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1 Wolf Perilous Ideas

1 Wolf Perilous Ideas

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Perilous Ideas: Race, Culture, People [and Comments and Reply] Author(s): Eric R. Wolf, Joel S.

Kahn, William Roseberry, Immanuel Wallerstein Source: Current Anthropology, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 1-12 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2744133 . Accessed: 06/04/2011 13:17
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a red-neckor hayseed.The race concept has presided over homicide and genocide. Culture.Y. and Europeand thePeotury (New York:Harper and of ple Without History (Berkeley Los Angeles:University California Press. recand ognizethatethnicities come in manyvarieties to call a sothe cial entity "ethnic"group merely beginning theinan is of quiry.)." thesewords-as Morton Friedsaid-can injuremind and body. "the to cultivation mindsor souls. University November I99a2. will thenconI siderthe conceptof culture.I will take up briefly notion of peothe ples. Thus. I intend to focus on the concept of race. someone who has not been to the rightschools. I954. This paperwas delivered.West. "generation. Lesser. I95 I). was professor anthropology theUniversity Michigan I96I to I97i beforejoining the facultyat CUNY. the inauguralSidneyW.and Boas have insisted on and that we must heed. taught us to be especially attentiveto issues of race and culture. Peasant Warsofthe Twentieth and Row.. is to declare that someone lacks culturalcapital and should not be allowed into the Atheneum or the Escambron Beach Club." "Culture" was first a fieldand only later transferred cultura animi. FebruaryI994 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ? I994 byThe Wenner-Gren All reserved OOII-3204/94/350I-OOOI$2. envisaged these days as social entities-ethnic groups or nationalities-that are conscious of themselves as ownersofdistinctive culturaltraditions passed on along the lines of shareddescent. MINTZ LECTURE FOR I992 Perilous Ideas Race. who stands at the beginning of American anthropology.Volume 35. This relationbetween professionaldialect and more generaldiscourseneeds to be understoodas part of the as i. peoplehood ethnicity to and its served orient anthropology's inquiries justify existence. a heavyfreight shame and fury.People' by Eric R. Homer spoke of a flockofanimals or a swarmofbees.culture. carry .and for anthropology ideas about race and culture and-more recently-about peoplehood or ethnicityhave played that guidingand legitimizing role. and the Italian Alps (I960-6I and summers thereaf- Each endeavorto understand humankindworks with a set of characteristic ideas that orientits inquiries and justifyits existence. whom this new lectureseries is designedto honor. as well as a bunchofpeople (Benveniste i969:90). in The present paperwas submitted finalform v 93.especiallythe idea thathumans depend heavily on behavior that is learned. rights Foundation Anthropological SIDNEY W.Bronx. he was educated Queens College(B. Franz Boas. To accuse someoneoflackingculture. i956). After teaching a variety instituat of he of tions. The discipline did not spring Usedin ourtime. He has His includeSons oftheShaking Earth(Chiter). I0468.I946) and Columof bia University at (Ph.A..and that this capacity forlearninghas fostered the proliferation quite varied bodies of thoughtand of action. i969). 4 done fieldworkin Puerto Rico (I948-49). Wolf and or have long Ideas aboutrace. these words moreover.because it remainsa majorsource in ofdemonology this country and in the worldand anhas thropology a major obligationto speak reasonto unreason.not inborn. i966). Peasants(Englewood CenCliffs: Prentice-Hall.00 for Research. on of public understanding. too. Finally. publications of cago:University ChicagoPress.I98 2). ERIC WOLF iS Distinguished Professor Emeritus Herbert of Lehman Collegeand theCityUniversity New YorkGraduate of Center(Bedford ParkBlvd. Mintz between anthropology and otherkinds Hopkins wider interplay of of to Lecture.I will attendespecially to the conceptofrace.It is appropriate to address these issues today not only because i992 marksthe soth anniversary Boas's death but also beof cause one of the important lineage segmentsin anthropologyreckonsintellectualdescent fromFranz Boas to AlexanderLesser to SidneyMintz. This. and anthropolto ogybearsa specialresponsibility examinethe commonplaces ofits thought thefighting and wordsofits speechand to subject themto resolute The present contribution thistask to analysis. N. Number i."fromthe Latin generare. theyformpart of the stock of ideas of much widerpublics who discuss themin moreextended and less academic terms. is somethingthat Mintz.takemuchgreater ofheterogeneity contradictions cultural in and and systems." Greekethnosonce desigof nated just a "bunch." without reference descent or to politicalcohesion.a jibaro or indito.D.S. Bornin at I923. "Race" has been traced to generatio. butwordscan neverhurtyou.I959). And one of the ways of manifesting ethnicityis now to don a camouflagesuit and graban AK47.beinga bez-kulturny the (as Russians say). of of thatwe mustremind ourselves theimportance suggests of aboutracesas we confront Boas's critique typological thinking account theintensifying racismsofour time. As bothoffspring criticofthehumancondition.A."to beused to talk about cultivating get. notions about the biological variabilityof the species and about the possibleimplicationsof this variability. U. of to Contrary the popular saw that "sticks and stones can break your bones.This was trueeven when they firstcame into usage. theDepartment Anthropology The Johns i6. These notionsare of course not onlyexclusive professional property. Mexico (i95i-52.

ear-furlers.insofaras it is generalized human labor. Eliade I965. in interested what the conceptsofrace. One couldnot think of for Islamicparallels Al-Azmeh see i992).but rendering laborpoweruniversally exchangeablebymeans ofmoneyas a commondenominatorpermitted this new way of thought.gluttonous. and aggressivein disposition. mouthless apple smellers. also allows us to thinkbetter. and many more (Friedman These hierarchically deployed and ranked schemata may be comparedwith those of more egalitariantribal people. mothercity-occupied the pivotal point ofintersection all the directions the cosmos.where the only trueand beautifullife could be lived.is oflike kindand ofequal worth. both Christianand Muslim: men "whose heads growbeneaththeirshoulders"(Shakespeare). Still farther lie the settlements poon of tentialenemies who are said to perform soraggressive beyondthese live little-knownthough inimical Yanomami whom one fearsnot so much fortheirsorcery as I98I.uncouth and threatening identifiable but throughcontact in trade and war. fromwhom one is separatedfirstby raidingand counand terraiding second bywarpathsorcery (raidsin which pathogenicsubstancesare supposedlydepositedin each other'scamp). inherent.in theircase of fouror fivelocal groups thatintermarry. lay the countryof "the monstrous races. to submit to law. to hold themapart. it comes out of the cauldronsof conflictthat cooked up much of the toil and troubleofpast centuries. with each otherin war. in the trenchantphrasing of Robbins Burling (i964). rule.in which all partakeofeach other's vital substance by drinkingdown the ashes of the honoreddead in plantain soup. is preIt cisely because it is both offspring and critic of our conditionthat it bears a special responsibility examto ine the commonplaces of our thoughtand the fighting wordsofourspeech and to subjectthemto resoluteanalysis.true natureof a phenomenon.where of of theyenacted collective rituals to maintain the orderof the world and fromwhich they deployedthe power to it ensure (Carrasco i982. FebruaryI994 whole phenomenaare put together. Wheatley I97I). to essential. I also think that particulartakes are promptedby background conditions and limited by theseconditions. to Each of these threeconcepts-race. one can talk about Christiancommunionand elite Aztec cannibalism as convergent formsof communicationwith the divine. Number i. Beyond this core of allies live active enemies whom one does not with whom one does not exchangeor feast.867). They were barba(Homer Iliad 2. ested in how theyallow us to think. and religious guidance." whom the Roman Plinius catalogued formedieval posterity. upside-down walkers.according to Albert(i988). "The riddleof the expressionof value is solved when we know that all labor. and skills of performance are requiredto be a convincingagurram.bar-bar-speakers Aristotle's view this made themnaturalslaves and outcasts. and heathenseemed whollyincommensurable and as long as the symbolic value of an object or an act was thought be an intrinsic.I thinkof ideas as "takes" on the phenomenaof this world and as instructionsabout how to combine these takes to ascertaintheirconnectionsor. there could probably no anthropology religionor studyof be of comparative religionas long as the religions believers. and . people with one eye in the middle of theirforeheads. The Greeks and Romans saw these people as not quite human because theydid not live'in cities.Most of them developedmodels of thecosmologicalorder which an exemplary in center-a a metropolis. engineered-what kinds of credentials. also begin theirsortingof people with a local cluster.and attend ally one another'sfunerary rites.substantive.knowledge. Beyondthe civilizationalcore areas lay the lands of the clad in skins. ceryat a distance(see Chagnonand Asch I973).but this riddle can only be unriddledwhen the notion of human equality has acquired the fixityof a different kindsofworkdone as forms laborin general of as long as slaves and peasants.2 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. Among these allies one can expect sorcery but of a gardenvarietymanageable throughordinaryshamanistic cures. symbol fromreferent. shadow-foots.Other concepts are analytic. interested in how seemingly Race a One usefulway ofgetting purchaseon therace concept is to traceit to the greatarchaic civilizationsof the Old and the New World.inseparable aspect of it-God's truth and not man-made hocuspocus.Thus Marx put forward interesting the argument that Aristotlewas unable to conceptualize a common denominator all human labor because. it Athena-like fromthe head of Zeus. Beyond the lands of the known barbarians.he thoughtof the labor performed slaves and thatperformed freemen being by by as qualitativelydifferent. Only when it becomes possible to divorcesignifierfromthe signified. culture. barbarians. I hope to contribute this task here.and marry. Periodicallyraising thequestionofwhetherthe unitieswe defineare homogeneous or whether they are betterunderstoodwhen and theyare disaggregated disassemblednot onlyallows us to evaluate concepts we have come to take for granted.to bewareofasserting linkages that are false. of heretics. contrariwise. and in raphonoi.I am also interand ethnicity culture. Forexample.theyare takes on what are assumed to be the enduring.unwilling unpredictable. dogfaces.theBrazilianYanomami. and it responds-must respond-to these forceseven when it strivesforprofessional distance and dispassionate neutrality.Similarly. as a in memberof a slave society.Some conceptsare essentialist.It is one thingto and be impressed the spirituality holiness (baraka) of by a Berberholy man and quite anotherto ask how this is spirituality constructed. rude in manner. I am therefore allow us to think.and ethnicity-has a societal background. and thatbackground has implications for how we conceptualize and use them. conviction" popular (I946:3I). portrayed.warriors and priestswere thought to perform qualitatively incommensurable kindsofwork. suspicious of holisms. and because they appearedto lack articulatelanguage.

it is theirdifferential location on a spatial continuumthat identifiesthem as friendsor hostiles. In addition to externalbarbariansand misshapen people. of the natives on islands of of the Indian Ocean. and Tartars. The trichotomy civilized. the solution was to declare Mohammed a false prophetand the Muslims Turks once again simplified the classificatory problem.in contrast. they also resurrected the arguments about the natureof the monstrousraces of long before. hence human and descendedfrom "the one who was firstcreated.The dominantcivilizationalschemata. Others saw themas fallencreatures. In I45 3. their and move into North Africa soon barred Europeans from easy access to the eastern Mediterranean. however.The Arabs constituteda special problem. Germans. It is importantto rememberhow long the biblical texts continuedto providethe main paradigmsforthe of interpretation human events. Avars. how long it was held that the world was only 6. JuanGines de Sepuilvedaargued that the Indians were naturalslaves because theyweremorelikelybeasts than men. of and barbarians. quoted in Friedman i98i:93). Yet the centripetaltripartite schemeheld fastforlongperiodsoftime. Christian heretics (Jones I97I:392). io6o-i I70. the Portuguesehad expanded their tradeforslaves down the West Africancoast as faras Ghana. St. however. misshapedby sin or guilt. therewere strainsin Chinese Taoism and Buddhismthat offered a and moralcorruption advocating critiqueofrulership by a retreatinto the "mountains and marshes" inhabited by non-Chinese indigenous peoples or inverted the schema of civilizationto look for"blessed lands" ofrefuge and immortality beyondthe confinesof the Middle Kingdom (Bauer I976). As Spaniardsdebated whetherto enslave the Indians of the Americas.no matterhow odd in physicalform language.Christendom inherited the schemata of Classical antiquity and transformed themto fitits own logic and understandings (see Jones monstroushumans was transformed into one of the the faithful.and Saracens could be made to fit moreor less neatlyinto the barbarian a category.experienceddistribution to of social power in geopoliticalspace.D.WOLF Perilous Ideas 13 fortheirinadvertent potentialkillingof one's alter ego destinyanimals. "the many.as longas theywere "ratioor nal mortal"creatures.which like to graze in these far-off forest glades. Bartolome de las Casas. the current and Europe increasingly reversed.Similarly. and how long scholarsof reputeas well as laypersonsclung to the beliefin human descentfrom Adam and Eve and in the tales of Noah and his sons and of the Flood.and the unredeemable. Opinion on thesestrangely formedcreatureswas divided. Withinthe contextof Europe.because theyappeared to be civilized and yet had been seduced by Mohammed. AlthoughHam was occasionally represented the as forefather the Saracens. of Mongols. subcategoryof really vicious barbarians. probablydescendantsof Cain or ofNoah's son Ham.as well as to the geoand graphicalzones in which these life-styles and bodily forms manifest. In this scheme all people are seen as equally benevolent and malevolentand similarin comportment and bodilyform.wicked in theirlusts.and cannibalsto boot.Vikings.Slavery existed. the trade was undoubtedlythe rapid decline of the AmericanIndian populationin the wake of the Spanish and Lusitanianconquests and the increasing demandfor labor on the sugar plantationsof the Caribbean about which Sidney Mintz has writtenso eloquentlyand so well.This association gained intensityas a of rationalization the slave trade when Africareplaced Europeand the Levant as the main source of supplyfor coerced labor."displayingon theirbodies what the forebears had earned by their misdeeds" (Vienna Genesis. In the early Middle Ages.Slavs. importedslaves from the Russian-Turkish borderlands around the Black Sea.but it was not thencolor-specific. unredeemed. A. there were also civilizational schemata forrankinginternal "others"-exemplary representativesof the civilized way of lifeagainsthoi polloi. The Roman Tacitus wrotehis Germania in part as an indictmentof profligateRome in contrast with supposedlystill pristine and virtuousbarbarians-floggingmoral decay and family values is an old theme in history. In the i 5thcentury. who had sinnedagainstGod and were thus supposedlyfitforenslavement. most sourcesassociated him with Ethiopians or Africans. assign differential valuations to salient distinctionsin life-style physicalappearance. arguingin contra. maps still showedhow Noah redistributed and repopulated worldby dividing amonghis the it . and fromthen on Africasouth of the Sahara became a main area of supplyboth forIberia and forthe New World(Greenfield I977. on horseback who came charging oftheEast to threaten out the integrity Christendom-Huns. The advent the of Beyondthe barbariansstill lay the lands of the monstrousraces (Friedman i98i). Augustine thought theywere still capable of salvation. into of theywereretrofitted the subcategory vicious barbarians. are fromthe true and beautifulcenters ofurbanity the demonichillycragsand cavernsofthe to monsterworld.ooo and some yearsold.the OttomanTurks cut off thissource ofsupplywiththe conquestofConstantinople.in which guise they kept appearingbeforethe in as gatesofVienna and most recently Gastarbeiter the Germanies. of "ungentle churls" (Friedman 198i:I02-3). it had been northern and easternEurope that sent slaves to the Islamic Near East.very close to monwas constructed account forthe pastoralists to sters. I97I:38I)." Proximity rulership. in to participation the work of the gods. Verlinden One of the main causes of the intensification of I970). In the later Middle Ages. themid-i5th By century. Augustine's terms that they were rational and hence redeemable." Adam. Magyars.repliedin St. This should not be taken to mean that everybody in civilizationmarched in serriedranks accordingto the dominant schema at all times.ifonlybecause it corresponded a tangible. Phillipsi985. projection of values and idealized and performance-a proximity styles of comportment at once geographical and social thus instituted ranked a scale ofvaluation fromthe paragonsto the stigmatized.

to overcomethe old conceptualsplitbetweenmind and of ogy-its obvious bias and the conflationof physical bodyby focusingon the way the brain and the nervous traits. humanswere descendedfrom first the couple createdby providea materialistlink between brain functionsand It God and differed fromanimals in their possession of temperament.systemconnectedup all organsand muscles in the body menbach. writing duringthe periodsofromanticism and national. and because he thought thatthe Georgiansof the Caucasus mighthave . that the partsofthebrainhad different that you cannot mark out the limits between them. understood as the God-given hierarchical studiesthatstroveto correlatecranialmorphology with chain of organismsthat reachedfromthe lowliest crea. see Barnes i963:I78-238.phisticated techniquesofmeasurement. and governedby caprice. received reinforcement fromthe developmentof new black.this century-long attempt to define the varieties of by of humankind as enduring morphological types.turninfluenced shape ofthe skull thatcontainedthe ers did. who landed on Mt. Simmons I990.and sociological folklorists. if some typescould be lieversin truescience. drew many physiologists pay attento reason. Hill I964. Ham Africa got (Friedman In the i8th century greatclassithe i98i:93)." different andfunctions. on England.orientations physiology. Asians. i90-9i). in This new physiology hoped tion exhibits some enduringcharacteristics raciol.) At the same time. Scholarlyliteratibegan to interpret mained in place until the mid-i95os. and Africans. new science then one could fit them as superiorand inferior the mentsinto the largercosmic scheme of "the greatchain of phrenology generatedan avalanche of craniometric " of being. the initiator phreof tion that Africanswere basically different physique nology (McLaren i98i). still assertedhis belief "on divine testimony"in the descent of all humans fromAdam and Eve. and political-moral behavior.anthropology beginto replacethe old racial essentialism threesons: Japheth Europe.governed law.He held that (Jordanova i986). century He that human varieties "so sensiblypass into the other. withthe resultthatmeasuring bumpson thehead permutationsand combinations thereafter multiplied would reveal clues to the head-owner'spersonality and thenumberofraces. phrenology also appealed greatly anticlericalbeto and moral dispositions. on Germany." race "primaryamong all otherraces. Thus. colonial expansion and imperialismcarriedEuropean flags to the fourcorners ofthe globe and fueledideologiesthatportrayed Euthe ropeanvictorsas energetic.as well as on Prussiacentrichistorians. MacDougall i982.Shem Asia. Mosse I964. humanraces could be placed upon a ladderto perfection. forward-looking.gentle. Despite doubts and occasional criticisms. obstinate.however. Third.(On history i98i:344-45). oth. Bio-moral reddish. derstandhistoryas a struggleof races for dominance sallow. Number i.First.scholars believed that by sorting people a soul separatefromthe body. when Hooton and still typologized nationalhistoriesas accounts of struggles 9.Althoughhe these functionally specificcomponentsof the brain in himselfdid not interpret the variationas degeneration.and regulated custom. the different more than 5. character. He also arguedspecificallyagainst the imputa. because he believed in human descentfroma common stock through Noah.000 separatemeasurementsto the skull. severe. and regressive race makingof the modernkind (see Slotkin I965:I70. Yet he did set up the Caucasians as the originalrace most relevantfor the developmentof raciology-that from which the otherssprangby variation.and governedby law. the "white.tion to the work ofFranzvon Gall. of Linne categorizedthe races of Homo into standard-bearers progress. on France. Gall's books were prohibited to by lines of the churchfortrying do away with the hypothesis to Raciologywas markedby several convergent of thought. of course.was no obvious racist. a new paroxysm and withNational Socialist "racial science. by thinking the increasing and to tendency unEuropeans.effort reachedwitha scholarwho eventually applied logicalrefinement (Lovejoyi964:59). It reached. it was hoped.the ranking to racesfrom those least perfect the most exaltedgained equippedwith a stable bio-moralessence. each riorto the otheranthropomorpha. and ruled by opinion.52i among races.active.retarded. This classifica. FebruaryI994 ism. yet preciselyforthis reaintophysicaltypesone could gaugetheirtemperamental son.assumed racial characteristics. however. With Linne and Blumenbach we are. In the early years of the igth in Gall taughtthat mental activityhad a physical and deficientin rationality. brain.temperament. Americans. that this physical basis was the brain.perdured well to groundbecause it corresponded the ways in which into our times. and thus in need of being liftedup by the i8o.white.moreover. understood. while Johann Blumenbach made the Caucasian. MorganI988. crafty. beenthefirst post-diluvians" (Bernal low I987: 2I9). in energy.Blu. Huss I986.legal scholars. German "historicism"drew on romantic political economists. Dupertuisat HarvardUniversity overthe van. withthe "gentlewhites.however. passive. basis. Barnes I963. who was willing to grouphumans together with apes and monkeys as anthropomorpha.masculine. this "old physical anthropology"refrom of reorganization societyin the transition to the igth century. of skull-bearers ele. Predictably. This new focus would. fierLinne.Irishmales into nine separatemorphologicaltypesand withthe victorsshowingracial superiority quished or the defeatedrising up in righteouswrath labeled each typea distinctiveand separaterace (Hunt Only then did a more dynamicphysical against their corruptand effeteoverlords." Yet even in the many people began to comprehendthe reshuffling the i8th United States. Araratin the Caucasus. Blanckaert I988. The apotheosis of this was in turesto those most perfect theirphysicaland psycho. Generalizedto entirepopulations and elaborated throughever more soshown to be more pure or betterendowed than others." clearlysupe. dynamic.eventually thepointofabsurdity.4 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. goal-oriented and and the vanquished as backward-looking. feminine. Once the game of racial classificationbegan.into sunk in sloth and livingforthe moment.Second.

was not veryuseful to speak of culturein ple createor modify modes of representation general.growthand development.and everywhere would not linguistics.orsin termsofa professional have dealt primarily with the ways in will give way to the most anthropologists uality." His chiefexample ofsuch processeswas the notionof "secondaryinterpreI940[1930]:I65).how traditional mightprompt these efforts rendition.and studyingthem as aggregatesof such traits comogy. these endeav(I98 i) has characterized 447).or constrain nectedness. of biol. Rewrittenand reimaginedversions of Greek heard or have opted to treat the issues with decorous history lifebecame a mainstayofupper-middle-class and and the foundation an educationcelebratof silence. dently announcedthat"thereare no races.Cognitive sex.tropes. Stephen Jay ingHellas as a whollyintegrated culturethathad known Gould's The Mismeasure ofMan (i98i).culturesneeded to be studiedin all theirplural.personalitystudies. pursuing at In ity and particularhistoricity. "that here [in so-called primitivecultures]as in Ohnuki-Tierney morecomplicatedcultures. quoted in Stockingi968:2I3). to and Spengler RuthBenesional opposition.theirstudiestowarda betterunderstanding how peoit theircollectiverepresentations and entiating.WOLF Perilous Ideas 15 with studiesofgeneticdistributions. Butof an environmental transition. theydrewheavilyon studies of literature and point-cultural integration could not be assumed. in reason.it had to be demonstrated. wherepeo.focusing especially on the mechanics of whereit was asserted.to produce concepts or "memorycodes.thereare only of one such model of the Volksgeist. tation. and language." which implied that people build up complex networksof connotationsupon initial denotationsand thatit was incumbentupon anthropologists examine to Culture these "psychic processes" in constructing internal the of Just Boas had disaggregated as racial typologies and scru. assert the uniqueness of each people codes and the elaborationof analogycodes-need to be to how people arriveat culand of its Volksgeistor "folk spirit.EduSuch cognitiveand symbolic strategieshave indeed . Since cultureswere also forever of breakingup and differ. this time with a concern for the be shown to be interconnectedand continuouslyex.physiology. Both processes-the construction memory to Enlightenment. In the United States. genres.so he arguedagainstthe common pre. linguistics. thennot onlyattackedessentialhe ist typologicalthinkingin human biologybut assailed stood that breakingdown culturesinto atomistictraits in similartermsthe resulting conflation history.and evolutionary such unifying because theyhad been imprinted processes.folklore. through "Have symbolicrepresentation we not reason to expect. theirpart.holism at the root of culture. After an interlude that focused on culture-andpulously severed considerationsof race fromconsiderations of culture. was written and was thus worthyof emulation. His drivingconviction that correlatedphenomena do yieldusefulcomprehension how theymighthang toof not need to be causally related led him to the conclu.cognitive and symbolic dimensions of culture. divisionoflabor.Having demonstrated unexpected dict-has employedthe guidingnotion of an ideational an in in variability head form successive generations Eu. and ethnology.and manifest art. there. i962 Frank with admiration In Livingstone (i962:279) confi. psychology.A major by perfection an evolutionary traditionof intellectual thoughtand work-extending biologistand not an anthropologist.synechdoche. They givenbut changingmaterials.cated Germans especially found it attractiveto accept environmental and holistic perspectiveson other culaptations. 267). Yet some have not yet ler i958).mostlywith how memorycodes generatedin different domains are combined and coordinated through the nificant results" (p.Since all culturescould themes and queries.especiallyin Germany. It should give our colleagues pause thatthe one aspirations recent systematic book on the subject. in the I950s.Frobenius.nationsare given condensedrepresentation the form of ple opposed the universalistrationalismof the French of icons. the use of metaphors.generation. often against staunch profes.It had be. gradualchanges in traitsand gene fre. ad.Moreover-and this was a major Boasian interests. age.elaboration analogycodes and thenhow these combiin come quite common. these includingtheirintercon.interdigitations a culture. American anthropologistsbegan suppositionthat each culture constituteda distinctive again.have concernedthemselves of "laws of the integration culture" could "lead to sig. 4 and 6.MatthewArnold." That spiritwas studiedtogether understand of believedto be anchoredin passion and emotion.and deictics." They also hoped to direct of a singlepeople" (Boas.and social organization manifold contradictions?" Given boththe heterogeneity which sense images and sound images can be combined and the historically changing interconnectedness cul. chaps. Nietzsche. But he did offer beginnings a strategy the of for sion that "any attemptto explain cultural formon a thinkingabout how this might work by referring to purely biological basis is doomed to failure" (Boas what he called "psychic processes." he asked (Boas I940[I9331: metonyms. paideia of anthe clines"-that is.He underropeanimmigrants.cient Greece propoundedby the art historian Johann quencies displayedby membersof a species along lines Winckelmann (see Bernal I987: esp. raised these questions." Symbolicanof for tures.it was primarily Wilhelmvon Humboldtthrough FranzBoas who from Hegel. individ.gether.tures. of To thiskindofapproachBoas was opposed.he did not see how attemptsto develop general thropologists.not in turalorderings theirworlds. to address some of the Boasian and separatemonad sui generis.no culturewas due to "the genius wantedto look at culturenot as a typological "as a constitutiveprocess. pounded fromhere. of These argumentshad wider implications.

There is hardlya study of an ethnic group now thatdoes not describehow the locals use "agency" to "constructthemselves" in relationto power and interest.time and again. There has been a markedshift definiin tionsofethnicity from racialistphrasings formulas to of culturaldistinctiveness. basic personala of ity structure."It moves us a considerable on away fromessentialistperspectives culturetowarda constructionist. rank and rulership." eitherin the course of mobilization or in the wake of the effects theyso create. or ratherthan acknowledging strategic its work in layingdown the culturallyparticularand yet potent terms of personhood and gender." There is too much talk about agencyand resistance and too little attentionto how groupsmobilize.forgood reasons.much of the discourseabout agencyand construalstrikesme as undulyvoluntaristic. culTreating ture as secondaryalso recreates. the seeming contradictionbetween earthbound material processesand the free-floating zigzags of the mind." Othersymboliccodes and pantomimes.towardthe idea ofcommondescentas a transgenerational vehicle forthe transmission an authentically of rooted culture. culturalecological core. "Ethnicity"addresses in ways that "culture" does not the fact that culturallymarked entities formparts of largersystems." This novel combinationof culturalism and ethology VerenaStolcke (i992) calls "cultural a fundamentalism. There are also historic changes in how ethnicityis understood therein the nonacademicworldand how out ethnic claims are advanced that need to be confronted and recognized.in one region. This happened. Number i. Some symbolic codes and ways of enacting them are monopolized by dominant elites throughtheirprivilegedaccess to state and economic apparatuses. This occurs preciselyat a time when an ethnic division of laborgrowsmore intenseworldwideand when transna- and yieldedmuch workthatis richin description evocativelyintegrative. It transcends . These studies go some way toward Boas's problematicabout how ideas in culture engaging are brought into association with each other-the how of association and coherencebut not yet the why. Anthropologists have also takenseriously Boas's point aboutoppositionsand contradictions culturebuthave in done littlethinking and about how these heterogeneous and discoursescan intersect.much as Boas saw it.6 1 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.who also exercise less social power.At the same time. I suspect that"culture"is composed and recomposedofdiversely shaped elements. theirown history. ratherthan like a dense tapestry imbricated withrepetitive standardized designs.descent and authority. are But it can also be observedin the way cultural repertoires are differentially distributedwithin a culturebearingpopulation." new and morevirulent way ofstaking out ethnic claims to precedence and power.rooted way elsewhere. There is a shiftfromthe idea of common descentas definedby hereditary biological essence or a hereditarily exclusive gene pool. and are shaped shape. Resourcemobilizationis easiest to perceivewhen our eyes are fixed on political and economic resources. Notions of a common cultural i96i) structure sound a bit underlying this differentiation all too much like a little cultural homunculus built into the everyone through process of socialization or a Maxwell's demon capable of sortingdivergent messages to createnegativeentropy order. class and race. a Marxian proa ductivemode dialecticallycombining infrastructure and superstructure. Peoplehood/Ethnicity talkedmuch ofrace in thelast Although anthropologists and of century thenincreasingly culturein thisone.It was only rarelythat the older literature about culture contact and acculturation raised in questions about power differentials discussions of culturalborrowings fromone culture to anotheror of of the modification existingculturesby novel introductions fromoutside. influence. embeddedin relationsofpower.but thephenomenaofpowerwieldingin the cognitive and symbolic sphere are poorly theorized.I submit.This is. control. belong to groupsoflower ranksand statuses. The whys still elude us. of like the "little-engine-that-could" American children'sliterature-the littlelocomotivethat can accomplish feats of strength throughthe application of will "men make power. but theydo not make it just as they please. There are ongoingstruggles over the distribution redistribution such high-profile and of symbolic goods.and thinkingon these topics usually proceeds quite separatelyfrominquiriesinto culturalmeaning.less highlyvalued or not valued at all. "We have roots here by virtue of descent-you othershave yourdifferent oflife.they constitutewhat PierreBourdieuhas called "culturalcapital. not here. which.natureand the supernatural. how groups shape and reshape their and commitment and to self-images elicit participation are themselves shaped by these representations. Furthermore. filigree ornamentation. new emphasis on the ethnicityfastenedon the ways in which such groups and entitiesarise and definethemselvesas againstothers also engagedin the process of developmentand selfdefinition. FebruaryI994 the bland. I think. and reshape cultural repertoires by them in turn. ethnicityemergedas a hot topic only at the beginningof the sixties. as underthe "old" racism. coupled with a stresson how difficult impossible it is forpeople of different or culturesto live together one city. To quote an older anthropologist. how groupsmobilize and deployresourcesbut do not do this "just as theyplease. Anthropologists have workedwith a numberofdifferent models to represent organizational armatures aroundwhich culturalformscould be said to form-a framework social structure. contradictory perspectives how divergent interestsand orientationscan be made to converge. of how the organization diversity (Wallace is accomplished. suspectthatcultural and I orderingrequires leadership. compositionalpoint of view. and power. and success or failure in these struggles has painful or exhilaratingeffectson peoples' selfdefinitions. all these approachesrelyon defining But thebasic armatures coresin termsthatrender or culture as secondary.notoriously. in one in or nation-state. power-irrelevant relativismof much of the distance talkabout "culture.much to the good.

of Workon what is labelled have become major ideological weapons in "ethnicity.logical ideation into anthropologicalideology. turninganthropobut its transformation into a more contextuallyaware hu.Postof We taken note of Boas's critique of typological thinking Boasians of quite diverse lineage descent have some about races.human interaction. often choose to dismiss the disciplinary fold. have learnedquite a bit in anthropol.remainwithinthe ivory we need to take much greater who discard outaccount of heterogeneity towers of academia." a social collectivity. insistingthat race was a statisticalcategory.studies..What anthropologists Perhapsmost significant.and biologywas Ontario.(In line withthe lattercontention.things.but we are nowherenear the end of the task. comparing"more egalitarian tionalmigration movingeverlarger is numbersofpeople across national frontiers. Wolf states them eletanceofhis contribution we confront intensifying gantly. is my plinary practiceas an Amerindian linguist/symbolic anthropologist. in and incommensuthe ways in which this differentiation obligationto critique producesa poli.when notionsofcultural in thehistory anthropology. have "kin group" or "school.static culturologies. Its relationshipto older ogy.As a historianofNorthAmericananthropology. Wolfsuggestsa crossto plicatethe theoretical premisesofBoasian historical par. point is once more a BoaMy sian one-that claims to ethnicity not the same evare erywhere at all times. so I99OS. in Wolf'sview.In studies of culture our theorizings will. nectedsystemsbut note also thatthismakes ofcultures students of popular culture.London. Boasian tradition idethe is tendto relegateto thejunk pile oftheirprofessional history remains ationallybased. a formboth personaland generalizable..WOLF Perilous Ideas | 7 ticularism. They have a history. cultural Contemporary a problemand not a given: a cultureis a changing mani.some ideas.and still incomplete." live tinder theworldbeyondacademe.not a fixedand unitaryentity. Wolfis most lyricalwhen he offers Boasian critique a of the misuses of the concept of race in the recenthisDARNELL REGNA toryof Europe. In Words. survive.ityforharm-especially. He Conclusion between "lineage segments."the personal distinguishes intellectual genealogies of individual anthropologists It is FranzBoas's enduring legacyto have made us think (Boas to Lesser to Mintz and. and the to us now and to an anthropology the future. de facto. of course.porary. Comments .ground arguI my ment primarilyin published and unpublished documents about the work of Boas and his firstgeneration The argument inseparablefrom disciofstudents. in common.and people/ethnicity termsof theiremergence in especiallyclearat the moment. Anthropologists and contradictions cultural systems and to explore moded racisms. This seems ture. Anthropology in some very is.and or Boas to Voegelin to Hymes to the ethnographers of peoplehood/ethnicity.contemWe politicalstrife.culturalline of evidence.culture. a claim forthe continuing relevanceto genexplanatory eralpublic discourseofredefined conceptsofrace as biological variabilityand culture as diversitiesof learned behaviours.It also means that autonomyand historicallyconstitutedprofessional exethnicitiescome in many varieties and that to call a pertiseofanthropologists. in as the racismsof our times." particularity in beginning the I960s. Wolf's title speaks of "perilous ideas. University Western of of hierarchy racial units was untenable. is recent.Wolf articulateshis relationshipto the Boasian tradition. have enormouscapacies ofethnicity can welcome the changesofperspec. that and and history-differentially stressed in different situations and at different points of conjunction-feeds back in variousways upon theways in which people understand who theyare and wheretheymightbe at any givenhistoricalpoint in time. Ont. social entityan "ethnic" groupis merelythe beginning real sense. Canada N6A 5C2. stud. illness and health.we must understand To of the inquiryratherthan the implementation it. Germany. an constructing argumentthat Boasian theorynot only exists but continues to characterize much of the anthropology done in NorthAmerica.terlyclear that most of the world lies outside the disciand tality.peal to emotionover reason.Wolf'schoice of "people" to gloss remainsforall hands to do. endangered. We should also and "peril" evokes a sense of dangerand difficulty in but not turnourbacks on physicalanthropology support also of challenge and responsibility. In this wonderful and deceptivelysimple paper. This thinkingposes a challenge communicationamong whom I count myself).ideas. etc. Wolfranks the organizingconcepts of race. moreclearlyabout the issues posed by race.Boas was an articulateopponentofNazi DepartmentofAnthropology. the anthropological version of the concept is. and interaction with the pline of anthropology). cannot take forgranted We that changing conditionsof our worlds. As what the conceptsof our disciplinehave to offer the in of larger macrosystems come in many shapes and sizes. inevitably by For the past severalyearsI have been attempting ex. or should. we must remind ourselves of the impor. when theyapwe tivethatplace cultureswithinlarger intraand intercon.to Wolfhimself.rable ethnicitieshave the further tics of meaning and cultural construction and not theircontinueduse in the largerworld of politics and merelyautomaticrepetition inherited of forms. i6 viii 93 and powerfully modified culturallearning. A lot ideas remainsin flux. Wolf's man biologythatcan engagethe development human "ideas" have consequences in the world (and he is utof bodiesin growth and maturation. culdo the ethnic groups subsumed by them. reproduction mor.

and an extremely The "peoplehood" or nationalism/ethnicity." reminder Boas's insistenceon and contradiction culture. Apart from a worthy motive-to laud Sidney Mintz-this shortpiece tracesa verylong genealogyfor ROSEBERRY the conceptofrace.now becomes a body just as did the racism of an earliertheoreticalera.and the like.Britain. to traditional ously engaged. Wolfperhapsdis. cus. Australia. a globalised of Departmentof Sociology. Nevertheless.and I wish to reflect reasonto [the]unreason" of racism.and his inof vince anybut traditional liberalanthropology's staunch.influence.WILLIAM truncatedone forthe notion of DepartmentofAnthropology.the complexity in est defenders. New School forSocial ture.of tics both in the United States and in those partsof the correct.While one might wish to sympathisewith "leadership.La Trobe University. increasingly.S. can no longertherefore merelydismissthe practiceof a politics of difference the contemporary in Wolf'sbriefjourneyinto the historyof anthropological world (the hidden enemy to which I referred above) in in conceptssuffers.emo. First.France.N. my view. reconstructions to explain them. the know how to see individualsas both cre. in my view. especially. in structed the work of Franz Boas (supplemented.by insightsfromthe third).namely. conclusion: eternalvigilance is the price of conceptual of thoughtthat is externalto the historyof modernity. WolfreadsBoas particular to have opposed the German Romantic tradition. then anthropology is anthropology directly implicatedin the ideologiesand that have emergedin the course JOEL S.his argumentis unlikely to con."culturalordering.worldwhereanthropologists have traditionally course.Y. and mentsof a single historyat the same time allows Wolf Moreover. Bundoora.65 Fifth Ave.as con. for itself.I would want for Wolf'sprogramme our disciplinary future revolves to argue at greater lengthbut can here only assert that around the urgencyof transcending the dichotomyof the differences among the discourses of race. culture. materialconditionsand mentalconcepts.quite so cavalier a fashionas Wolfdoes here.have been identified recentacademic discourseand.in problemsinherentin the anthropologicalproject that in which the spiritof a people produceda passionate. in to its analysis providing adherentswith a privileged clarity thebringing bear ofanthropological position from which to criticisemodernity on the essentialismsof contemporary withouthavingto account global society. he is perfectly gone untained considerable respect for the emotional side of challengedto do theirresearch.A. KAHN politics of difference of WesternEuropean and.moreimportant. Sufficeit here to point to a of device that allows him largelyto ignorethe thetwo have been defined contrastively.Wolf worries the continuing debatesover the Enlightenment moand that contemporary constructionsof individual agency dernitythat have their origins in late-i8th-century are "undulyvoluntaristic" and remindsreadersthatan. Germany.Nonetheless. the current practicesofculturalpoliries rationalized and supportedAryan supremacy. Number i. Wielding withinwhich these different expressionsofWesternsoof of power and constructionof social meaning are both ciety'sunderstanding othernesshave arisen. cultures.8 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. unsatisfying two main reasons. FebruaryI994 tribal peoples" in search of alternativeconstructions liberalhumanism'sgeneralprojectof emancipationand anthropological knowledgeare neverseriwhich would not dichotomize or rank races. Formost ofthe history our discipline.and power" involvedin his of Wolf's motivations. U.Insofaras Volksgeist of theo.both biological and here on threeof his observations:his emphasis on the ethnicist. Anthrowithits conceptualarsenal.and ethnicity and the political projectsthat theyimply ther the naive materialismof I960s neo-Marxismnor areless thanWolfwould have us believe and thattracing the polar ideas-in-isolation-from-anything-in-the-realseparategenealogiesdisguisesthe quite specificcontext world idealism is viable three decades later. culture. Research. in tional integration culture.Second. New York. This procedurestrikesme as for anthropology. perhas haps. any genuinemerit Wolf's stimulatingessay invites us to think critically and thatwith it anthropology must continueto "speak and historically about our concepts. partbecause althoughan enemylurks dication of the continuingproblem of explainingculand in tural"association and coherence. Boas re. interrelated elethropologists ative and constrained. a shorter one forthe conceptof cul.) on His argument about culturedraws imperceptively This is not the place to rewriteWolf's justificatory thatabout race. and people.Ifmyfirst assertionis right. The pology. that only the middle of the three.ethnonationalism ethnicgroupclaims to powerhave their"virulent"side. necessaryand interrelated.I2 vIII 93 apparently. I0003. nei.. ethnic on theway to post-WorldWarII cognitiveand symbolic chauvinism." beneaththe surfaceit is never clearlyidentified We are now accustomed to thinkingof "order"in at part because the challenges that enemy poses both to . and peoples.This separationpermitsWolfto claim a scientific and high misses too quickly the culture-and-personality school groundprovidedby a concept of cultureand fromthat which pursuedthese connectionsas a mere "interlude" high ground to attack the practice of racism.as it were. historyof the discipline.separationof what are.and.control. Victoria3083.The device to which I human life alongside the rational in the "psychic refer the attemptto writemore or less separatehistois processes" which were to follow trait-based historical riesofthe threekeyconcepts-race. 8 vII 93 It modernity. message is. to leave himselfout of the analysis.Certainly. froma certainlack of fo.

Box 6ooo. I should like to develop the discussion on a peril which is referred in his remarksbut not developedfully.and political histories. or ecological core in termsof which is culture seen to be secondary. And theremay be groups. We see thismost clearlyin his discussionofrace (themostfully developed of the ideas in this essay) and the tripartite classifications of civilizational core. "to arrange classify"and "to comor mand or make obey"-cognitive and political. What does this have to do with races. relatedproblemis that A ofholdingone dimensionofsocial and culturalrelations constantor relatively stable while rendering anotherdimensiondynamicand contradictory-onthe one hand. U. and collectingrevenue. Y. To the extentthatpeople give credenceto these two geoculturalvalues. He correctly points to a centralproblemwith most schemes-the postulation of an organizaexplanatory tional.A colonial administrator attempting establish orderis to interested gathering in information.O. an overly systematic understandingof capitalism or plow or digging-stick on agriculture. which means thatthereare normsand values which serve to legitimate the world-system a as institutional whole and which receive some important into support. I believe that we all today are living in a singular historicalsystem. and people. economic.SouthAfrican.WOLF Perilous Ideas I 9 least a dual sense. IMMANUEL WALLERSTEIN of FernandBraudel Center.State University New P. Our perilous ideas need to be placed within and and sohistory made centralto the kind of comparative ciologythatWolfand othershave pioneered.and "monstrous races" characteristicof archaic civilizations. counting heads." meaning.maintaininga sense of complexityand contradictionin each domain under considerationand exploringthe mutually constituting in processes of political and cultural ordering specific social-historical fields. it.It to conceptualizahas to do with the ways in which varying the tions play a role in legitimating delegitimating) (or historicalsystemsin which we live.as a as ples? Everything.the posof tulationofa variety cultureriddlesthatcan be solved in termsof the requirementsof the more stable core. and the emergence of social and political strugglesof various sorts. in my view. but it imaginesthe fleshlycarriers those souls living of in families." We still do not adequately understandthe complex interplay among anthropological ideas. The perilousideas thatWolfdiscusses can be seen to be ordering concepts in preciselythis dual sense. thisview. culture. activelyopposingthesevalues. NorthAmericangroundings.A. without such thinking. can onlybe constructed the contextof specificsocial. the other.S. I would further argue that liberal reformism an ideology collapsed-in the sense that it as no longercommands widespreadadherenceand thereforeno longerserves to legitimatethe system-in the "revolutions"(Wallersteini 992a).but we see it as well in his analysisofthe development of each of these concepts in "cauldrons of conflict.as in the now formulaic references a knowledge/power to nexus.Of course. and households before(or as) he attemptsto construct A Christianmission sets out to save souls.but along with even the worstof architectshe imagines an orderedsocial world of tribes. or apathy). He entitles his remarks"perilousideas. barbarians. and it formsin turnthe basis of the widely accepted mythof the primacyand legitimacyof popular sovereignty (within each state). One key geoculturalvalue has been that everystate should be a nation. cultures. Yorkat Binghamton. againstopposition. thisbeing realmeaning theI989 . a broadlysketched"Cartesian revolution" or "modernism"in termsof which a varietyof morespecificand variableculturalconstructs and forms can be arrayed.answers to thewhyquestionsposed by Wolfwill continueto elude us.Thus.I would serting ideologyofliberalreformism argue.these values may be integrated individualsuperegosto varying degreesor not at all. This is what we mean by "citizen" ship. but we understand thatthe connectionsare intimate. But a historicalsystemcannotfunction unless at least some normsand values of this kind prevail (win out. I3902-6000. in in Explanation.ideas about peoplehood and ethnicity need to be understood in termsoftheirconceptualhistoriesand in termsof their and Balkan. they are asthe which.has come to permeatefirstthe core in the igth and as century thenthe periphery well in the 2oth (Wallerstein i 992b). disbelief. historicalsystemhas a geoculture.on thewhole.I take it. I agree. I97os the of andI980s. The role of anthropological ideas in the imagination of social and political orderand the role of particular processesof social and political ordering the formain tion of anthropological ideas are betterrecognizedthan theywere two decades ago.a singularsociety if you will. or. thatthe concepts have multiple usages and historiesand theiruse as oftenadds to our confusionas reduces it. A second key geoculturalvalue has been the beliefthatover time it is possible to amelioratematerial conditionsand move in the directionof greater material equality. villages. Binghamton. I3 VIII 93 Wolfis as usual saying sensible thingsabout the concepts of race.Among its basic structures have been an axial division of labor reflected in a core-periphery polarizationand a political system of sovereignstates bound together within an interstate This singular system.in anothervein. cultural.peoLiberalreformism an ideology.with houses and yards." the wider cultural ordering of complex social relations and processes. This beliefis asserted both internallyto each state and within the as world-system a whole. N. We need to understandthe processes of political and cultural orderingwithout such convenient but misleading conceptual anchoring. that I term the capitalist world-economy.even institutions. the political establishmentof "order. as Wolfinsists. But we have yet to think between order creatively enoughabout the relationship and contradiction.

place theirfaith elsewhere than in states.And it tends to tame any Mintz among the executors of the Boasian legacy and anarchistictendencies they may feel. Sometimesthis even allowed us betterto comprehend ourselves. the importanceof looking at humans simultaneously culturecarriers.Thus.Yet.as oth. look for salvation. U. content.A. .Boas insisted that this was what anthropology cal consequences are oftenveryunpleasant.in theirstate. Anthropology. it to definethe importanceof that legacy for American and at has been an enormously stabilizingdoctrine and a pillar anthropology. way.in its justification merelyfrom for the call for"multiculturalism" the United States and tual curiosity(though this may sufficefor some) but in its equivalents elsewhere. However.. a productof these encounters.to make groupidentity politicallyefficacious. seeking to suppress the demo.place write a historyof anthropology find solutionsto theirproblems.and to do so in a particular in a veryspecificdirection. .reject overlaps. In this sense.Races.raticliberation. Building around this purpose derives definedas lesser breeds)forequal the studyof anthropology (those geoculturally not of motivations intellecin rights thepolis.and ethnicity a tures. as and overlapping."Groupismis also the expressionof anthropologies. among the discourses would argue that this is happeningtoday to a degree Kahn writesthat "the differences and the political projects unknown in the igth and 2oth centuries. Roseberry seconds the point.but-I submit-anthropology would demo. has in factdemurred fraught at grappling with such enterprises."therewere also efforts comprehend to thatother.This is the global panhuman entitywhich Immanuel Wallersteindefinesin his comment as "a singularhiscraticdemand in the name of liberalism.torical system. language.Boas preachedthe importance what now gets approach" in U. . at the hands of some anthropologists the They make me aware thatI oughtto clarify context the existentialist"other" has now been transformed in which my remarkswere written. cul. the capitalist The rise of this systemconfronts us litical answer.of the demand of the underdogs lose sight of this central purpose at its peril. who is one of the leading historiansof anthro. Number I. O'otam. and peoples are not essences. cent but implicatedin efforts conquest and dominaers have said.eitherin the universalizingreligions of "perilousideas" ofwhich Wolfspeaks. however. Instead. First.findsvirtuein my account of Boas and his con. cul.a singular society . this of the existingsystem. FebruaryI994 geoculturalvalue.that analyticand comparativeunderstandings social pology.of race.hic salta! at tion.overthe whole rangeof our similaritiesand differences. has the effectof pressingpeople to tribution. There is. example. races. ever-evolving.and the violence will much increase with a task of understanding similarity beforewe emergefromit. It politicizes people Mintz.My primarypurpose was not. one no longer contained by lieve. Third.linguistic. But of course. The "universalist"response fromour historicalexperienceof worldwideexpansion the diversehuman groupings and culto multiculturalism-the call for "integration"of all thathas brought "citizens" into a single "nation"-is of course a deeply tures into an encompassing networkof relationships. to but to honor Sidney look forsalvation. I wantedto place theirfaithin states.I am pleased that into a bugaboo so impenetrableand incomprehensible of Darnell. hic Rhodus. as Wolf so clearly shows." and variability historicalsystem.Classical anthropology. They have no Second.If this escalates.quite different was about.but it is scarcely or in the philosophicalendeavorsof the Enlightenment.withinthe human species in ways that were never adtribute?One thing surely is a demystification 'the umbratedbefore. We must also engage in the utopistics of inthe alternative venting orderinto which we wish to en. was thus neverinnodirectly Still. I need to distinguishamong race.tem arose out of encounters of the West with "othterat the end ofthiscrisis. perhapsforall anthropology. "groups"-crosscutting. called the "four-field They have no self-evident we are all members of multiple. Irvington.Boas was punctilious and insistent about the has eroded.too. N. We are in the midst of a crisis of our world-economy. I always thought that one of the goals of was to make people aware that ERIC R. This expressesitself. along erness" and that these encounterswere all too often with mayhem and oppression. peoples have therefore new and much more that they imply are less than Wolf would have us beacute political resonance.one needs to remindoneself that if there were efforts dominate or destroy"the to other. 30 VIII 93 and geneticcards theymighthave come to be Inuit or I want to thank my respondentsfor their comments. the politi. and synoptically biological creatures. conservativereaction.IO I CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. ent-if our purpose is to studywhat makes us human demand exclusive loyalties. These are urgentissues to which thereis no easy po. another.people must find their solutions. culture.about the causes of human similaritiesand differences.and culture. of tures.To the extentthat this ideology momentin time. One can conceive ofotherpurposesand other face to "groupism. Kahn remindsus that this encompassingglobal sysenough.in both the past and the presgroups tend to strengthen boundaries.It is all too true. WOLF teachinganthropology but fora different of shuffling the cultural. indeed myriad. with all the othersocial sciences.S." Yet I would reiteratethat fudgingthe distinctionswill lead us astray our purposeis to thinkclearly if of the beliefin the centrality the state.S. and language speakers.Y. forwhateverit is worth. at the same time. anthropologyfixedcontours. What can intellectualscon.and cultural encountershave been virtuallyruled out Reply .

Chicago: of University ChicagoPress.(Historyof 5. ROBBINS. in popularsovereignty Englandand America. FRANK B. i982. I965.but that races. I34. EDWARD E. 289-32I. "Micheletand theuses ofnatural HUSS. Trojans. Beacon remarks were addressedto the concernthat his central CARRASCO. Vol. Phasesin humanperception/ New York:Dover. I988. 536-52. SIDNEY "Madeira and thebeginnings of New World and sugarcane cultivation plantation A slavery: who make that purpose their own.BURLING.pp.also constitutes claim to "a scientific FRIEDMAN. NAPOLEON. I976. The greatchainof being:A of Harvard University could benefitfromtheoretically informed studyofthehistory an idea. AZIZ. including those of anthropological ogy:WilliamEdwards thedoctrine race. Cambridge: anthropology Press. notall theirthought processesclonedfrom identicalpar. and culture. I946 (i867). New York:Seabury WILLIAM PHILLIPS.We urgently need to develop a more sensitive BERNAL. of court. I990. Minnesota droit. purpose.He wants us to be more creative Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Anthropologists anthropologists write. I988.and my BUTLER. or American adigms. I964 (I936).bodand of understandings. the claim that the centralpurposeof anthropol. would HUNT. HARRY ELMER. and Anglo-Saxons. I986. indo-europeennes. ideology. Puritanism in interpretation theEnglish Revolution.GREENFIELD. L'Homme GEORGE L. Race. CHRISTOPHER.(Film. of man. religion. ReYes.) Mass. ASCH. I985. Furthermore. Press. pp. and Dunlap. et ALBERT. I98I.in all the variationsand convergences that this racesin medieval termmay entail. Roseberry'scomment suggeststhat LOVEJOY. manyabout whetheranthropology a future. The mythof theeternal return. FRANZ. I977. The monstrous a art Harvard thought. amongdifferent societies and culturescan producea va.Comparative Studiesin Societyand History I3:376-407. happilysettleforthe small-scaleutopia ofthe discipline American Journal PhysicalAnthropology of 56:339-46. Translated by Eden and CedarPaul. China and thesearchfor classification. Press. KARL.. 2d revised edition. Languagesofnature: ject matter. New York:Pantheon Books. OHNUKI-TIERNEY.I986. The imageofthe barbarian medievalEuin and heterogeneity our subencompassthe complexity of rope. conception/symbolization processes: Cognitive anthropology and symbolic happiness.) Jr. des institutions BENVENISTE. Criticalessayson scienceand literature. "On theorigins French of ethnolrietyof outcomes. JR. New York:Grosset 28:87-II9. M.andSTEPHEN Cambridge: mismeasure The J. MIRCEA. pp. is not all they do.: Documentary Educational Watertown.This is an important message especiallyfor JORDANOVA. Racial myths English in history: of contextwith operationsof inductionand deduction. 198I. otheranthropologies.it is surely BOAS. Reversing SIMMONS. EMIKO." Comparative perspectives lersteinasks that we anthropologists only cultivate not in slavery New World societies. RO GER. I98I. i982. Barbarians Arabeyes. Pouvoir. Vol. Boston:M. Inventing thepeople: The riseof ent. as the encountersamong different Anthropology Editedby GeorgeW. American Ethnologist 8:451-67. 198I. too."in Bones.The Boasian legacyis oftentalked about as ifit Anthropologist 66:20-28.among Norton. Magical and said. WOLFGANG. AnnalsoftheNew York the alternativeorderinto which we wish to inventing Academy of Sciences 29e2. ARTHUR 0. just Madison:University Wisconsin of Press. Boas but ELIZA (I935). I98I. University do equate what anthropologists with the ways in which LIVINGSTONE. reference. 23( MARX. DAVID.WOLF Perilous Ideas I iI ANGUS. Editor. 3-I8. language. New in the ways we think. BRUCE." That claim asserts that there can be a GOULD. A prehistory the social sciences: of in Phrenology France.) London:Dent/New York:Dutton. Montreal: Harvest out That. 2."in Languagesofnature:Criticalessayson scienceand makes a plea forus to be more innovative Roseberry literature.Given the pessimism on the partof Schocken. The old physical has I anthropology. ogy is to address the question of what it means to be ELIADE. behavior: Essays on biological anthropology. I. The crisisof German MOSSE. human. historical writing. House/Hanover London:University and PressofNew England. I964. Slavery from Romantimes to theearlytransatlantic EMILE.. MARTIN. in AL-AZMEH. The tyranny GreeceoverGerin many. Cognition componential and analysis: God's truth hocus-pocus. This also does pire:Myths in and prophecies theAztec tradition.Past and PresEDMUND MORGAN. BAUER. W. R. death. I988. On the non-existence human of write. I99I. Capital. Walthropologists in in study institution on building. LUDMILLA. would be carrying the Boasian legacy. EditedbyLudmillaJordanova.New York:Nordu metal:Histoire represen. pp. Teutons. (Everyman's Library 848. La fumee du tations contactchez les Yanomami(Br6sil). New York: with a unifying generalanthropology. Le vocabulaire trade.Comparative Studiesin Society and History I): 3 -2-2. theconquest:History MC LAREN. thatBoas sketchedout forus. BARNES. I973. and revolution: Studies I964. CLARE A. enterat the end of this crisis. "others"did not all producethe same results. about how we use our abstractionsto characterizeand JONES. I. I97I. A history of I962.Minneapolis: of University Vol.no. New York: of now at a discount. University high ground. New Brunswick: UniverRutgers and dialecticallyinformed sense of how involvements sityPress.ton. Quetzalcoatland theironyof emmessageis not beingheardin the present. Paris:EdiPress. I969. Stocking. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic rootsof Classical civilization.. Cited References . not mean that Boas was rightin everything wrote he AND TIMOTHY CHAGNON. JOHN B. i962. I964.sources. I958 Press. CLAUDE. were isomorphic with Americananthropology. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 3:279. S." Large-scaleutopias are HILL. New Brunswick: those members of our discipline who have come to Rutgers Press. JR. tionsde Minuit.BLANCKAERT. I940. New York: also the case thatnot all anthropologists were alike and FreePress. D. I8-55. of had moreenemies thanfriends his own time. ies. and that therecan be generalan. HUGH.EditedbyVeraRuplantation our small gardenbut also "engage in the utopisticsof bin and Arthur Tuden. discussionsof its unusual mix of observationand grasp MAC DOUGALL. I987.

Write:Alvin W.Calif. nization. A. ogy. Dowson and J. Conferenceon EthnicTra. Theme: Smith's life.080I5 Barcelona.Mendoza.Write:Institutde ProspectivaAntroto Anthropological Contributions ConflictResolupologica. The PivotoftheFourQuarters.S. Race.July I5-i8. U. or HonggangYang.U.The Pleistocene/HoloceneBoundaryand pology. Institute. Editedby R. Wolfe. CarterCenterof EmoryUniversity."in Socialistregister I992: New worldorder.Aberthe ernAfrica.. 96-IIO. New "The collapse of liberal- New Brunswick: British literature. I970.A.A. tion Program.Ithaca:CornellUniversity WALLACE.Ga. .theologian. in 40. William RobertsonSmith Congress.Departmentof Anthro4rt.Atlanta. York:RandomHouse.LeninskyProspect32A. I968. Casilla de Correo 722-CorreoCentral. tion. Congressof AmeriUNMP. coordinator. in July cene/HoloceneBoundary.Plants and Culnual Meeting. STOCKING. burg.Berkeley.Spain. WALLERSTEIN.A.A.Moscow. . September. Geneses9:7-24..I1 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.Sweden.7600 Mar del Plata. U. nise his influence. in to VERENA. The Social and Cultural Originsof Landitional Culture and Folk Knowledge. Politics. South Africa.A. Sweden.S. JR. of Press. FundPublications Anthropology ogy. Instituteof Ethnologyand AnthropolRichman. PAUL.Spain. ThreatenedPeoples and Environments the Americas: 48th International Costas y del Cuaternario.King's College. Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. culture. Old AberdeenAB9 October 3-7. ment of Hebrew and Semitic Languages. Write:Bruce Conference. SymposiumThe PleistoAtlanta. University equal world.Symposiumand Exhibitions. of IMMANUEL.conference 22oo Oakdale Rd.AnApril 27-30.Texts and Images of People. 457. of ModifiedStates of Consciousness.Av. Florence. International One Copenhill.South Africa. librarian and the various academic fieldsthat recogLewis-Williams. Milibandand L. ConflictResolutional Symposium.S. VERLINDEN. ANTHONY F. Russia. tion. JAMES S. Readings SLOTKIN. Scotland.[iw] pp.S.Write:T. DepartDepartment of Archaeology.Ohio 44I I8. U. C. Panitch. Chicago: University ChicagoPress. i992b.Write:William Johnston.and Johannesand work as a Semitist. 30307. London:Merlin. Argentina. Write:OrganizingCommittee.K. Editor.times.encyclopaedist.U.University of Aberdeen. ism. The "right difference" an unSTOLCKE. Ga.University South Florida. Troisideologies une seule?La problematique ou de la modernite. Rusin guage. Johannesburg 2o5o. Fla. i992a. Human Occupations in South America.D.MS.New York: Free Press. Centrode Geologia de 4-9.International OriginsSociety.Viking and evoluGEORGE W.. [iwl WHEATLEY. Moscow II7334. Write:Instituteof Latin America Studies. University the Witwatersof rand. Write:Marcelo Zairate..Interna3362o. Lerida. Shamanism. Calendar International March 2I-24. Rutgers University in earlyanthropolI965. of November.and Power: Representing Bushman People of SouthApril 5-II. European The beginnings moderncoloCHARLES.Rock Art ResearchUnit.Stockholm. Scotland..K. Argentina. I97I.U.S. Number i.Tampa. deen. I96I. in and myth Igth-century Press. SouthernAnthropological Theme: Ethnocognition. FebruaryI994 Cultureand personality. 2d International Congressforthe Study 2UB.S-io6 9I Stockholm. Society. canists.a conference association with the Language sia. U.. i992. Key symposium: tural Context. Cleveland Heights.

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