However, in the theoretical sense, Kroeber’s biggest contribution is the re- formulation of Spencer’s concept of the superorganic which Kroeber. The idea of “The superorganic” is associated with Alfred Kroeber, an American anthropologist writing in the first half of the twentieth century. A. L. KROEBER. University of California. Search for more papers by this author. First published: April‐June

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It is indeed a very tricky situation, especially since Peru lacks the kind of organized institution with clear policies and relevant experience such as FUNAI supsrorganico Brazil.

Kroeber suggested that the appearance of these geniuses is the result of the emergence of new patterns, their exploitation until possibilities have been exhausted, and their subsequent decline and disintegration until some productive new pattern is formed either in the same or some other area. But to be honest the copyright issues with British authors are much more complicated than they are with American ones, and that makes things more difficult.

American Journal of Physical Kroebdr Most important, however, was his lifelong curiosity about new fields, new approaches, and new problems.

Culture as the superorganic

But in doing so, he argues, we miss the cultural dimension of conduct that makes human lives so unique. But he considered himself first of all an ethnologist, and his central concern was with the nature of culture and the search for an understanding of its processes. If you copy text from this site, please acknowledge the author s and link it back to cec. Characteristically, in the last work kroebed wrote on California Indian languages published posthumously inentitled Yokuts Dialect Survey, he incorporated research that began in Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.

This is acknowledged by Morris Swadesh, who developed his glotto-chronological and lexicostatistical methods while associated with Kroeber at Columbia University.

There may be typos or other errors in the manuscript.

The Mashco-Piro and the dilemmas of isolation and contact Cantor and Smith: American Museum of Natural History, Bulletin Or does anthropology have a unique method?


Yet he had no such qualms about isolating culture traits in his comparative studies or identifying complexes for cross-cultural studies. Knowing the dynamics of how carbon atoms operate, or that combining hydrogen and oxygen can result in a rapid combustion if not an explosion, does not explain how the tree works, with its leaves converting sunlight into energy to change water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon, channels to transfer sap from leaves to root, and so on.

Hymes, Dell Alfred Louis Kroeber. The Science of Cultural Anthropology.

Key Words Modules Sociology: Much Boasian thought is now in the public domain, but is difficult to find and inconvenient to read. Each culture possesses unique aspects of content and pattern which require explanation but represent only a temporary historical eddy in the pan-human sea of culture.

Kroeber, Alfred L.

Each culture to some degree shares aspects of content and pattern with other cultures, and if several adjacent cultures are surveyed from a sufficient distance, regional patternings emerge. It operates at a higher level of oroeber than the organic.

American Anthropologist New Series Kroeber was concerned primarily with historical relationships within and between languages, but he also published some essentially analytical papers concerned with such problems as incorporation or noun composition. But not all things that are similar are necessarily borrowed, and in his Anthropology Kroeber characteristically opened his chapter krieber diffusion with a discussion of the couvade, a set of similar behavioral restrictions placed upon the father at the kroebwr of a child, found in Europe among the Basques and in Brazil among some Indians.

If a peoples e. Pages 57—62 in Alfred L. It wuperorganico not easy to evaluate these so soon after his death, and the difficulty is compounded by the fact that many of his theoretical formulations are embedded more or less incidentally in a profusion of phenomenological data.

Savage Minds

Many of his earlier theoretical interests concerned kinds of problems that are no longer central. Kroeber to Culture Area Theory and Practice. The culture element distribution lists are heaviest on material culture and lightest on social organization, where at the time the identification of units was less advanced. Anthropologists, at least, accepted the primacy of culture, although others in the field of social science and the public kroeebr not.

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See for a statement by Kroeber of the purpose of the culture element surveys. Kroeber, The Nature of Culture.

His contributions to California archeology, the region of his greatest ethnographic interests, are almost nil. He reviewed most of the important books about race appearing over a quarter of a century, missing no chance to attack racist interpretations. In surveying the field see the article in The Nature of Culturehe agreed that an explanation of culture on the psychological level is necessary, but he warned that the problem of providing such an explanation is enormously complex; culture, he believed, had illuminated personality far more than the reverse.

What articles come to mind? His own publications between and exceed five hundred items, almost all of them professional in content. Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, Prehistory. Ultimately, he identified four cultural segments: Quantitative Classification of Indo—European Languages.

In both anthropology and biology geographical continuity of distribution strengthens the case for diffusion, and their age—area interpretations are subject to restraints.

There is today a tremendous amount of material which is open access. He could, on occasion, use thoroughly functional concepts in his descriptive analyses see for example his section on the Yurok in the Handbook of the Indians of Californiabut his habit of mind and his interest led him back continually to the natural-history approach of classical biology and a humanistic emphasis upon patterns and styles.

Such measures of relationship could also be used, in his view, to establish historical depth, both for relationships and for traits or trait complexes. He explained the appearance and recognition of genius and superorbanico flourishing of civilizations in cultural terms.