative lines of development had been suggested by Boas, who wasshortly to pronounce that "diffusion was done." His "Methods of Ethnology"signalized a shift (which Boas later suggested had begun as early as 1910) from thestUdy of dissemination of elements to the more difficult problem of the "innerdevelopment" of culture, conceived in terms of the study of "acculturation," the"interdependence of cultural activities," and "the relation of the individual tosociety." In retrospect, this formulation may be seen as a prospectus for much of theanthropology of the interwar period, although the latter was also to be informed byexogenous scientizing impulses of a non- or even anti-Boasian character. What was ineffect occurring was ra-'change in emphasis between the central components of Boasiananalysis-from "elements" to "processes" and "patterns"-in the context of asimUltaneous shift in analytic perspective from the diachronic to the synchronic. 7Henceforth, the focus was to be on "the dynamic changes in society that may be observed at the present time." At the end of the decade Boas was in fact to suggestthat "i f we knew the whole biological, geographical, and cultural setting of a societycompletely, and if we understood in detail the ways of reacting of the members of thesociety and of society as a whole to these conditions, we should no t need historicalknowledge of the origin of the society to understand its behavior."5

    Even after 1920, however, the shift was no t precipitate. As Mead has suggested,"Boas had strict, puritanical views about the sequence in which problems should beinvestigated."6 A number of the newer orientations that flowered in the 1930s hadtheir roots in doctoral dissertations carried on within a trait-distribution framework.Benedict, Herskovits, Hallowell, and Mead all followed this pattern-as in fact did


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    Steward and White, though they worked under Boas' students, rather than Boashimself. Although their manifest targets were latter-day evolutionists or thediffusionist extremists of the German and British schools, each of the former fourtreated theoretical issues raised by recent trends in American diffusionary ethnology:the stability of cultural elements, the character of their interrelation, theirreinterpretation in particular cultural contexts, the applicability of the culture areaconcept to other regions, the problem of culture area boundaries, the psychologicalnature of the man/environment relation. In each case there are hints of the directionwhich future research was to take, bu t in each case one feels the limitations imposedby the secondary nature of the analysis. All four were library dissertations, and in eachcase fieldwork provided a catalyst for the development of more integrative orprocessual approaches.

    The first of these to have major theoretical impact was Benedict'sconfigurationalism (d . selection no. 10). Although for Benedict the processes ofcultural differentiation were quite traditionally Boasian, her approach-informed byNietzsche, Dilthey, Spengler, Haeberlin, and Sapir-focused on the historicallyemergent "configurations in culture that so pattern existence and condition the emotional and cognitive reactions of its carriers that they become incommensurables, eachspecializing in certain selected types of behavior and each ruling out the behaviorproper to its opposites".7 Benedict had been touched by some of the psychologicalfashions of the 1920s (Jung and Gestalt), and was particularly concerned with theproblem of individual deviance, bu t she was more interested in characterizing culturesin psychological terms than in the processes by which human personalities weredetermined within particular cultural contexts. Her work helped to establish anintegrationalist view of culture, and by focusing attention on culturally definedemotional and value orientations offered a broad framework for the explanation ofhuman behavior. But although in principle at least Benedict allowed for differences inthe degree of integration of different cultures, she left unanswered numerous questionsas to the factors determining their development, their influence on human behavior,and the variability of individual behavior within any particular cultural conte,l{t (cf.selection no. 37). Furthermore, except at a rather broad contrastive level, her work didnot facilitate cultural comparison or generalization about cultural processes. Althoughher own research lacked any significant temporal dimension, Benedict was very muchon the historicist side of the Boasian dualism.As the culture and personality movement developed in the 1930s, some of theseissues began to be more systematically explored-partially in reaction to Benedict'swork, partially in response to other influences. Edw ard Sapir's contrasting emphasis onthe individual as the dynamic focus of cultural process (a focus shared by Boashimself) was quite influential in the interdisciplinary seminars organized by the SSRC,and was important especially in defining Hallowell's more differentiated and dynamicapproach to culture and personality. At the same time, models of method and theorydrawn from psychology began to play a more explicit role. The contribution ofFreud-who had been something of a whipping-boy for the Boasians in the1920s-asserted itself in more acceptable neo-Freudian form in the work of MargaretMead and in the seminars conducted by Abram Kardiner at Columbia in the late 1930s(cf. selection no. 32). Psychiatric orientations toward the problems of mentalabnormality and deviance were an important influence, and neo-behaviorist learningtheory also had an impact, especially through the Institute of Human Relations at Yale(cf. selection no. 34). In contrast to the 1920s, when th e intelligence test was the

    psychological method of greatest salience, a wider range of psychological measures andtechniques began to be employed. Paralleling the influence of psychology,functionalism in both its Malinowskian and Radcliffe-Brownian variants contributed tothe "scientizing" trend-on the one hand by emphasizing the biological factorsconditioning cultural behavior, on the other by focusing greater attention on socialstructure as a mediating variable between culture and personality. At the end of theperiod, such developments seemed to offer the promise of a more differentiated,systematically comparative approach to the old Boasian problem of the "genius of apeople," as well as an alternative to racialist interpretations of human mentaldifference. The cultural malleability of human nature was still fundamentalanthropological dogma, but increasing emphasis was being placed on its moreenduring aspects and on the general processes by which it was modified. Takentogether, the varied manifestations of the culture and personality movement playedsuch an important role in American anthropology that certain culturological criticsfeared the independence of the discipline was threatened by subordination topsychology.

    So far we have followed the integrationalist impulse along a line that led towardpsychology. It can also be traced along a sociological line, again in the context of thereassertion after 1930 of more "scientific" approaches to the study of man. DespiteBoas' retreat from general law, the scientific impulse within the Boasian dualism hadnever died ou t entirely. Quite aside from the dalliance of certain Boasians with biologyin the 1920s, there was a continuing interest in problems of social organization inwhich the scientific component was clearly manifest. Even the criticism of Morganianassumption (as in the continuing stream of articles on Indian hunting territories)helped to sustain his relevance; and by the end of the decade, historically-orientedstudies by Hallowell and others suggesting the prior widespread existence ofcross-cousin marriage in fact provided confirmation of an important Morganian (andRiversian) hypothesis. However, the continuity of interest in the general processes ofthe development of social organization (cf. selection no. 4) was largely due to theinfluence of Robert Lowie-who, significantly, felt it necessary explicitly to reject theB011sian assumption that like effects need no t be referred to like causes. Although hewas Morgan's severest critic, it was Lowie more than anyone else (with the possibleexception of Wissler) who during the 1920s preserved the ultimate goal of asystematically comparative social scientific anthropology (cf. here the later selectionno. 29).By 1932 the attenuated sociological impulse in Boasian anthropology began toreceive outside support. Social evolutionary ideas had lingered on for some time insociology, despite the diffusion of anthropological thinking about culture in the early1920s. Toward the end of the decade, the channels of influence were to some extentreversed, and the residual evolutionism of sociology had an impact back onanthropology. Robert Redfield's intellectual debt to his teacher (and father-in-law)Robert Park is abundantly evident in 7'epoztlan, which provided an instance of "thegeneral type of change whereby primitive man becomes civilized man, the rusticbecomes the urbanite."s George Murdock's background in the tradition of WilliamGraham Sumner is obvious in his eclectic approach to the "science of culture" (cf.selection no. 11), where Kroeberian superorganicism, behaviorist psychology, Wissler'suniversal pattern and Sumner's cross-cultural comparative approach were broughttogether in a post-evolutionary framework stressing the adaptive value of social habitstransmitted through time and space by the medium of language. The new sociological


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    input into anthropology also helped to open the way for another major line ofintegrationalist thinking: British functionalism, which had little impact in thereconstructionist milieu of the 1920s. Malinowski's psycho-biological utilitarianismfitted quite well with Murdock's orientation, and it was not inappropriate that heshould have spent his last years in New Haven, which in the 1930s also hostedThurnwald, Seligman, and Evans-Pritchard.The more important functionalist influence, however, was that of Radcliffe-Brown,who came to Chicago in the fall of 1931, fresh from his comparative synthesis of the

    types of Australian social organization. Although his assumption that a similar ordercould be qUickly introduced into American Indian data proved unduly optimistic,there is no doubt that Radcliffe-Brown's presence among the Boasians hadconsiderable impact, both on their thinking and his own. For some time he had beeninsisting on the distinction between "ethnology," which attempted to give a"hypothetical reconstruction of the past history of civilization," and "socialanthropology," which sought to "discover natural laws of human society." AsRedfield suggested, "n o one in America [had] offered a strictly nonhistorical scientificmethod, equipped with a self-consistent body of concepts and procedures for gettingspecific jobs done in relation to ultimate scientific objectives.,,9 Radcliffe-Brown'spresumption that he could offer just that did not sit well with the majority ofAmerican anthropologists, but it did contribute to an already ongoing reconsiderationof the relations of history and science in anthropology (cf. selections nos. 6, 16).Simultaneously, the tendency of common terminology to create conceptual confusionhelped push Radcliffe-Brown toward the final clarification of his mature socialstructure orientation. In order to differentiate his own approach, he abandoned theidiom of "culture" for that of "social structure" and "social system"; in reaction tothe looser usage of American anthropologists, he insisted on a specifically Durkheimian view of "function" as the inner consistency of the social system conceived inorganic terms. In this context, Radcliffe-Brown presented to American anthropology aprospectus for a "natural science of society." It was to be in no sense a psychology,and its subject matter was not "culture," which had no concrete existence. Itssignificant integrative units were rather "societies"-the "structural sytems observablein particular communities"-whose "systematic comparison" would lead to laws ofsocial morphology, social physiology, and ultimately of social evolution (cf. selectionno. 15).10

    Many American anthropologists were alienated by what they perceived as hisself-centered messianic style; and even at Chicago Radcliffe-Brown won few, if any,unqualified disciples (cf. selection no. 19). The work of his most important student,Fred Eggan, who previously had been influenced by Leslie Spier, was an attempt toreconcile the methods of ethnology and social anthropology (cf. selection no. 18).Nevertheless, in a diffuse way Radcliffe-Brown clearly had an impact, especially in thecontext of the more general reorientation toward sociology. The most influentialtextbook of the period, Ralph Linton's Study of Man-with its emphasis on suchsociological concepts as "status" and "role," and its conceptual separation of"society" and "culture"-owes a good deal to Radcliffe-Brown, with whom Lintonhad various informal (and not entirely friendly) ties in the early 1930s. More generally,his American sojourn clearly reinforced the scientizing trend in American anthropology, offering support for a more utilitarian, adaptive view of culture, and contributingfrom a particular perspective to the renewal of the Morganian tradition.In this context, one may view certain developments of the late 1930s as



    representing a third expression of the integrationalist and scientizing impulses. Incontrast to the psychological and the sociological, it might be called the "economic"line-although only Melville Herskovits, who remained essentially Boasian, workedwith the categories of academic economic analysis. Marvin Harris' "techno-environmental" is perhaps a better term, since what was involved was a reassertion ofenvironmental and technological determinisms that had been submerged during theBoasian critique of evolutionism. The two spokesmen of the repressed determinismsJulian Steward and Leslie White-both wrote trait-distribution dissertations understudents of Boas, and then moved toward a more integrationalist view of culture.Steward's ecological interpretation of the development of political and socialorganization (cf. selection no. 30) clearly reflected his training under Kroeber, Gifford,and Lowie. However, like White he conceived the integration of culture as an adaptiveutilitarian response to external forces, rather than in subjective emotional or ideationalterms. White, whose epistemological assumptions were from the beginning in aprofound sense anti-Boasian, represented a more radical departure-although heassimilated his materialistic "culturology" to Kroeber's idealist superorganicism.Having rediscovered Morgan even before 1930, White took advantage of the risingcurrent of scientism in the late 1930s to launch a scathing attack on the Boasians forrejecting the generalizing "materialist" evolutionism of Morgan and Tylor for aphilosophy of "planless hodge-podge-ism."Although there were other manifestations of a materialist orientation in this period(cf. selection no. 37), the influence of Steward and White was largely a post-warphenomenon. White was somewhat isolated at Michigan, which had not yet become acenter of graduate training, and Steward was not able to establish himself in academiauntil 1946, when he replaced Linton at Columbia after the latter moved to Yale.Despite the rising interest in more generalizing approaches, the most influential of thenewer anthropological currents still strongly reflected their roots in Boasian historicalethnology. This was surely true of the culture and personality movement; it wasequally evident in acculturation studies, in which many of the newer currents cametogether.The interest in acculturation had varied manifestations. One of the earliest andmost interesting studies was done by Mead under the aegis of Clark Wissler during aninterval between her expeditions to the South Pacific. The most important individuals,however, were Redfield, Herskovits, and Linton-all key figures in the late 1920s andearly 1930s in the sociologically oriented midwestern institutional network. Redfield'sinterest developed through a Parkian reading of Wissler in the context of his fieldworkin Tepoztllin and Yucatan: "i n understanding culture process, the mode and characterof communication should be the center of attention, not the geographic distributionof the culture traits.,,1 I Strictly historical study could never sort out the "closelyintegrated body of elements" in Yucatan. However, the historical processof culture change might be approached through the observation of four contemporarycultural situations whose spatial arrangement could be transformed into a typologicaltemporal sequence (cf. selection no. 13).Herskovits' approach to acculturation developed out of his Boasian concern withdisproving theories of Negro inequality, and he in fact began by defining acculturationas the total acceptance of an alien culture-illustrated, he then felt, by the Negro in theUnited States. However, his Surinam fieldwork, in which "Africanisms" were noted inthe city as well as in the bush, led him to formulate an interhemispheric program forcomparative research in which he arranged various V'egro cultural groups in the



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    ii,I r

    Americas along a scale of intensity of Africanisms. Arguing that the character ofcontact situations had a differential impact on various aspects of culture, he came torevise his earlier views on American black acculturation. Rather more than Redfield's,his work thus reflected its origins in the "culture element" historical tradition. Hetended to emphasize the role that acculturation studies could play in mediatingbetween the historical and functional orientations, and the variety of anthropologicalapproaches that could be integrated in the study of acculturation problems (cf.selection no. 33).

    Linton came to acculturation studies somewhat later, after he had absorbed a gooddeal of Radcliffe-Brown's influence in the early 1930s, bu t his approach toacculturation was embracively eclectic. Although focusing on the transmission ofelements, he emphasized the modifications of their meaning and form, the reciprocalsocial and psychological factors conditioning their integrationinto pre-existing culturalpatterns, and the varied outcomes of the whole process-including the reassertion oftraditional cultural values in "nativistic" movements, as well as the "fusion" of twocultures in a "chemical" rather than a "mechanical" mixture. In this context, theschematic memorandum on acculturation which the three men authored for the SSRCin 1936, although later subject to criticism and modification (cf. selection no. 33), isone of the most representative documents of American anthropology in the interwarperiod. With its movement from elements to transmission processes to integrationconceived in psychological terms, it is an archetypical manifestation of thetransformation of Boasian historical ethnology (cf. selection no. 17).

    The reaction of some of the older Boasians to this transformation helps further toilluminate its character. Without attempting to sort ou t responses to each new trend, itis fair to say that Boas himself was generally supportive, and his last generalmethodological formulation of 1937 may in fact be read as a reassertion of the"scientific" aspect of his methodological dualism. Among the first generation of hisstudents Wissler---ever the eclectic---encouraged many of the new initiatives (cf.selection no. 28), and Goldenweiser was on the whole sympathetic. Sapir, of course,was a seminal figure in the culture and personality movement, and more generally inthe area of cultural theory. The resistance-which came primarily from Kroeber, Lowie,Spier, and Radin-took varied forms. There was a tendency toward a patronizingassimilation of newer trends to traditional orientations. Thus Kroeber and Lowie wereinclined simply to equate functionalism with an integrationist viewpoint, and tosuggest that in this sense Boasian ethnology had always been basically functionalist.One might also argue that what was "true" was not "new," and vice versa. Thus Radinand Lowie insisted on the one hand that the best American fieldworkers had alwaysbeen interested in the "implicit" elements in culture, and on the other that it simplywas not possible really to learn a language or a culture in a single fieldwork expedition.The resisters were by no means a coherent group-Radin was scathing in his criticism ofKroeber's quantifying reconstructionism. But they were each, in their own way,strongly committed to an historical conception of ethnology. Thus Lowie, although insome respects quite close to Radcliffe-Brown, made a special point of assimilatingportions of the latter's work to the historical point of view. Despite his own switch onthe utility of culture-element reconstruction, Spier still resisted acculturation studiesas essentially "sociological" rather than ethnological. Kroeber's review of Redfield'sTepoztlan (cf. selection no. 9) implied a similar distinction between sociologicalstudies of present societies and ethnological studies of historical ones. And forRadin-the historicist plupe"\'i'?ct-all the "reactions against the quantitative method"

    of the 1920s were vitiated by a failure to recognize the true historical vocation ofethnology.At the time, it seemed to some that a sorting ou t was taking place between thescientific and historical orientations (cf. selection no. 16). Retrospectively, we mayperhaps see a kind of differentiation among varieties of historical anthropology-with

    Kroeber attempting to free history from the dimension of time, and Radin standingou t as the archetype of an enduring historicist and hermeneutic counter-current withinBoasian anthropology. No doubt the various manifestations of historical ethnologyremained a force within the discipline. Thus Wissler's seminars at Yale contributed tothe development of a more document-oriented ethnohistorical approach foreshadowede'arlier by Swanton and Speck. However, the more significant contemporary trend wasexpressed by those who sought to fuse the historical and functional approaches.Retrospect susggests that the overall development is best seen as a kind ofacculturative incorporation of certain newer scientizing trends within an internallyevolving Boasian tradition, in which the diachronic dimension tended to be reduced to"process in the present."Lowie's defense of "horse and buggy" ethnographers notwithstanding, the newerfieldwork methods and theoretical orientations had developed in reciprocal relation toeach other, and by the end of the period there were signs of an increasinglysophisticated concern with culture theory, in which the newer trends were variouslymanifest. Clyde Kluckhohn, whose roundabout road to anthropology had brought himinto contact with a wide range of theoretical viewpoints, was an early figure in thismovement. But under the editorship of Ralph Linton-perhaps the best singlecandidate for "representative man" in the World War II period-the Anthropologistpublished a number of articles treating in some general theoretical way the nature of"culture" (cf. selections nos. 35, 36). There was no single generally acceptedconceptualization, and Kroeber still wondered "i f we know anything very fundamentalabout the nature of culture and how it works. , ,12 Nevertheless, a range of issues thathad been raised in the two decades since Kroeber's "Superorganic" were given moreexplicit formUlation; and one can specify a number of emergent trends, which within afew years were to be more systematically treated in Kroeber and Kluckhohn'sencyclopedic review.

    Although culture was still conceived as an historical precipitate, the primary focuswas on the analysis of its synchronic or micro-diachronic processual aspects. Its suigeneris nature was still maintained, bu t in more philosophically sophisticated terms ofabstraction rather than reification; and a clearer distinction was made between cultureand society. In studying human behavior in all its manifestations, formal and informal,a distinction was now insisted upon between actual and ideal behavioral norms.Increasingly, the realm of the cultural was conceived in ideational or symbolic terms,and the very idea of "material culture" began to be considered something of amisnomer. There was a growing interest in the units of culture, and a growingdissatisfaction with a purely enumerative approach to its content. Culture was a matterof the communication of designs for living. But while there was still considerableemphasis on the processes by which it was learned or transmitted, an increasing rolewas allowed for individual human creativity. At the same time-and most importantly-there was a strongly emergent sense that culture had some kind of enduringinternal structure, not at a level immediately evident to its carriers, bu t rather an innercore of values that underlay their actual behavior. And while the commensurability ofthese structures was still an unsolved problem, the concern for the conceptual


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    clarification of the idea of "culture" was itself evidence of an impulse toward thedevelopment of uniform categories that might provide the basis for more systematiccomparison.There were anthropologists, like Leslie White,who in some respects fell outside theframework just described, or who emphasized other facets of the newer trendsinsisting on the adaptive or adjustive aspect of cultural behavior. But it is nonethelesstrue that the most influential figures in American anthropology shared a generalapproach to the nature of culture. Furthermore, despite Kluckhohn's complaint thatpsychologists, economists, and sociologists reading Boas' article on anthropology inthe Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences usually came away feeling "disappointed" and"empty-handed,"13 the core of this consensus was still essentially Boasian. Althoughanthropologists now talked in terms of "structure" and even of "system," the roots ofthe newer integrationist orientations in the Boasian element, process and patternschema were clearly manifest.

    To appreciate this, it may help to pose an abstract contrast between the ideas of"pattern" and of "system" as integrative modes. Although the notion of "structure" iscompatible to both, and may provide a kind of bridge between the two, it can still beargued that "pattern" and "system" represent quite different and even in a sense polarconceptions of integration. Connotatively, the two words suggest a series of antitheses:repetition vs. differentiation; juxtaposition vs. interdependence; openendedness vs.closure; contingency vs. necessity. Etymologically, one notes that "pattern" derivesfrom the old French "patron," and was not finally distinguished from its Englishcongener, either in form or sense, until after 1700(1. pattern, like a patron, beingsomething worthy of imitation. There would seem thus to be a psychological,aesthetic, and humanistic bias in a sense inherent in the pattern notion, just as the coremeanings of the term "system" are characteristically natural scientific. In the formercase, the aspect of holistic integration is problematic and a posteriori-the result ofhistorical process; in the latter, it is inherent in the concept itself.Boasian ethnology, though it took cultural integration for granted from thebeginning, in practice moved toward that integration from a study of the distributionof elements over cultural areas. The significant units of analysis were on the one handsmaller and on the other larger than the specific socially-bounded groups of peoplethat Radcliffe-Brown assumed as his analytic entities. Fo r a variety of reasons-thelack of obvious boundaries, the underlying historical and psychological conception ofthe integration process, perhaps also the basic orientation toward analysis in terms of"item and process" rather than "item and arrangement "-"pattern" was a more likelymode of integration to emerge from this approach than "system." Starting in 1923from the "ultimate fact of human nature that man builds up his culture out ofdisparate elements," and rejecting as "superstition" the notion that "the result is anorganism functionally interrelated,,,14 it is hardly surprising that the integration RuthBenedict ultimately achieved had an a posteriori, unsystematic configurative character.Not all Boasians in 1923 would have insisted that organic interrelation was a"superstition" (cf. selection no. 2); but in general it seems fair to say that Benedictrepresents the movement of Boasian anthropology. Boasians did not start, likeRadcliffe-Brown, with the a priori Durkheimian assumption of system. They movedfrom elements to patterns. Along the way, they came into cultural contact, as it were,with conceptions of integration in terms of functional interdependence within abounded system, and some of the elements of these viewpoints became integrated intothe pattern of their own thought-as Boas suggested, "some kind of formalization

    always develops that makes apparently contradictory ideas c ompat ible. ,,15 But theenduring core of their "culture" remained essentially Boasian. Even after they beganto speak of patterns as systems, of culture as "a system of patterns," theirformulations frequently betrayed an origin in a different integrative mode. Thus whenClyde Kluckhohn suggested that "every culture is a structure-not a haphazardcollection of all the different physically possible and functionally effective patterns ofbelief and action but an interdependent system with its patterns segregated andarranged in a manner which is felt as appropriate"l 6 he was in fact quintessentiallyBoasian-affective appreciation of wholeness as opposed to its logical constructionbeing one of the grundlagen of the Boasian viewpoint.

    VI. CENTRIFUGAL FORCES OF SPECIALIZATIONDespite this underlying unity of cultural assumption, the transformation of Boasianethnology had by 1945 created some problems for the self-conception of the field.Insofar as they were interdisciplinary in character, the newer trends tended to developat its intellectual margins. Articles on culture and personality were likely to appear injournals that were rarely or irregularly read by anthropologists. Furthermore, insofar

    as they were resisted by the older anthropologists, the new trends also tendedinstitutionally to be forced to the margins. The Anthropologist published little onculture and personality, was apparently unreceptive to the work of Julian Steward,and for a time resisted even acculturation studies. Their very marginality, however,made these trends seem disturbing to some anthropologists committed to a diachronicviewpoint, and fears were expressed that the field was losing its center. Retrospectively, it seems clear that in a certain sense this was indeed the case. As Dell Hymes hassuggested in another context, "the two activities that had sustained a common frameof reference-the study of the American Indian, and the problems of historicalethnology"-were already becoming peripheral.1 Although its fulfillment was apost-war phenomenon, this process was reflected in changing terminological emphasesby 1945. "Ethnology" no longer held the field as the rubric encompassing inquiry intohuman cultural variability. Many anthropologists now distinguished between "ethnology" and "social anthropology"-not so much in Radcliffe-Brownian terms, butrather as receptacles for the traditional and the newer trends respectively. Within a fewyears, "ethnology" would in fact be largely replaced by the term "culturalanthropology."

    Such problems of subdisciplinary self-image were perhaps more disturbing in thelight of more fundamental centrifugal tendencies in anthropology as a whole.Although it had survived the censure episode, the embracive unity of anthropologywas, as Franz Boas had argued in 1904, an historical product. Boas felt even then thatthere were "indications of its breaking up " under the stress of increasingly rigorousdemands for specialized training in part icular subdisciplines. Indeed, the "biological,linguistic, and ethnologic-archaeological methods" were already "s o distinct" that itwas difficult for one man to handle them all.2 His own archaeological activities werelimited, bu t Boas did in fact playa role in the methodological development of thatsubdiscipline; and his control of the other areas, although reflecting his autodidacticprofessionalization, was nonetheless indisputable. A number of his students madeimportant contributions in two or even three of the subdisciplines, and by and largeanthropology departmental programs continued to be conceived in embracive terms,with faculty often required to teach in more than one subdiscipline. Radcliffe-Brown's

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    stay at Chicago did not break up the sacred bundle, but merely added "socialanthropology" as a fifth component; Kluckhohn continued throughout the period toteach each of the four subfields as defined at Harvard. Even so, at the level ofprofessional identification, the bridging of subdisciplines was somewhat problematic inthe interwar period.In part, this was due to continuing methodological specialization, institutionaldiversification, and shifting reference groups; bu t it was also related to changingtheoretical orientations. The unity of anthropology was an historical product in morethan one sense. It was not simply that a number of methodological approaches hadcome together historically in the study of non-Western man, but that the overarchinginterpretive frameworks were in a broad sense historical. Both the evolutionary andthe ethnological traditions, each in their own way, were concerned with the history ofmankind in all aspects. In this context, any movement in ethnology away fromhistorical reconstruction could no t help but have implications for the unity ofanthropology. Furthermore, though the traditional historical orientation of anthropology had provided a kind of umbrella under which all the subdisciplinary interestscould be kept together, in point of fact it had a rather different and ambiguous statuswithin each of the subdisciplines, whose specialized substantive and methodologicalconcerns were by no means uniformly historical.

    The centrifugal tendency was first manifest in physical anthropology, which incontinental Europe had in fact preempted the title "anthropology" and tended todevelop as a separate discipline for which medical or biological training wasprerequisite. To a considerable extent this was also the case in the United States. It istrue that Powell, the title of his Bureau of Ethnology notwithstanding, in principleincluded the physical study of man within a broader rubric of "anthropology"; andBoas after him gave some substance to the integration. But despite the more embraciveconcept of anthropology in this country, the fact was that most practitioners ofphysical anthropology were drawn from and remained oriented towards other sciences.

    The most important figure among them was Ales H r d l i ~ k a . In contrast to Boas,whose work on immigrant headform had far-reaching revolutionary implications,H r d l i ~ k a was influenced by the static anatomical European tradition, with its emphasison osteological and especially craniological determination of racial "types," and itslack of concern for biological process. Early in his career, however, H r d l i ~ k a becameinvolved in a controversy which had a more positive significance for Boasian historicalethnology: the dispute between F. W. Putnam and W. H. Holmes over the antiquity ofman in the Americas. Although he began under Putnam's influence at the AmericanMuseum, H r d l i ~ k a became a staunch supporter of Holmes once he entered governmentanthropology in 1903. Attacking every alleged "find" on the basis of morphologicalarguments, he succeeded in exiling early man from the hemisphere--so successfullythat until 1930 it was almost heretical to claim an antiquity greater than two or threethousand years. Given such a limited time perspective, and in the absence of anadequate historical archaeology, ethnology perhaps seemed a more likely approach tothe history of man in the Americas than might otherwise have been the case.Be that as it may, there is no question about H r d l i ~ k a ' s role as the advocate andleader of an increasingly self-conscious physical anthropology-although his orientation was toward the science of anatomy rather more than toward the rest of Americananthropology. He had begun to work toward the founding of an independent journalas early as 1908, and in 1918, in the context of the events leading to the Boas censure,

    he succeeded in establishing the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Hisattempt to form a separate professional organization in 1924 was frustrated byanatomists who viewed it as a separatist movement, but by 1930, the American