Anthropology and modern life by Franz Boas

By Franz Boas

The nice anthropologist's vintage treatise on race and tradition. Discusses organic and cultural inheritance, the fallacy of racial, cultural or ethnic superiority, the scientific foundation for human individuality, and masses extra. essentially the most influential books of the century, now in a value-priced variation. creation through Ruth Bunzel.

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During the World War the enlisted men belonging to the two groups were tested and showed quite distinct responses. There is no very great difference in the pigmentation of the two groups. Both are largely mulattoes. The Northern Negroes passed the tests much more successfully than those from the South. Chicago Negroes are adjusted to city surroundings. They work with Whites and are accustomed to a certain degree of equality, owing to similarity of occupation and constant con- THE PROBLEM OF RACE tact.

Every home, every street, every family group and school has its own character which is difficult to evaluate. In large masses of individuals we may assume a somewhat equal environmental setting for a group in similar economic and social position, and it is justifiable to it is assume in this case that the variability of environmental influence is much restricted and that organically determined differences between individuals appear more clearly. Just as soon as we compare different social groups the relative uniformity of social background disap- pears and, if we are dealing with populations of the same descent, there is a strong probability that dif- ferences in the type of responses are primarily due to the effect of environment rather than to organic differences between the groups.

This is true of all modern ethnology. Edward B. Tylor and schools of ANTHROPOLOGY AND MODERN LIFE 6o Herbert Spencer in their studies of the evolution of culture, Adolf Bastian in his insistence on the ness of the fundamental forms of thought same- among all Lewis Morgan in his study of social forms, Westermarck in his inquiries into the history of moral races, ideas and of marriage — they work without any regard Friedrich Ratzel, who all have carried on their to race. followed the historical dis- semination of cultural forms does not pay attention he sometimes to race, except in so far as falls back upon vague mental characteristics of racial groups, a belief which he inherited from the older school of deductive ethnologists like Klemm and Carus.

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