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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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"Race" has been traced to generatio. publications of cago:University ChicagoPress. Bornin at I923. i966). These notionsare of course not onlyexclusive professional property.. someone who has not been to the rightschools. Number i. and Europeand thePeotury (New York:Harper and of ple Without History (Berkeley Los Angeles:University California Press. Lesser. 4 done fieldworkin Puerto Rico (I948-49)." Greekethnosonce desigof nated just a "bunch. theDepartment Anthropology The Johns i6. on of public understanding.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. I95 I). "generation. these words moreover. University November I99a2. of of thatwe mustremind ourselves theimportance suggests of aboutracesas we confront Boas's critique typological thinking account theintensifying racismsofour time. who stands at the beginning of American anthropology. 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.I959).The race concept has presided over homicide and genocide. of to Contrary the popular saw that "sticks and stones can break your bones. I954. He has His includeSons oftheShaking Earth(Chiter). will thenconI siderthe conceptof culture.I will take up briefly notion of peothe ples.a jibaro or indito. was professor anthropology theUniversity Michigan I96I to I97i beforejoining the facultyat CUNY. "the to cultivation mindsor souls.I98 2).00 for Research.and for anthropology ideas about race and culture and-more recently-about peoplehood or ethnicityhave played that guidingand legitimizing role. MINTZ LECTURE FOR I992 Perilous Ideas Race.I will attendespecially to the conceptofrace. Homer spoke of a flockofanimals or a swarmofbees. ERIC WOLF iS Distinguished Professor Emeritus Herbert of Lehman Collegeand theCityUniversity New YorkGraduate of Center(Bedford ParkBlvd. To accuse someoneoflackingculture.D.S.A. I0468.beinga bez-kulturny the (as Russians say). taught us to be especially attentiveto issues of race and culture. as well as a bunchofpeople (Benveniste i969:90). As bothoffspring criticofthehumancondition. Mintz between anthropology and otherkinds Hopkins wider interplay of of to Lecture. recand ognizethatethnicities come in manyvarieties to call a sothe cial entity "ethnic"group merely beginning theinan is of quiry." "Culture" was first a fieldand only later transferred cultura animi.). a heavyfreight shame and fury.Volume 35."to beused to talk about cultivating get. U. Wolf and or have long Ideas aboutrace. theyformpart of the stock of ideas of much widerpublics who discuss themin moreextended and less academic terms. is to declare that someone lacks culturalcapital and should not be allowed into the Atheneum or the Escambron Beach Club.especiallythe idea thathumans depend heavily on behavior that is learned. Peasants(Englewood CenCliffs: Prentice-Hall.and that this capacity forlearninghas fostered the proliferation quite varied bodies of thoughtand of action.and Boas have insisted on and that we must heed. Culture.a red-neckor hayseed. notions about the biological variabilityof the species and about the possibleimplicationsof this variability. This. in The present paperwas submitted finalform v 93. is somethingthat Mintz.not inborn. Mexico (i95i-52. Peasant Warsofthe Twentieth and Row. i956).West. butwordscan neverhurtyou." thesewords-as Morton Friedsaid-can injuremind and body. N. carry . Franz Boas. This paperwas delivered."fromthe Latin generare. And one of the ways of manifesting ethnicityis now to don a camouflagesuit and graban AK47. This relationbetween professionaldialect and more generaldiscourseneeds to be understoodas part of the as i.This was trueeven when they firstcame into usage.because it remainsa majorsource in ofdemonology this country and in the worldand anhas thropology a major obligationto speak reasonto unreason. he was educated Queens College(B. FebruaryI994 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ? I994 byThe Wenner-Gren All reserved OOII-3204/94/350I-OOOI$2.I946) and Columof bia University at (Ph. 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. too..Bronx.People' by Eric R. Thus. After teaching a variety instituat of he of tions. i969)." without reference descent or to politicalcohesion.A.Y. The discipline did not spring Usedin ourtime. Finally.culture. I intend to focus on the concept of race.takemuchgreater ofheterogeneity contradictions cultural in and and systems. peoplehood ethnicity to and its served orient anthropology's inquiries justify existence. rights Foundation Anthropological SIDNEY W. the inauguralSidneyW. and anthropolto ogybearsa specialresponsibility examinethe commonplaces ofits thought thefighting and wordsofits speechand to subject themto resolute The present contribution thistask to analysis.
he thoughtof the labor performed slaves and thatperformed freemen being by by as qualitativelydifferent. as a in memberof a slave society. 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. culture.and marry. 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.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. and in raphonoi. in interested what the conceptsofrace.theBrazilianYanomami. rude in manner.Most of them developedmodels of thecosmologicalorder which an exemplary in center-a a metropolis. mothercity-occupied the pivotal point ofintersection all the directions the cosmos. both Christianand Muslim: men "whose heads growbeneaththeirshoulders"(Shakespeare). barbarians.2 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. symbol fromreferent. One couldnot think of for Islamicparallels Al-Azmeh see i992). and . Forexample. Beyondthe civilizationalcore areas lay the lands of the clad in skins.but rendering laborpoweruniversally exchangeablebymeans ofmoneyas a commondenominatorpermitted this new way of thought. and it responds-must respond-to these forceseven when it strivesforprofessional distance and dispassionate neutrality.warriors and priestswere thought to perform qualitatively incommensurable kindsofwork.I thinkof ideas as "takes" on the phenomenaof this world and as instructionsabout how to combine these takes to ascertaintheirconnectionsor. and aggressivein disposition.true natureof a phenomenon.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. it Athena-like fromthe head of Zeus.Some conceptsare essentialist. it comes out of the cauldronsof conflictthat cooked up much of the toil and troubleofpast centuries.Similarly.gluttonous.where of of theyenacted collective rituals to maintain the orderof the world and fromwhich they deployedthe power to it ensure (Carrasco i982.bar-bar-speakers Aristotle's view this made themnaturalslaves and outcasts.and attend ally one another'sfunerary rites.I am also interand ethnicity culture.in which all partakeofeach other's vital substance by drinkingdown the ashes of the honoreddead in plantain soup. Beyond the lands of the known barbarians. portrayed. suspicious of holisms. one can talk about Christiancommunionand elite Aztec cannibalism as convergent formsof communicationwith the divine.Thus Marx put forward interesting the argument that Aristotlewas unable to conceptualize a common denominator all human labor because. in the trenchantphrasing of Robbins Burling (i964). and many more (Friedman These hierarchically deployed and ranked schemata may be comparedwith those of more egalitariantribal people. also begin theirsortingof people with a local cluster. 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. conviction" popular (I946:3I).and ethnicity-has a societal background. ear-furlers. there could probably no anthropology religionor studyof be of comparative religionas long as the religions believers.substantive. FebruaryI994 whole phenomenaare put together. to Each of these threeconcepts-race. I am therefore allow us to think. I hope to contribute this task here. and skills of performance are requiredto be a convincingagurram. of heretics.insofaras it is generalized human labor. I also think that particulartakes are promptedby background conditions and limited by theseconditions. contrariwise." whom the Roman Plinius catalogued formedieval posterity. to essential. Among these allies one can expect sorcery but of a gardenvarietymanageable throughordinaryshamanistic cures. fromwhom one is separatedfirstby raidingand counand terraiding second bywarpathsorcery (raidsin which pathogenicsubstancesare supposedlydepositedin each other'scamp). with each otherin war. Only when it becomes possible to divorcesignifierfromthe signified. shadow-foots.theyare takes on what are assumed to be the enduring. Eliade I965. upside-down walkers. also allows us to thinkbetter.in theircase of fouror fivelocal groups thatintermarry. lay the countryof "the monstrous races. and because they appearedto lack articulatelanguage. ceryat a distance(see Chagnonand Asch I973). Beyond this core of allies live active enemies whom one does not with whom one does not exchangeor feast. "The riddleof the expressionof value is solved when we know that all labor. inherent.knowledge.Other concepts are analytic.inseparable aspect of it-God's truth and not man-made hocuspocus.where the only trueand beautifullife could be lived. and religious guidance. They were barba(Homer Iliad 2.unwilling unpredictable. to hold themapart. people with one eye in the middle of theirforeheads. dogfaces. The Greeks and Romans saw these people as not quite human because theydid not live'in cities. Wheatley I97I). and heathenseemed whollyincommensurable and as long as the symbolic value of an object or an act was thought be an intrinsic. and thatbackground has implications for how we conceptualize and use them. engineered-what kinds of credentials. to submit to law. rule.according to Albert(i988). mouthless apple smellers.to bewareofasserting linkages that are false.867). 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. ested in how theyallow us to think.is oflike kindand ofequal worth. Number i.
Bartolome de las Casas. probablydescendantsof Cain or ofNoah's son Ham. however. 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. Avars. importedslaves from the Russian-Turkish borderlands around the Black Sea. io6o-i I70.the OttomanTurks cut off thissource ofsupplywiththe conquestofConstantinople. the Portuguesehad expanded their tradeforslaves down the West Africancoast as faras Ghana. A.This association gained intensityas a of rationalization the slave trade when Africareplaced Europeand the Levant as the main source of supplyfor coerced labor. 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. As Spaniardsdebated whetherto enslave the Indians of the Americas.experienceddistribution to of social power in geopoliticalspace. it had been northern and easternEurope that sent slaves to the Islamic Near East. who had sinnedagainstGod and were thus supposedlyfitforenslavement. misshapedby sin or guilt. In the later Middle Ages. their and move into North Africa soon barred Europeans from easy access to the eastern Mediterranean. In I45 3. in to participation the work of the gods. Yet the centripetaltripartite schemeheld fastforlongperiodsoftime. there were also civilizational schemata forrankinginternal "others"-exemplary representativesof the civilized way of lifeagainsthoi polloi. AlthoughHam was occasionally represented the as forefather the Saracens.which like to graze in these far-off forest glades. Germans.as longas theywere "ratioor nal mortal"creatures. In the i 5thcentury. Christian heretics (Jones I97I:392).very close to monwas constructed account forthe pastoralists to sters. into of theywereretrofitted the subcategory vicious barbarians." Proximity rulership.as well as to the geoand graphicalzones in which these life-styles and bodily forms manifest. assign differential valuations to salient distinctionsin life-style physicalappearance. of "ungentle churls" (Friedman 198i:I02-3). St."displayingon theirbodies what the forebears had earned by their misdeeds" (Vienna Genesis.Vikings.wicked in theirlusts. The advent the of Beyondthe barbariansstill lay the lands of the monstrousraces (Friedman i98i).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 the unredeemable. on horseback who came charging oftheEast to threaten out the integrity Christendom-Huns. Others saw themas fallencreatures. subcategoryof really vicious barbarians. In this scheme all people are seen as equally benevolent and malevolentand similarin comportment and bodilyform.because theyappeared to be civilized and yet had been seduced by Mohammed. arguingin contra.repliedin St. of and barbarians.The Arabs constituteda special problem.no matterhow odd in physicalform language. 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. This should not be taken to mean that everybody in civilizationmarched in serriedranks accordingto the dominant schema at all times. Opinion on thesestrangely formedcreatureswas divided.Slavery existed. JuanGines de Sepuilvedaargued that the Indians were naturalslaves because theyweremorelikelybeasts than men. the current and Europe increasingly reversed.Slavs. how long it was held that the world was only 6.Similarly. quoted in Friedman i98i:93). In addition to externalbarbariansand misshapen people. It is importantto rememberhow long the biblical texts continuedto providethe main paradigmsforthe of interpretation human events. Augustine's terms that they were rational and hence redeemable. 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). unredeemed.ifonlybecause it corresponded a tangible. however. of Mongols.but it was not thencolor-specific. Verlinden One of the main causes of the intensification of I970). the solution was to declare Mohammed a false prophetand the Muslims Turks once again simplified the classificatory problem. of the natives on islands of of the Indian Ocean. and Tartars." Adam. and fromthen on Africasouth of the Sahara became a main area of supplyboth forIberia and forthe New World(Greenfield I977.ooo and some yearsold. 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 Saracens could be made to fit moreor less neatlyinto the barbarian a category. are fromthe true and beautifulcenters ofurbanity the demonichillycragsand cavernsofthe to monsterworld. I97I:38I). themid-i5th By century.in which guise they kept appearingbeforethe in as gatesofVienna and most recently Gastarbeiter the Germanies. maps still showedhow Noah redistributed and repopulated worldby dividing amonghis the it . Magyars.and cannibalsto boot. most sourcesassociated him with Ethiopians or Africans.WOLF Perilous Ideas 13 fortheirinadvertent potentialkillingof one's alter ego destinyanimals. hence human and descendedfrom "the one who was firstcreated. they also resurrected the arguments about the natureof the monstrousraces of long before. "the many. The trichotomy civilized.D.The dominantcivilizationalschemata. Augustine thought theywere still capable of salvation.it is theirdifferential location on a spatial continuumthat identifiesthem as friendsor hostiles. Withinthe contextof Europe. In the early Middle Ages.in contrast.
" race "primaryamong all otherraces. This classifica. the "white.perdured well to groundbecause it corresponded the ways in which into our times. crafty. and governedby caprice. that the partsofthebrainhad different that you cannot mark out the limits between them.orientations physiology. of Linne categorizedthe races of Homo into standard-bearers progress.and governedby law. and thus in need of being liftedup by the i8o. passive. Scholarlyliteratibegan to interpret mained in place until the mid-i95os. fierLinne. of skull-bearers ele. humanswere descendedfrom first the couple createdby providea materialistlink between brain functionsand It God and differed fromanimals in their possession of temperament.000 separatemeasurementsto the skull. and because he thought thatthe Georgiansof the Caucasus mighthave . MorganI988. derstandhistoryas a struggleof races for dominance sallow.systemconnectedup all organsand muscles in the body menbach. Third.temperament. Asians. With Linne and Blumenbach we are. writing duringthe periodsofromanticism and national. goal-oriented and and the vanquished as backward-looking.masculine. and regressive race makingof the modernkind (see Slotkin I965:I70.retarded. and ruled by opinion. Simmons I990. drew many physiologists pay attento reason. received reinforcement fromthe developmentof new black. Bio-moral reddish. Barnes I963. MacDougall i982. FebruaryI994 ism. In the early years of the igth in Gall taughtthat mental activityhad a physical and deficientin rationality. 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. dynamic. He also arguedspecificallyagainst the imputa.this century-long attempt to define the varieties of by of humankind as enduring morphological types. forward-looking.eventually thepointofabsurdity. the initiator phreof tion that Africanswere basically different physique nology (McLaren i98i).Shem Asia. Huss I986. Mosse I964. feminine. that this physical basis was the brain.legal scholars. yet preciselyforthis reaintophysicaltypesone could gaugetheirtemperamental son. colonial expansion and imperialismcarriedEuropean flags to the fourcorners ofthe globe and fueledideologiesthatportrayed Euthe ropeanvictorsas energetic. who landed on Mt.52i among races. on England.tion to the work ofFranzvon Gall.Althoughhe these functionally specificcomponentsof the brain in himselfdid not interpret the variationas degeneration.however. humanraces could be placed upon a ladderto perfection. this "old physical anthropology"refrom of reorganization societyin the transition to the igth century. the different more than 5.moreover. Despite doubts and occasional criticisms. obstinate.anthropology beginto replacethe old racial essentialism threesons: Japheth Europe.phisticated techniquesofmeasurement. Araratin the Caucasus. Americans.He held that (Jordanova i986). oth. Hill I964. beenthefirst post-diluvians" (Bernal low I987: 2I9).into sunk in sloth and livingforthe moment. by thinking the increasing and to tendency unEuropeans." clearlysupe. The apotheosis of this was in turesto those most perfect theirphysicaland psycho. see Barnes i963:I78-238." different andfunctions.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. phrenology also appealed greatly anticlericalbeto and moral dispositions. and Africans.turninfluenced shape ofthe skull thatcontainedthe ers did. basis. century He that human varieties "so sensiblypass into the other. It reached.assumed racial characteristics. if some typescould be lieversin truescience.to overcomethe old conceptualsplitbetweenmind and of ogy-its obvious bias and the conflationof physical bodyby focusingon the way the brain and the nervous traits.active. character.however.) At the same time.and sociological folklorists. understood.as well as on Prussiacentrichistorians.Second. a new paroxysm and withNational Socialist "racial science. Thus. while Johann Blumenbach made the Caucasian. Ham Africa got (Friedman In the i8th century greatclassithe i98i:93). Generalizedto entirepopulations and elaborated throughever more soshown to be more pure or betterendowed than others.(On history i98i:344-45).effort reachedwitha scholarwho eventually applied logicalrefinement (Lovejoyi964:59). it was hoped. Gall's books were prohibited to by lines of the churchfortrying do away with the hypothesis to Raciologywas markedby several convergent of thought. still assertedhis belief "on divine testimony"in the descent of all humans fromAdam and Eve. withthe resultthatmeasuring bumpson thehead permutationsand combinations thereafter multiplied would reveal clues to the head-owner'spersonality and thenumberofraces.scholars believed that by sorting people a soul separatefromthe body. Yet he did set up the Caucasians as the originalrace most relevantfor the developmentof raciology-that from which the otherssprangby variation. Dupertuisat HarvardUniversity overthe van.the ranking to racesfrom those least perfect the most exaltedgained equippedwith a stable bio-moralessence.First. Number i. in This new physiology hoped tion exhibits some enduringcharacteristics raciol. in energy. on France. severe.governed law. of course." Yet even in the many people began to comprehendthe reshuffling the i8th United States. each riorto the otheranthropomorpha. and political-moral behavior.was no obvious racist.and regulated custom. withthe "gentlewhites.Blu. when Hooton and still typologized nationalhistoriesas accounts of struggles 9. understood as the God-given hierarchical studiesthatstroveto correlatecranialmorphology with chain of organismsthat reachedfromthe lowliest crea. because he believed in human descentfroma common stock through Noah. however.white.gentle.4 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. brain. i90-9i). who was willing to grouphumans together with apes and monkeys as anthropomorpha. This new focus would. Predictably. German "historicism"drew on romantic political economists. Blanckaert I988. on Germany. Once the game of racial classificationbegan.
he did not see how attemptsto develop general thropologists.It had be. Stephen Jay ingHellas as a whollyintegrated culturethathad known Gould's The Mismeasure ofMan (i98i)." Symbolicanof for tures." They also hoped to direct of a singlepeople" (Boas.to produce concepts or "memorycodes. "that here [in so-called primitivecultures]as in Ohnuki-Tierney morecomplicatedcultures. They givenbut changingmaterials.how traditional mightprompt these efforts rendition. to and Spengler RuthBenesional opposition. theydrewheavilyon studies of literature and point-cultural integration could not be assumed. individ.and manifest art. linguistics. Yet some have not yet ler i958). In the United States. wherepeo. assert the uniqueness of each people codes and the elaborationof analogycodes-need to be to how people arriveat culand of its Volksgeistor "folk spirit. raised these questions. His drivingconviction that correlatedphenomena do yieldusefulcomprehension how theymighthang toof not need to be causally related led him to the conclu. i962 Frank with admiration In Livingstone (i962:279) confi.growthand development.elaboration analogycodes and thenhow these combiin come quite common. often against staunch profes.or constrain nectedness.and studyingthem as aggregatesof such traits comogy.especiallyin Germany. thennot onlyattackedessentialhe ist typologicalthinkingin human biologybut assailed stood that breakingdown culturesinto atomistictraits in similartermsthe resulting conflation history.He underropeanimmigrants. pounded fromhere. gradualchanges in traitsand gene fre. 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.it was primarily Wilhelmvon Humboldtthrough FranzBoas who from Hegel. psychology.Since all culturescould themes and queries. of To thiskindofapproachBoas was opposed.generation.cognitive and symbolic dimensions of culture. American anthropologistsbegan suppositionthat each culture constituteda distinctive again. Nietzsche. of biol. the use of metaphors. 4 and 6.gether. It should give our colleagues pause thatthe one aspirations recent systematic book on the subject.it had to be demonstrated.and everywhere would not linguistics. in reason. age. chaps.have concernedthemselves of "laws of the integration culture" could "lead to sig.cient Greece propoundedby the art historian Johann quencies displayedby membersof a species along lines Winckelmann (see Bernal I987: esp.theirstudiestowarda betterunderstanding how peoit theircollectiverepresentations and entiating." 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. tation. was written and was thus worthyof emulation.folklore.Moreover-and this was a major Boasian interests.physiology.interdigitations a culture.mostlywith how memorycodes generatedin different domains are combined and coordinated through the nificant results" (p. 267).A major by perfection an evolutionary traditionof intellectual thoughtand work-extending biologistand not an anthropologist.and evolutionary such unifying because theyhad been imprinted processes.and deictics. Both processes-the construction memory to Enlightenment.so he arguedagainstthe common pre. pursuing at In ity and particularhistoricity. Butof an environmental transition." That spiritwas studiedtogether understand of believedto be anchoredin passion and emotion. dently announcedthat"thereare no races. 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. these includingtheirintercon.Having demonstrated unexpected dict-has employedthe guidingnotion of an ideational an in in variability head form successive generations Eu. genres.culturesneeded to be studiedin all theirplural. through "Have symbolicrepresentation we not reason to expect.nationsare given condensedrepresentation the form of ple opposed the universalistrationalismof the French of icons." His chiefexample ofsuch processeswas the notionof "secondaryinterpreI940:I65). in the I950s. paideia of anthe clines"-that is.cated Germans especially found it attractiveto accept environmental and holistic perspectiveson other culaptations. of These argumentshad wider implications. was not veryuseful to speak of culturein ple createor modify modes of representation general. divisionoflabor. ad.personalitystudies.no culturewas due to "the genius wantedto look at culturenot as a typological "as a constitutiveprocess. quoted in Stockingi968:2I3)." he asked (Boas I940[I9331: metonyms. Since cultureswere also forever of breakingup and differ.WOLF Perilous Ideas 15 with studiesofgeneticdistributions.not in turalorderings theirworlds. to address some of the Boasian and separatemonad sui generis.tures. and ethnology.and social organization manifold contradictions?" Given boththe heterogeneity which sense images and sound images can be combined and the historically changing interconnectedness cul. these endeav(I98 i) has characterized 447).tropes.holism at the root of culture. and language. After an interlude that focused on culture-andpulously severed considerationsof race fromconsiderations of culture. this time with a concern for the be shown to be interconnectedand continuouslyex.Frobenius.orsin termsofa professional have dealt primarily with the ways in will give way to the most anthropologists uality.EduSuch cognitiveand symbolic strategieshave indeed . there.MatthewArnold. theirpart.thereare only of one such model of the Volksgeist.Cognitive sex.focusing especially on the mechanics of whereit was asserted.synechdoche.
in one in or nation-state. culturalecological core.This is.much of the discourseabout agencyand construalstrikesme as undulyvoluntaristic. or ratherthan acknowledging strategic its work in layingdown the culturallyparticularand yet potent terms of personhood and gender.towardthe idea ofcommondescentas a transgenerational vehicle forthe transmission an authentically of rooted culture. coupled with a stresson how difficult impossible it is forpeople of different or culturesto live together one city. 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.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.descent and authority. FebruaryI994 the bland. There is hardlya study of an ethnic group now thatdoes not describehow the locals use "agency" to "constructthemselves" in relationto power and interest. I suspect that"culture"is composed and recomposedofdiversely shaped elements. 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. It transcends . culTreating ture as secondaryalso recreates. new emphasis on the ethnicityfastenedon the ways in which such groups and entitiesarise and definethemselvesas againstothers also engagedin the process of developmentand selfdefinition. of how the organization diversity (Wallace is accomplished. embeddedin relationsofpower.rooted way elsewhere. This happened. ethnicityemergedas a hot topic only at the beginningof the sixties.who also exercise less social power.less highlyvalued or not valued at all.natureand the supernatural. as underthe "old" racism. power-irrelevant relativismof much of the distance talkabout "culture. Anthropologists have also takenseriously Boas's point aboutoppositionsand contradictions culturebuthave in done littlethinking and about how these heterogeneous and discoursescan intersect. Peoplehood/Ethnicity talkedmuch ofrace in thelast Although anthropologists and of century thenincreasingly culturein thisone.notoriously. There are ongoingstruggles over the distribution redistribution such high-profile and of symbolic goods.in one region. This occurs preciselyat a time when an ethnic division of laborgrowsmore intenseworldwideand when transna- and yieldedmuch workthatis richin description evocativelyintegrative. basic personala of ity structure." This novel combinationof culturalism and ethology VerenaStolcke (i992) calls "cultural a fundamentalism. There has been a markedshift definiin tionsofethnicity from racialistphrasings formulas to of culturaldistinctiveness." There is too much talk about agencyand resistance and too little attentionto how groupsmobilize. rank and rulership.I submit. Number i. filigree ornamentation. are But it can also be observedin the way cultural repertoires are differentially distributedwithin a culturebearingpopulation. all these approachesrelyon defining But thebasic armatures coresin termsthatrender or culture as secondary. of like the "little-engine-that-could" American children'sliterature-the littlelocomotivethat can accomplish feats of strength throughthe application of will "men make power. The whys still elude us. influence. a Marxian proa ductivemode dialecticallycombining infrastructure and superstructure. how groupsmobilize and deployresourcesbut do not do this "just as theyplease.forgood reasons. and success or failure in these struggles has painful or exhilaratingeffectson peoples' selfdefinitions. "We have roots here by virtue of descent-you othershave yourdifferent oflife. ratherthan like a dense tapestry imbricated withrepetitive standardized designs. contradictory perspectives how divergent interestsand orientationscan be made to converge.much as Boas saw it. Anthropologists have workedwith a numberofdifferent models to represent organizational armatures aroundwhich culturalformscould be said to form-a framework social structure. how groups shape and reshape their and commitment and to self-images elicit participation are themselves shaped by these representations. suspectthatcultural and I orderingrequires leadership. I think. Some symbolic codes and ways of enacting them are monopolized by dominant elites throughtheirprivilegedaccess to state and economic apparatuses.they constitutewhat PierreBourdieuhas called "culturalcapital. There is a shiftfromthe idea of common descentas definedby hereditary biological essence or a hereditarily exclusive gene pool. not here. class and race." new and morevirulent way ofstaking out ethnic claims to precedence and power. compositionalpoint of view. belong to groupsoflower ranksand statuses."It moves us a considerable on away fromessentialistperspectives culturetowarda constructionist. and reshape cultural repertoires by them in turn." Othersymboliccodes and pantomimes. control. which. 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. To quote an older anthropologist.time and again.and thinkingon these topics usually proceeds quite separatelyfrominquiriesinto culturalmeaning. theirown history.but thephenomenaofpowerwieldingin the cognitive and symbolic sphere are poorly theorized." eitherin the course of mobilization or in the wake of the effects theyso create. Furthermore.At the same time. and are shaped shape. and power. the seeming contradictionbetween earthbound material processesand the free-floating zigzags of the mind. "Ethnicity"addresses in ways that "culture" does not the fact that culturallymarked entities formparts of largersystems. Resourcemobilizationis easiest to perceivewhen our eyes are fixed on political and economic resources.6 1 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. but theydo not make it just as they please.much to the good.
but we are nowherenear the end of the task. cannot take forgranted We that changing conditionsof our worlds. a claim forthe continuing relevanceto genexplanatory eralpublic discourseofredefined conceptsofrace as biological variabilityand culture as diversitiesof learned behaviours. a formboth personaland generalizable.to Wolfhimself. moreclearlyabout the issues posed by race."the personal distinguishes intellectual genealogies of individual anthropologists It is FranzBoas's enduring legacyto have made us think (Boas to Lesser to Mintz and.ground arguI my ment primarilyin published and unpublished documents about the work of Boas and his firstgeneration The argument inseparablefrom disciofstudents. Anthropologists and contradictions cultural systems and to explore moded racisms. He Conclusion between "lineage segments. we must remind ourselves of the impor. Wolf states them eletanceofhis contribution we confront intensifying gantly.not a fixedand unitaryentity. and the to us now and to an anthropology the future. 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. cultural Contemporary a problemand not a given: a cultureis a changing mani. of Workon what is labelled have become major ideological weapons in "ethnicity. University Western of of hierarchy racial units was untenable. As what the conceptsof our disciplinehave to offer the in of larger macrosystems come in many shapes and sizes. We should also and "peril" evokes a sense of dangerand difficulty in but not turnourbacks on physicalanthropology support also of challenge and responsibility. the anthropological version of the concept is." a social collectivity. in as the racismsof our times. turninganthropobut its transformation into a more contextuallyaware hu.terlyclear that most of the world lies outside the disciand tality.human interaction.WOLF Perilous Ideas | 7 ticularism. have learnedquite a bit in anthropol.contemWe politicalstrife. stud. Boasian tradition idethe is tendto relegateto thejunk pile oftheirprofessional history remains ationallybased. Ont.peal to emotionover reason. of course. have "kin group" or "school. In this wonderful and deceptivelysimple paper. or should. often choose to dismiss the disciplinary fold. etc.logical ideation into anthropologicalideology.some ideas. is recent. Wolf's title speaks of "perilous ideas.static culturologies.and or Boas to Voegelin to Hymes to the ethnographers of peoplehood/ethnicity.London. Anthropology in some very is.when notionsofcultural in thehistory anthropology.rable ethnicitieshave the further tics of meaning and cultural construction and not theircontinueduse in the largerworld of politics and merelyautomaticrepetition inherited of forms.ityforharm-especially. illness and health. endangered.remainwithinthe ivory we need to take much greater who discard outaccount of heterogeneity towers of academia. when theyapwe tivethatplace cultureswithinlarger intraand intercon.and people/ethnicity termsof theiremergence in especiallyclearat the moment.Wolf articulateshis relationshipto the Boasian tradition. This seems ture.It also means that autonomyand historicallyconstitutedprofessional exethnicitiescome in many varieties and that to call a pertiseofanthropologists. They have a history.and biologywas Ontario. Germany.things.culturalline of evidence. in Wolf'sview. Wolfsuggestsa crossto plicatethe theoretical premisesofBoasian historical par. A lot ideas remainsin flux.Wolf'schoice of "people" to gloss remainsforall hands to do.porary. inevitably by For the past severalyearsI have been attempting ex.ideas. de facto. insistingthat race was a statisticalcategory. reproduction mor." particularity in beginning the I960s.(In line withthe lattercontention.studies. in common. 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. nectedsystemsbut note also thatthismakes ofcultures students of popular culture. have enormouscapacies ofethnicity can welcome the changesofperspec. Canada N6A 5C2.we must understand To of the inquiryratherthan the implementation it.As a historianofNorthAmericananthropology.In studies of culture our theorizings will.. so I99OS. Its relationshipto older ogy. survive. i6 viii 93 and powerfully modified culturallearning. and interaction with the pline of anthropology). is my plinary practiceas an Amerindian linguist/symbolic anthropologist.What anthropologists Perhapsmost significant. Wolfranks the organizingconcepts of race.Postof We taken note of Boas's critique of typological thinking Boasians of quite diverse lineage descent have some about races.and still incomplete. an constructing argumentthat Boasian theorynot only exists but continues to characterize much of the anthropology done in NorthAmerica.. This thinkingposes a challenge communicationamong whom I count myself). comparing"more egalitarian tionalmigration movingeverlarger is numbersofpeople across national frontiers. In Words.Boas was an articulateopponentofNazi DepartmentofAnthropology. social entityan "ethnic" groupis merelythe beginning real sense.culture. Wolfis most lyricalwhen he offers Boasian critique a of the misuses of the concept of race in the recenthisDARNELL REGNA toryof Europe." live tinder theworldbeyondacademe. in and incommensuthe ways in which this differentiation obligationto critique producesa poli. Comments . point is once more a BoaMy sian one-that claims to ethnicity not the same evare erywhere at all times.
) on His argument about culturedraws imperceptively This is not the place to rewriteWolf's justificatory thatabout race. partbecause althoughan enemylurks dication of the continuingproblem of explainingculand in tural"association and coherence.65 Fifth Ave. Anthrowithits conceptualarsenal. culture.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.namely.now becomes a body just as did the racism of an earliertheoreticalera.A.Insofaras Volksgeist of theo. in tional integration culture.moreimportant.France."culturalordering.La Trobe University.Ifmyfirst assertionis right. culture. and mentsof a single historyat the same time allows Wolf Moreover. Victoria3083. 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. cultures. he is perfectly gone untained considerable respect for the emotional side of challengedto do theirresearch. froma certainlack of fo.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. Boas re.both biological and here on threeof his observations:his emphasis on the ethnicist. any genuinemerit Wolf's stimulatingessay invites us to think critically and thatwith it anthropology must continueto "speak and historically about our concepts." beneaththe surfaceit is never clearlyidentified We are now accustomed to thinkingof "order"in at part because the challenges that enemy poses both to .separationof what are.Certainly. Bundoora. Wolfperhapsdis. that only the middle of the three.have been identified recentacademic discourseand. and peoples.Second.the complexity in est defenders. Formost ofthe history our discipline.his argumentis unlikely to con..as it were. to traditional ously engaged. historyof the discipline. a shorter one forthe conceptof cul. nei. KAHN politics of difference of WesternEuropean and. interrelated elethropologists ative and constrained. a globalised of Departmentof Sociology.by insightsfromthe third).influence.8 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.in problemsinherentin the anthropologicalproject that in which the spiritof a people produceda passionate. Number i. ethnic on theway to post-WorldWarII cognitiveand symbolic chauvinism. unsatisfying two main reasons. cus. New School forSocial ture.quite so cavalier a fashionas Wolfdoes here.of tics both in the United States and in those partsof the correct.I2 vIII 93 apparently. conclusion: eternalvigilance is the price of conceptual of thoughtthat is externalto the historyof modernity. WolfreadsBoas particular to have opposed the German Romantic tradition.WILLIAM truncatedone forthe notion of DepartmentofAnthropology. materialconditionsand mentalconcepts. Nevertheless. Apart from a worthy motive-to laud Sidney Mintz-this shortpiece tracesa verylong genealogyfor ROSEBERRY the conceptofrace. necessaryand interrelated.S. Wielding withinwhich these different expressionsofWesternsoof of power and constructionof social meaning are both ciety'sunderstanding othernesshave arisen. in structed the work of Franz Boas (supplemented. This procedurestrikesme as for anthropology.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.ethnonationalism ethnicgroupclaims to powerhave their"virulent"side. my view. New York. for itself. reconstructions to explain them.Britain.and I wish to reflect reasonto [the]unreason" of racism. to leave himselfout of the analysis.While one might wish to sympathisewith "leadership. Sufficeit here to point to a of device that allows him largelyto ignorethe thetwo have been defined contrastively. the know how to see individualsas both cre.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. in my view. perhas haps. especially. First.N.and.as con. 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.emo. The pology.and an extremely The "peoplehood" or nationalism/ethnicity. Germany.Nonetheless. then anthropology is anthropology directly implicatedin the ideologiesand that have emergedin the course JOEL S.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. 8 vII 93 It modernity.and his inof vince anybut traditional liberalanthropology's staunch.control. U.and the like. I0003. Research. FebruaryI994 tribal peoples" in search of alternativeconstructions liberalhumanism'sgeneralprojectof emancipationand anthropological knowledgeare neverseriwhich would not dichotomize or rank races.and power" involvedin his of Wolf's motivations.Y. Australia.worldwhereanthropologists have traditionally course." reminder Boas's insistenceon and contradiction culture. the current practicesofculturalpoliries rationalized and supportedAryan supremacy. and people. increasingly. message is.
WOLF Perilous Ideas I 9 least a dual sense.the posof tulationofa variety cultureriddlesthatcan be solved in termsof the requirementsof the more stable core.and political histories.but along with even the worstof architectshe imagines an orderedsocial world of tribes.with houses and yards.A colonial administrator attempting establish orderis to interested gathering in information. Yorkat Binghamton. the political establishmentof "order.but we see it as well in his analysisofthe development of each of these concepts in "cauldrons of conflict. But we have yet to think between order creatively enoughabout the relationship and contradiction. The perilousideas thatWolfdiscusses can be seen to be ordering concepts in preciselythis dual sense. "to arrange classify"and "to comor mand or make obey"-cognitive and political.It to conceptualizahas to do with the ways in which varying the tions play a role in legitimating delegitimating) (or historicalsystemsin which we live.State University New P.A. a broadlysketched"Cartesian revolution" or "modernism"in termsof which a varietyof morespecificand variableculturalconstructs and forms can be arrayed. I3902-6000.Thus.a singularsociety if you will. but it imaginesthe fleshlycarriers those souls living of in families. can onlybe constructed the contextof specificsocial. without such thinking. which means thatthereare normsand values which serve to legitimate the world-system a as institutional whole and which receive some important into support.maintaininga sense of complexityand contradictionin each domain under considerationand exploringthe mutually constituting in processes of political and cultural ordering specific social-historical fields. and people. it.as a as ples? Everything. they are asthe which. A second key geoculturalvalue has been the beliefthatover time it is possible to amelioratematerial conditionsand move in the directionof greater material equality. This beliefis asserted both internallyto each state and within the as world-system a whole. and collectingrevenue. counting heads. culture.O." meaning. historicalsystemhas a geoculture. And theremay be groups. Box 6ooo. or ecological core in termsof which is culture seen to be secondary. He entitles his remarks"perilousideas. villages. or. relatedproblemis that A ofholdingone dimensionofsocial and culturalrelations constantor relatively stable while rendering anotherdimensiondynamicand contradictory-onthe one hand. 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). and households before(or as) he attemptsto construct A Christianmission sets out to save souls. One key geoculturalvalue has been that everystate should be a nation.SouthAfrican. cultural.peoLiberalreformism an ideology. U.ideas about peoplehood and ethnicity need to be understood in termsoftheirconceptualhistoriesand in termsof their and Balkan. thisview. He correctly points to a centralproblemwith most schemes-the postulation of an organizaexplanatory tional. in in Explanation. disbelief. and the emergence of social and political strugglesof various sorts.on thewhole. againstopposition. or apathy). barbarians. Our perilous ideas need to be placed within and and sohistory made centralto the kind of comparative ciologythatWolfand othershave pioneered. that I term the capitalist world-economy.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.and "monstrous races" characteristicof archaic civilizations.answers to thewhyquestionsposed by Wolfwill continueto elude us.S. Binghamton. Y. We need to understandthe processes of political and cultural orderingwithout such convenient but misleading conceptual anchoring. This is what we mean by "citizen" ship.Of course. the other.I take it. activelyopposingthesevalues. in my view. cultures. thisbeing realmeaning theI989 . N. To the extentthatpeople give credenceto these two geoculturalvalues. thatthe concepts have multiple usages and historiesand theiruse as oftenadds to our confusionas reduces it.these values may be integrated individualsuperegosto varying degreesor not at all. 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. and it formsin turnthe basis of the widely accepted mythof the primacyand legitimacyof popular sovereignty (within each state).I would serting ideologyofliberalreformism argue. an overly systematic understandingof capitalism or plow or digging-stick on agriculture. I should like to develop the discussion on a peril which is referred in his remarksbut not developedfully. economic.as in the now formulaic references a knowledge/power to nexus. But a historicalsystemcannotfunction unless at least some normsand values of this kind prevail (win out.even institutions. IMMANUEL WALLERSTEIN of FernandBraudel Center. I97os the of andI980s." the wider cultural ordering of complex social relations and processes. NorthAmericangroundings. I agree.in anothervein. What does this have to do with races. as Wolfinsists." We still do not adequately understandthe complex interplay among anthropological ideas. but we understand thatthe connectionsare intimate. I3 VIII 93 Wolfis as usual saying sensible thingsabout the concepts of race. I believe that we all today are living in a singular historicalsystem. We see thismost clearlyin his discussionofrace (themostfully developed of the ideas in this essay) and the tripartite classifications of civilizational core.has come to permeatefirstthe core in the igth and as century thenthe periphery well in the 2oth (Wallerstein i 992b).
withinthe human species in ways that were never adtribute?One thing surely is a demystification 'the umbratedbefore. along erness" and that these encounterswere all too often with mayhem and oppression.It is all too true.and culture. conservativereaction. These are urgentissues to which thereis no easy po.too. another. 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. peoples have therefore new and much more that they imply are less than Wolf would have us beacute political resonance. What can intellectualscon. races.torical system.Boas insisted that this was what anthropology cal consequences are oftenveryunpleasant.A.S. . 30 VIII 93 and geneticcards theymighthave come to be Inuit or I want to thank my respondentsfor their comments. and peoples are not essences. O'otam.. was thus neverinnodirectly Still. 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. Number I. one no longer contained by lieve. Third." and variability historicalsystem. at the same time. this of the existingsystem. One can conceive ofotherpurposesand other face to "groupism.And it tends to tame any Mintz among the executors of the Boasian legacy and anarchistictendencies they may feel. however. Sometimesthis even allowed us betterto comprehend ourselves. Irvington. called the "four-field They have no self-evident we are all members of multiple.Boas was punctilious and insistent about the has eroded. with all the othersocial sciences. I always thought that one of the goals of was to make people aware that ERIC R. Building around this purpose derives definedas lesser breeds)forequal the studyof anthropology (those geoculturally not of motivations intellecin rights thepolis. N.in both the past and the presgroups tend to strengthen boundaries.My primarypurpose was not.S. a productof these encounters. hic Rhodus. There is.and to do so in a particular in a veryspecificdirection. However. as and overlapping. U.eitherin the universalizingreligions of "perilousideas" ofwhich Wolfspeaks.but it is scarcely or in the philosophicalendeavorsof the Enlightenment.I am pleased that into a bugaboo so impenetrableand incomprehensible of Darnell. who is one of the leading historiansof anthro.a singular society .overthe whole rangeof our similaritiesand differences.people must find their solutions. anthropologyfixedcontours. to but to honor Sidney look forsalvation. look for salvation.as oth. the politi."Groupismis also the expressionof anthropologies. culture.Yet. Instead. of tures. way. ent-if our purpose is to studywhat makes us human demand exclusive loyalties. WOLF teachinganthropology but fora different of shuffling the cultural. I wantedto place theirfaithin states. and language speakers. It politicizes people Mintz.hic salta! at tion. has in factdemurred fraught at grappling with such enterprises.and the violence will much increase with a task of understanding similarity beforewe emergefromit.quite different was about. FebruaryI994 geoculturalvalue. cul.one needs to remindoneself that if there were efforts dominate or destroy"the to other.Thus. ever-evolving. cul. . as Wolf so clearly shows. and synoptically biological creatures. content." Yet I would reiteratethat fudgingthe distinctionswill lead us astray our purposeis to thinkclearly if of the beliefin the centrality the state. perhapsforall anthropology.of the demand of the underdogs lose sight of this central purpose at its peril. We are in the midst of a crisis of our world-economy. seeking to suppress the demo. has the effectof pressingpeople to tribution.about the causes of human similaritiesand differences.Boas preachedthe importance what now gets approach" in U. "groups"-crosscutting.Races.of race."therewere also efforts comprehend to thatother. it to definethe importanceof that legacy for American and at has been an enormously stabilizingdoctrine and a pillar anthropology. language.place write a historyof anthropology find solutionsto theirproblems.tem arose out of encounters of the West with "othterat the end ofthiscrisis. This expressesitself.findsvirtuein my account of Boas and his con. indeed myriad.reject overlaps. Kahn remindsus that this encompassingglobal sysenough. But of course. First.If this escalates. In this sense.raticliberation. They have no Second. the capitalist The rise of this systemconfronts us litical answer.and cultural encountershave been virtuallyruled out Reply .but-I submit-anthropology would demo.linguistic. 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.place theirfaith elsewhere than in states. . forwhateverit is worth.IO I CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. We must also engage in the utopistics of inthe alternative venting orderinto which we wish to en. I need to distinguishamong race.Classical anthropology.This is the global panhuman entitywhich Immanuel Wallersteindefinesin his comment as "a singularhiscraticdemand in the name of liberalism.Y. the importanceof looking at humans simultaneously culturecarriers. cent but implicatedin efforts conquest and dominaers have said.To the extentthat this ideology momentin time.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. Anthropology. Roseberry seconds the point.to make groupidentity politicallyefficacious.in theirstate. example.that analyticand comparativeunderstandings social pology.and ethnicity a tures.
I986. and revolution: Studies I964. NAPOLEON. 2d revised edition. Furthermore. SIDNEY "Madeira and thebeginnings of New World and sugarcane cultivation plantation A slavery: who make that purpose their own.Comparative Studiesin Societyand History I3:376-407.but that races. Puritanism in interpretation theEnglish Revolution. including those of anthropological ogy:WilliamEdwards thedoctrine race. L'Homme GEORGE L.(Historyof 5.also constitutes claim to "a scientific FRIEDMAN. Quetzalcoatland theironyof emmessageis not beingheardin the present. New in the ways we think. Cited References . reference. I985. I34.This is an important message especiallyfor JORDANOVA. American Ethnologist 8:451-67. New York:Seabury WILLIAM PHILLIPS. des institutions BENVENISTE. JR. 2. manyabout whetheranthropology a future. Le vocabulaire trade. D.pp. i982. amongdifferent societies and culturescan producea va."in Bones. 198I. or American adigms. historical writing. Cognition componential and analysis: God's truth hocus-pocus. The old physical has I anthropology. I964. religion. thatBoas sketchedout forus."in Languagesofnature:Criticalessayson scienceand makes a plea forus to be more innovative Roseberry literature. Minnesota droit. The tyranny GreeceoverGerin many. behavior: Essays on biological anthropology. EMIKO. death. Slavery from Romantimes to theearlytransatlantic EMILE. the claim that the centralpurposeof anthropol. ARTHUR 0.Past and PresEDMUND MORGAN.The Boasian legacyis oftentalked about as ifit Anthropologist 66:20-28. Roseberry'scomment suggeststhat LOVEJOY. The mythof theeternal return. The greatchainof being:A of Harvard University could benefitfromtheoretically informed studyofthehistory an idea. New York: also the case thatnot all anthropologists were alike and FreePress. of court. The monstrous a art Harvard thought. Reversing SIMMONS. RO GER. Beacon remarks were addressedto the concernthat his central CARRASCO. I8-55." That claim asserts that there can be a GOULD. I977.ton. otheranthropologies. ies. A prehistory the social sciences: of in Phrenology France. purpose. of had moreenemies thanfriends his own time. I940. EDWARD E. Capital. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic rootsof Classical civilization. M. and Dunlap. I973. University do equate what anthropologists with the ways in which LIVINGSTONE. about how we use our abstractionsto characterizeand JONES. Inventing thepeople: The riseof ent. I946 (i867). Anthropologists anthropologists write. I964 (I936).He wants us to be more creative Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Racial myths English in history: of contextwith operationsof inductionand deduction. AZIZ.) Mass." Comparative perspectives lersteinasks that we anthropologists only cultivate not in slavery New World societies. I97I.Given the pessimism on the partof Schocken. Translated by Eden and CedarPaul. China and thesearchfor classification.BLANCKAERT. theconquest:History MC LAREN. as the encountersamong different Anthropology Editedby GeorgeW. I99I. FRANZ. tionsde Minuit. University high ground. The imageofthe barbarian medievalEuin and heterogeneity our subencompassthe complexity of rope.it is surely BOAS. I98I. DAVID. S. WOLFGANG. in AL-AZMEH. were isomorphic with Americananthropology. BARNES.) London:Dent/New York:Dutton." Large-scaleutopias are HILL.sources. "others"did not all producethe same results.. New Brunswick: those members of our discipline who have come to Rutgers Press. pp. Trojans. and that therecan be generalan. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 3:279. AnnalsoftheNew York the alternativeorderinto which we wish to inventing Academy of Sciences 29e2. New York:Pantheon Books.GREENFIELD. I986. I964..) Jr. The crisisof German MOSSE. Pouvoir. LUDMILLA. I988. pp. notall theirthought processesclonedfrom identicalpar. Press. On the non-existence human of write. "On theorigins French of ethnolrietyof outcomes. I. I. Vol. Vol. i962. BRUCE. W. human. in popularsovereignty Englandand America. I988. I965.: Documentary Educational Watertown. Montreal: Harvest out That. I987. would HUNT. This also does pire:Myths in and prophecies theAztec tradition. New York: of now at a discount.bodand of understandings. Editor. Press. 3-I8. I990. OHNUKI-TIERNEY. et ALBERT. not mean that Boas was rightin everything wrote he AND TIMOTHY CHAGNON. New Brunswick: UniverRutgers and dialecticallyinformed sense of how involvements sityPress. New York: with a unifying generalanthropology.Comparative Studiesin Society and History I): 3 -2-2.no. EditedbyLudmillaJordanova. I969. R. A history of I962. just Madison:University Wisconsin of Press. La fumee du tations contactchez les Yanomami(Br6sil). enterat the end of this crisis. 289-32I. JOHN B. Criticalessayson scienceand literature.EditedbyVeraRuplantation our small gardenbut also "engage in the utopisticsof bin and Arthur Tuden. CLARE A. happilysettleforthe small-scaleutopia ofthe discipline American Journal PhysicalAnthropology of 56:339-46. KARL. I958 Press. 198I.BURLING. New York:Grosset 28:87-II9. House/Hanover London:University and PressofNew England.andSTEPHEN Cambridge: mismeasure The J. ROBBINS. ReYes. Boas but ELIZA (I935). I98I. too. ideology. HARRY ELMER. I98I. HUGH. Magical and said.New York:Nordu metal:Histoire represen.We urgently need to develop a more sensitive BERNAL. ogy is to address the question of what it means to be ELIADE. Race. Paris:EdiPress. Barbarians Arabeyes. indo-europeennes. (Everyman's Library 848. Chicago: of University ChicagoPress. CHRISTOPHER. i982. MIRCEA. Stocking. would be carrying the Boasian legacy. and culture. BAUER. is not all they do. Teutons. of man. MARTIN.among Norton. JR. 536-52. Boston:M.and my BUTLER. language. and Anglo-Saxons.. "Micheletand theuses ofnatural HUSS. conception/symbolization processes: Cognitive anthropology and symbolic happiness. 23( MARX. pp. ASCH. I988.WOLF Perilous Ideas I iI ANGUS.in all the variationsand convergences that this racesin medieval termmay entail.Minneapolis: of University Vol. FRANK B. Walthropologists in in study institution on building.(Film. CLAUDE. Cambridge: anthropology Press. Phasesin humanperception/ New York:Dover. I976. discussionsof its unusual mix of observationand grasp MAC DOUGALL. Languagesofnature: ject matter.
Russia. nization. Rusin guage. London:Merlin..Departmentof Anthro4rt. Editedby R.Stockholm.."in Socialistregister I992: New worldorder. of Press. 457. i992b. FebruaryI994 Cultureand personality. Politics. . i992.MS.Symposiumand Exhibitions.Plants and Culnual Meeting. canists. Old AberdeenAB9 October 3-7. University equal world. A.Rock Art ResearchUnit.S. Calendar International March 2I-24. Sweden.S. September. Key symposium: tural Context.S-io6 9I Stockholm. I96I.. William RobertsonSmith Congress.. in 40. ThreatenedPeoples and Environments the Americas: 48th International Costas y del Cuaternario. Lerida. Dowson and J. Johannesburg 2o5o.Av. SouthernAnthropological Theme: Ethnocognition.Mendoza.Ithaca:CornellUniversity WALLACE.a conference association with the Language sia. European The beginnings moderncoloCHARLES. 2d International Congressforthe Study 2UB.K. ConflictResolutional Symposium.conference 22oo Oakdale Rd. Rutgers University in earlyanthropolI965.. Conferenceon EthnicTra.and Power: Representing Bushman People of SouthApril 5-II.Calif. Scotland.Aberthe ernAfrica.International OriginsSociety. York:RandomHouse.encyclopaedist.Spain. nise his influence. deen. U. Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. SymposiumThe PleistoAtlanta. FundPublications Anthropology ogy.Atlanta. Argentina. Human Occupations in South America. Readings SLOTKIN. STOCKING. Moscow II7334.July I5-i8. Geneses9:7-24. Cleveland Heights.[iw] pp. or HonggangYang. of IMMANUEL. WALLERSTEIN. I970. Panitch. U. Florence. in July cene/HoloceneBoundary. ANTHONY F. New "The collapse of liberal- New Brunswick: British literature.South Africa.080I5 Barcelona. 96-IIO. Race. Instituteof Ethnologyand AnthropolRichman. Society.Viking and evoluGEORGE W. Number i.AnApril 27-30. C. VERLINDEN.7600 Mar del Plata. Wolfe. CarterCenterof EmoryUniversity. International One Copenhill.University South Florida. Ga. South Africa. Casilla de Correo 722-CorreoCentral.I1 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. of ModifiedStates of Consciousness. The PivotoftheFourQuarters.Write:Institutde ProspectivaAntroto Anthropological Contributions ConflictResolupologica.. JAMES S.Ohio 44I I8. Scotland. ment of Hebrew and Semitic Languages. Write:Alvin W. tion Program. in to VERENA.U. burg. of November. Editor.A. Institute. ogy. Fla.Write:William Johnston.Tampa.A.S. Chicago: University ChicagoPress.theologian. PAUL. i992a.Write:T. librarian and the various academic fieldsthat recogLewis-Williams. Write:Bruce Conference. 30307.University of Aberdeen.A.U. The "right difference" an unSTOLCKE. Theme: Smith's life. tion.LeninskyProspect32A. U. Congressof AmeriUNMP.D. JR.S. I97I.King's College.Sweden. tion.Texts and Images of People. University the Witwatersof rand. Shamanism.K. . Troisideologies une seule?La problematique ou de la modernite.and Johannesand work as a Semitist. [iwl WHEATLEY.New York: Free Press. Milibandand L. Write:OrganizingCommittee.S.Interna3362o. culture. Write:Instituteof Latin America Studies. The Social and Cultural Originsof Landitional Culture and Folk Knowledge. ism. in and myth Igth-century Press. Argentina.A.Ga. U.The Pleistocene/HoloceneBoundaryand pology. Centrode Geologia de 4-9.Moscow.Spain. DepartDepartment of Archaeology.U. I968. coordinator. Write:Marcelo Zairate.Berkeley.A.times.
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