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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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West. of of thatwe mustremind ourselves theimportance suggests of aboutracesas we confront Boas's critique typological thinking account theintensifying racismsofour time. This paperwas delivered. 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. taught us to be especially attentiveto issues of race and culture. recand ognizethatethnicities come in manyvarieties to call a sothe cial entity "ethnic"group merely beginning theinan is of quiry. I95 I). 4 done fieldworkin Puerto Rico (I948-49).I959). N. theyformpart of the stock of ideas of much widerpublics who discuss themin moreextended and less academic terms. i969).especiallythe idea thathumans depend heavily on behavior that is learned. in The present paperwas submitted finalform v 93. ERIC WOLF iS Distinguished Professor Emeritus Herbert of Lehman Collegeand theCityUniversity New YorkGraduate of Center(Bedford ParkBlvd. Franz Boas. the inauguralSidneyW. "Race" has been traced to generatio." thesewords-as Morton Friedsaid-can injuremind and body.S. MINTZ LECTURE FOR I992 Perilous Ideas Race. a heavyfreight shame and fury. these words moreover. on of public understanding."to beused to talk about cultivating get. who stands at the beginning of American anthropology. These notionsare of course not onlyexclusive professional property." without reference descent or to politicalcohesion. and Europeand thePeotury (New York:Harper and of ple Without History (Berkeley Los Angeles:University California Press.A. To accuse someoneoflackingculture. University November I99a2.a red-neckor hayseed.A. As bothoffspring criticofthehumancondition.Y.and for anthropology ideas about race and culture and-more recently-about peoplehood or ethnicityhave played that guidingand legitimizing role. U. He has His includeSons oftheShaking Earth(Chiter). publications of cago:University ChicagoPress. Bornin at I923.." Greekethnosonce desigof nated just a "bunch. Homer spoke of a flockofanimals or a swarmofbees. he was educated Queens College(B. whom this new lectureseries is designedto honor. The discipline did not spring Usedin ourtime.People' by Eric R. of to Contrary the popular saw that "sticks and stones can break your bones. Mexico (i95i-52. butwordscan neverhurtyou. I intend to focus on the concept of race.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.D.and that this capacity forlearninghas fostered the proliferation quite varied bodies of thoughtand of action. Finally. I0468.). This. Number i.The race concept has presided over homicide and genocide.a jibaro or indito. will thenconI siderthe conceptof culture. Peasant Warsofthe Twentieth and Row. This relationbetween professionaldialect and more generaldiscourseneeds to be understoodas part of the as i. and anthropolto ogybearsa specialresponsibility examinethe commonplaces ofits thought thefighting and wordsofits speechand to subject themto resolute The present contribution thistask to analysis.beinga bez-kulturny the (as Russians say). theDepartment Anthropology The Johns i6.not inborn. And one of the ways of manifesting ethnicityis now to don a camouflagesuit and graban AK47. peoplehood ethnicity to and its served orient anthropology's inquiries justify existence. "generation. "the to cultivation mindsor souls.This was trueeven when they firstcame into usage. Peasants(Englewood CenCliffs: Prentice-Hall.I will attendespecially to the conceptofrace. After teaching a variety instituat of he of tions.and Boas have insisted on and that we must heed. carry . 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.I98 2). I954. is somethingthat Mintz.takemuchgreater ofheterogeneity contradictions cultural in and and systems.Bronx.I946) and Columof bia University at (Ph.I will take up briefly notion of peothe ples. i956). Culture. Lesser. is to declare that someone lacks culturalcapital and should not be allowed into the Atheneum or the Escambron Beach Club. notions about the biological variabilityof the species and about the possibleimplicationsof this variability. too. Thus." "Culture" was first a fieldand only later transferred cultura animi.00 for Research.."fromthe Latin generare. as well as a bunchofpeople (Benveniste i969:90). i966).Volume 35.culture. someone who has not been to the rightschools. rights Foundation Anthropological SIDNEY W. Wolf and or have long Ideas aboutrace.because it remainsa majorsource in ofdemonology this country and in the worldand anhas thropology a major obligationto speak reasonto unreason. Mintz between anthropology and otherkinds Hopkins wider interplay of of to Lecture. was professor anthropology theUniversity Michigan I96I to I97i beforejoining the facultyat CUNY. FebruaryI994 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY ? I994 byThe Wenner-Gren All reserved OOII-3204/94/350I-OOOI$2.
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. rule. with each otherin war.867). Beyond the lands of the known barbarians. contrariwise. and aggressivein disposition. it comes out of the cauldronsof conflictthat cooked up much of the toil and troubleofpast centuries. mothercity-occupied the pivotal point ofintersection all the directions the cosmos. culture. conviction" popular (I946:3I).true natureof a phenomenon.bar-bar-speakers Aristotle's view this made themnaturalslaves and outcasts.according to Albert(i988). it Athena-like fromthe head of Zeus. and heathenseemed whollyincommensurable and as long as the symbolic value of an object or an act was thought be an intrinsic. to Each of these threeconcepts-race. portrayed. and skills of performance are requiredto be a convincingagurram.unwilling unpredictable. and in raphonoi. to hold themapart.gluttonous.he thoughtof the labor performed slaves and thatperformed freemen being by by as qualitativelydifferent. and religious guidance.I thinkof ideas as "takes" on the phenomenaof this world and as instructionsabout how to combine these takes to ascertaintheirconnectionsor.I am also interand ethnicity culture. FebruaryI994 whole phenomenaare put together. mouthless apple smellers.2 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.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. engineered-what kinds of credentials. "The riddleof the expressionof value is solved when we know that all labor.Other concepts are analytic. 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.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. in interested what the conceptsofrace. shadow-foots. Beyond this core of allies live active enemies whom one does not with whom one does not exchangeor feast. Only when it becomes possible to divorcesignifierfromthe signified. there could probably no anthropology religionor studyof be of comparative religionas long as the religions believers. Among these allies one can expect sorcery but of a gardenvarietymanageable throughordinaryshamanistic cures.inseparable aspect of it-God's truth and not man-made hocuspocus.theBrazilianYanomami. to submit to law. of heretics. Forexample. dogfaces. as a in memberof a slave society. I also think that particulartakes are promptedby background conditions and limited by theseconditions. symbol fromreferent. inherent. people with one eye in the middle of theirforeheads.but rendering laborpoweruniversally exchangeablebymeans ofmoneyas a commondenominatorpermitted this new way of thought. upside-down walkers." whom the Roman Plinius catalogued formedieval posterity. lay the countryof "the monstrous races. fromwhom one is separatedfirstby raidingand counand terraiding second bywarpathsorcery (raidsin which pathogenicsubstancesare supposedlydepositedin each other'scamp). I am therefore allow us to think.uncouth and threatening identifiable but throughcontact in trade and war. and it responds-must respond-to these forceseven when it strivesforprofessional distance and dispassionate neutrality.in which all partakeofeach other's vital substance by drinkingdown the ashes of the honoreddead in plantain soup. They were barba(Homer Iliad 2. in the trenchantphrasing of Robbins Burling (i964). Beyondthe civilizationalcore areas lay the lands of the clad in skins. one can talk about Christiancommunionand elite Aztec cannibalism as convergent formsof communicationwith the divine. and because they appearedto lack articulatelanguage.where of of theyenacted collective rituals to maintain the orderof the world and fromwhich they deployedthe power to it ensure (Carrasco i982. 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. ceryat a distance(see Chagnonand Asch I973).is oflike kindand ofequal worth.in theircase of fouror fivelocal groups thatintermarry.insofaras it is generalized human labor.to bewareofasserting linkages that are false.and attend ally one another'sfunerary rites.Similarly. One couldnot think of for Islamicparallels Al-Azmeh see i992). suspicious of holisms.Thus Marx put forward interesting the argument that Aristotlewas unable to conceptualize a common denominator all human labor because.Some conceptsare essentialist. and many more (Friedman These hierarchically deployed and ranked schemata may be comparedwith those of more egalitariantribal people.and ethnicity-has a societal background.where the only trueand beautifullife could be lived. and . also allows us to thinkbetter. I hope to contribute this task here. Wheatley I97I).substantive.and marry. barbarians. The Greeks and Romans saw these people as not quite human because theydid not live'in cities.theyare takes on what are assumed to be the enduring. Number i.knowledge. rude in manner. and thatbackground has implications for how we conceptualize and use them. ear-furlers.warriors and priestswere thought to perform qualitatively incommensurable kindsofwork. 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. Eliade I965.Most of them developedmodels of thecosmologicalorder which an exemplary in center-a a metropolis. ested in how theyallow us to think. to essential.
very close to monwas constructed account forthe pastoralists to sters.and Saracens could be made to fit moreor less neatlyinto the barbarian a category. in to participation the work of the gods. themid-i5th By century.experienceddistribution to of social power in geopoliticalspace.repliedin St.but it was not thencolor-specific. In the later Middle Ages.and cannibalsto boot.the OttomanTurks cut off thissource ofsupplywiththe conquestofConstantinople. Germans. subcategoryof really vicious barbarians. It is importantto rememberhow long the biblical texts continuedto providethe main paradigmsforthe of interpretation human events. on horseback who came charging oftheEast to threaten out the integrity Christendom-Huns. Opinion on thesestrangely formedcreatureswas divided.This association gained intensityas a of rationalization the slave trade when Africareplaced Europeand the Levant as the main source of supplyfor coerced labor. Phillipsi985.it is theirdifferential location on a spatial continuumthat identifiesthem as friendsor hostiles. Christian heretics (Jones I97I:392). of Mongols. 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. Magyars.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." Proximity rulership. it had been northern and easternEurope that sent slaves to the Islamic Near East. of and barbarians.ifonlybecause it corresponded a tangible. The trichotomy civilized. their and move into North Africa soon barred Europeans from easy access to the eastern Mediterranean. In this scheme all people are seen as equally benevolent and malevolentand similarin comportment and bodilyform. St.in which guise they kept appearingbeforethe in as gatesofVienna and most recently Gastarbeiter the Germanies.Slavs. JuanGines de Sepuilvedaargued that the Indians were naturalslaves because theyweremorelikelybeasts than men. As Spaniardsdebated whetherto enslave the Indians of the Americas. quoted in Friedman i98i:93). Bartolome de las Casas. "the many.Slavery existed. are fromthe true and beautifulcenters ofurbanity the demonichillycragsand cavernsofthe to monsterworld." Adam. 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). Avars. of the natives on islands of of the Indian Ocean.The Arabs constituteda special problem. AlthoughHam was occasionally represented the as forefather the Saracens.in contrast. probablydescendantsof Cain or ofNoah's son Ham. Augustine's terms that they were rational and hence redeemable. importedslaves from the Russian-Turkish borderlands around the Black Sea. how long it was held that the world was only 6.as longas theywere "ratioor nal mortal"creatures. 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 fromthen on Africasouth of the Sahara became a main area of supplyboth forIberia and forthe New World(Greenfield I977.Vikings.which like to graze in these far-off forest glades. they also resurrected the arguments about the natureof the monstrousraces of long before. Augustine thought theywere still capable of salvation.The dominantcivilizationalschemata. This should not be taken to mean that everybody in civilizationmarched in serriedranks accordingto the dominant schema at all times. assign differential valuations to salient distinctionsin life-style physicalappearance. maps still showedhow Noah redistributed and repopulated worldby dividing amonghis the it . The advent the of Beyondthe barbariansstill lay the lands of the monstrousraces (Friedman i98i). I97I:38I). there were also civilizational schemata forrankinginternal "others"-exemplary representativesof the civilized way of lifeagainsthoi polloi. In I45 3. io6o-i I70.because theyappeared to be civilized and yet had been seduced by Mohammed. misshapedby sin or guilt. of "ungentle churls" (Friedman 198i:I02-3). In the early Middle Ages.Similarly. 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. 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.wicked in theirlusts. the Portuguesehad expanded their tradeforslaves down the West Africancoast as faras Ghana.and the unredeemable. Withinthe contextof Europe. A. the current and Europe increasingly reversed. most sourcesassociated him with Ethiopians or Africans. In addition to externalbarbariansand misshapen people.ooo and some yearsold. into of theywereretrofitted the subcategory vicious barbarians.as well as to the geoand graphicalzones in which these life-styles and bodily forms manifest. however. however. 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. Others saw themas fallencreatures. In the i 5thcentury.no matterhow odd in physicalform language. arguingin contra. hence human and descendedfrom "the one who was firstcreated. Yet the centripetaltripartite schemeheld fastforlongperiodsoftime. and Tartars."displayingon theirbodies what the forebears had earned by their misdeeds" (Vienna Genesis.D.WOLF Perilous Ideas 13 fortheirinadvertent potentialkillingof one's alter ego destinyanimals. who had sinnedagainstGod and were thus supposedlyfitforenslavement. unredeemed.
while Johann Blumenbach made the Caucasian. basis. Bio-moral reddish.and regulated custom. Simmons I990. colonial expansion and imperialismcarriedEuropean flags to the fourcorners ofthe globe and fueledideologiesthatportrayed Euthe ropeanvictorsas energetic. Yet he did set up the Caucasians as the originalrace most relevantfor the developmentof raciology-that from which the otherssprangby variation.assumed racial characteristics.orientations physiology. passive. and ruled by opinion. Asians. and governedby caprice. goal-oriented and and the vanquished as backward-looking. on England.eventually thepointofabsurdity. by thinking the increasing and to tendency unEuropeans.phisticated techniquesofmeasurement.the ranking to racesfrom those least perfect the most exaltedgained equippedwith a stable bio-moralessence. beenthefirst post-diluvians" (Bernal low I987: 2I9). who landed on Mt. phrenology also appealed greatly anticlericalbeto and moral dispositions. that the partsofthebrainhad different that you cannot mark out the limits between them.temperament.retarded.Blu. understood. fierLinne. 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.Althoughhe these functionally specificcomponentsof the brain in himselfdid not interpret the variationas degeneration. derstandhistoryas a struggleof races for dominance sallow. Ham Africa got (Friedman In the i8th century greatclassithe i98i:93).white. forward-looking. Despite doubts and occasional criticisms. He also arguedspecificallyagainst the imputa. on France.Shem Asia.anthropology beginto replacethe old racial essentialism threesons: Japheth Europe. of Linne categorizedthe races of Homo into standard-bearers progress.active.scholars believed that by sorting people a soul separatefromthe body.) At the same time.was no obvious racist. Predictably. and thus in need of being liftedup by the i8o. In the early years of the igth in Gall taughtthat mental activityhad a physical and deficientin rationality. if some typescould be lieversin truescience. Hill I964. The apotheosis of this was in turesto those most perfect theirphysicaland psycho. century He that human varieties "so sensiblypass into the other. of skull-bearers ele. understood as the God-given hierarchical studiesthatstroveto correlatecranialmorphology with chain of organismsthat reachedfromthe lowliest crea. in energy. who was willing to grouphumans together with apes and monkeys as anthropomorpha.52i among races.into sunk in sloth and livingforthe moment. brain. obstinate. Scholarlyliteratibegan to interpret mained in place until the mid-i95os. feminine. and because he thought thatthe Georgiansof the Caucasus mighthave .tion to the work ofFranzvon Gall.Second. withthe resultthatmeasuring bumpson thehead permutationsand combinations thereafter multiplied would reveal clues to the head-owner'spersonality and thenumberofraces. severe. Number i. humanswere descendedfrom first the couple createdby providea materialistlink between brain functionsand It God and differed fromanimals in their possession of temperament. Blanckaert I988. With Linne and Blumenbach we are. and regressive race makingof the modernkind (see Slotkin I965:I70. Huss I986. and Africans. character." different andfunctions. drew many physiologists pay attento reason.000 separatemeasurementsto the skull.(On history i98i:344-45). when Hooton and still typologized nationalhistoriesas accounts of struggles 9.First.legal scholars. Once the game of racial classificationbegan." race "primaryamong all otherraces.this century-long attempt to define the varieties of by of humankind as enduring morphological types. each riorto the otheranthropomorpha. the initiator phreof tion that Africanswere basically different physique nology (McLaren i98i). it was hoped. see Barnes i963:I78-238. humanraces could be placed upon a ladderto perfection. MorganI988. yet preciselyforthis reaintophysicaltypesone could gaugetheirtemperamental son. writing duringthe periodsofromanticism and national. because he believed in human descentfroma common stock through Noah." Yet even in the many people began to comprehendthe reshuffling the i8th United States. Barnes I963. however. received reinforcement fromthe developmentof new black. of course.moreover.systemconnectedup all organsand muscles in the body menbach. Third.4 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. a new paroxysm and withNational Socialist "racial science. that this physical basis was the brain. oth. dynamic. and political-moral behavior. withthe "gentlewhites. Araratin the Caucasus. this "old physical anthropology"refrom of reorganization societyin the transition to the igth century. i90-9i). Generalizedto entirepopulations and elaborated throughever more soshown to be more pure or betterendowed than others. FebruaryI994 ism.as well as on Prussiacentrichistorians. This new focus would.turninfluenced shape ofthe skull thatcontainedthe ers did.however.and governedby law. It reached.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. the different more than 5." clearlysupe. Dupertuisat HarvardUniversity overthe van. on Germany. crafty.perdured well to groundbecause it corresponded the ways in which into our times.governed law.effort reachedwitha scholarwho eventually applied logicalrefinement (Lovejoyi964:59). Thus. Mosse I964.masculine. MacDougall i982. German "historicism"drew on romantic political economists. Gall's books were prohibited to by lines of the churchfortrying do away with the hypothesis to Raciologywas markedby several convergent of thought. the "white.gentle. This classifica.and sociological folklorists. Americans.He held that (Jordanova i986). in This new physiology hoped tion exhibits some enduringcharacteristics raciol.to overcomethe old conceptualsplitbetweenmind and of ogy-its obvious bias and the conflationof physical bodyby focusingon the way the brain and the nervous traits. still assertedhis belief "on divine testimony"in the descent of all humans fromAdam and Eve.however.
divisionoflabor. of biol.mostlywith how memorycodes generatedin different domains are combined and coordinated through the nificant results" (p. Nietzsche.folklore.generation." That spiritwas studiedtogether understand of believedto be anchoredin passion and emotion. of These argumentshad wider implications.or constrain nectedness. American anthropologistsbegan suppositionthat each culture constituteda distinctive again.gether. i962 Frank with admiration In Livingstone (i962:279) confi. gradualchanges in traitsand gene fre. pounded fromhere.especiallyin Germany.orsin termsofa professional have dealt primarily with the ways in will give way to the most anthropologists uality." Symbolicanof for tures. 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.and everywhere would not linguistics. 4 and 6.it was primarily Wilhelmvon Humboldtthrough FranzBoas who from Hegel. to and Spengler RuthBenesional opposition. ad.cated Germans especially found it attractiveto accept environmental and holistic perspectiveson other culaptations. these includingtheirintercon. They givenbut changingmaterials. 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.tropes.WOLF Perilous Ideas 15 with studiesofgeneticdistributions. chaps." They also hoped to direct of a singlepeople" (Boas.cognitive and symbolic dimensions of culture. Both processes-the construction memory to Enlightenment.no culturewas due to "the genius wantedto look at culturenot as a typological "as a constitutiveprocess.Having demonstrated unexpected dict-has employedthe guidingnotion of an ideational an in in variability head form successive generations Eu.and manifest art.A major by perfection an evolutionary traditionof intellectual thoughtand work-extending biologistand not an anthropologist." he asked (Boas I940[I9331: metonyms. linguistics. raised these questions. paideia of anthe clines"-that is. thennot onlyattackedessentialhe ist typologicalthinkingin human biologybut assailed stood that breakingdown culturesinto atomistictraits in similartermsthe resulting conflation history.He underropeanimmigrants. theydrewheavilyon studies of literature and point-cultural integration could not be assumed." 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.and evolutionary such unifying because theyhad been imprinted processes. pursuing at In ity and particularhistoricity.MatthewArnold.he did not see how attemptsto develop general thropologists. was not veryuseful to speak of culturein ple createor modify modes of representation general. assert the uniqueness of each people codes and the elaborationof analogycodes-need to be to how people arriveat culand of its Volksgeistor "folk spirit.nationsare given condensedrepresentation the form of ple opposed the universalistrationalismof the French of icons.interdigitations a culture.EduSuch cognitiveand symbolic strategieshave indeed . these endeav(I98 i) has characterized 447).Cognitive sex. dently announcedthat"thereare no races.and deictics." His chiefexample ofsuch processeswas the notionof "secondaryinterpreI940:I65).cient Greece propoundedby the art historian Johann quencies displayedby membersof a species along lines Winckelmann (see Bernal I987: esp. psychology. "that here [in so-called primitivecultures]as in Ohnuki-Tierney morecomplicatedcultures. and ethnology.not in turalorderings theirworlds. of To thiskindofapproachBoas was opposed. tation. there. was written and was thus worthyof emulation.tures.growthand development.synechdoche.theirstudiestowarda betterunderstanding how peoit theircollectiverepresentations and entiating. Since cultureswere also forever of breakingup and differ. 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. to address some of the Boasian and separatemonad sui generis.it had to be demonstrated. His drivingconviction that correlatedphenomena do yieldusefulcomprehension how theymighthang toof not need to be causally related led him to the conclu. quoted in Stockingi968:2I3). Butof an environmental transition. 267). individ.elaboration analogycodes and thenhow these combiin come quite common.have concernedthemselves of "laws of the integration culture" could "lead to sig. age. Stephen Jay ingHellas as a whollyintegrated culturethathad known Gould's The Mismeasure ofMan (i98i). in the I950s. genres.thereare only of one such model of the Volksgeist. and language.and studyingthem as aggregatesof such traits comogy.Frobenius.personalitystudies.so he arguedagainstthe common pre. in reason.and social organization manifold contradictions?" Given boththe heterogeneity which sense images and sound images can be combined and the historically changing interconnectedness cul. In the United States. through "Have symbolicrepresentation we not reason to expect.culturesneeded to be studiedin all theirplural. theirpart.Moreover-and this was a major Boasian interests. the use of metaphors. wherepeo.It had be.holism at the root of culture. It should give our colleagues pause thatthe one aspirations recent systematic book on the subject.how traditional mightprompt these efforts rendition.Since all culturescould themes and queries. Yet some have not yet ler i958).physiology.to produce concepts or "memorycodes. often against staunch profes.focusing especially on the mechanics of whereit was asserted.
much of the discourseabout agencyand construalstrikesme as undulyvoluntaristic.6 1 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.I submit.descent and authority. control. I think.natureand the supernatural." new and morevirulent way ofstaking out ethnic claims to precedence and power. rank and rulership. influence."It moves us a considerable on away fromessentialistperspectives culturetowarda constructionist. Anthropologists have also takenseriously Boas's point aboutoppositionsand contradictions culturebuthave in done littlethinking and about how these heterogeneous and discoursescan intersect." There is too much talk about agencyand resistance and too little attentionto how groupsmobilize. of like the "little-engine-that-could" American children'sliterature-the littlelocomotivethat can accomplish feats of strength throughthe application of will "men make power. contradictory perspectives how divergent interestsand orientationscan be made to converge. embeddedin relationsofpower. Peoplehood/Ethnicity talkedmuch ofrace in thelast Although anthropologists and of century thenincreasingly culturein thisone." eitherin the course of mobilization or in the wake of the effects theyso create. coupled with a stresson how difficult impossible it is forpeople of different or culturesto live together one city.rooted way elsewhere. There is a shiftfromthe idea of common descentas definedby hereditary biological essence or a hereditarily exclusive gene pool. belong to groupsoflower ranksand statuses. This occurs preciselyat a time when an ethnic division of laborgrowsmore intenseworldwideand when transna- and yieldedmuch workthatis richin description evocativelyintegrative.forgood reasons. I suspect that"culture"is composed and recomposedofdiversely shaped elements." Othersymboliccodes and pantomimes. which.less highlyvalued or not valued at all. not here.and thinkingon these topics usually proceeds quite separatelyfrominquiriesinto culturalmeaning. filigree ornamentation. in one in or nation-state. Furthermore. and power. FebruaryI994 the bland.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. new emphasis on the ethnicityfastenedon the ways in which such groups and entitiesarise and definethemselvesas againstothers also engagedin the process of developmentand selfdefinition.who also exercise less social power.much to the good. culTreating ture as secondaryalso recreates.This is. but theydo not make it just as they please. how groupsmobilize and deployresourcesbut do not do this "just as theyplease. how groups shape and reshape their and commitment and to self-images elicit participation are themselves shaped by these representations.much as Boas saw it. and success or failure in these struggles has painful or exhilaratingeffectson peoples' selfdefinitions. This happened.they constitutewhat PierreBourdieuhas called "culturalcapital. ratherthan like a dense tapestry imbricated withrepetitive standardized designs. suspectthatcultural and I orderingrequires leadership. are But it can also be observedin the way cultural repertoires are differentially distributedwithin a culturebearingpopulation. Number i. power-irrelevant relativismof much of the distance talkabout "culture. To quote an older anthropologist.At the same time. 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 .towardthe idea ofcommondescentas a transgenerational vehicle forthe transmission an authentically of rooted culture. class and race. as underthe "old" racism. 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. 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. Anthropologists have workedwith a numberofdifferent models to represent organizational armatures aroundwhich culturalformscould be said to form-a framework social structure. of how the organization diversity (Wallace is accomplished. and are shaped shape." This novel combinationof culturalism and ethology VerenaStolcke (i992) calls "cultural a fundamentalism. or ratherthan acknowledging strategic its work in layingdown the culturallyparticularand yet potent terms of personhood and gender. all these approachesrelyon defining But thebasic armatures coresin termsthatrender or culture as secondary. There has been a markedshift definiin tionsofethnicity from racialistphrasings formulas to of culturaldistinctiveness.in one region. The whys still elude us. ethnicityemergedas a hot topic only at the beginningof the sixties. "Ethnicity"addresses in ways that "culture" does not the fact that culturallymarked entities formparts of largersystems. and reshape cultural repertoires by them in turn. "We have roots here by virtue of descent-you othershave yourdifferent oflife. compositionalpoint of view. culturalecological core.time and again. the seeming contradictionbetween earthbound material processesand the free-floating zigzags of the mind. Some symbolic codes and ways of enacting them are monopolized by dominant elites throughtheirprivilegedaccess to state and economic apparatuses. There are ongoingstruggles over the distribution redistribution such high-profile and of symbolic goods.but thephenomenaofpowerwieldingin the cognitive and symbolic sphere are poorly theorized.notoriously. There is hardlya study of an ethnic group now thatdoes not describehow the locals use "agency" to "constructthemselves" in relationto power and interest. basic personala of ity structure. theirown history. a Marxian proa ductivemode dialecticallycombining infrastructure and superstructure.
We should also and "peril" evokes a sense of dangerand difficulty in but not turnourbacks on physicalanthropology support also of challenge and responsibility.when notionsofcultural in thehistory anthropology.things. He Conclusion between "lineage segments.Boas was an articulateopponentofNazi DepartmentofAnthropology.some ideas. A lot ideas remainsin flux. cannot take forgranted We that changing conditionsof our worlds." a social collectivity. Canada N6A 5C2." live tinder theworldbeyondacademe. when theyapwe tivethatplace cultureswithinlarger intraand intercon. In this wonderful and deceptivelysimple paper.Wolf'schoice of "people" to gloss remainsforall hands to do..not a fixedand unitaryentity. turninganthropobut its transformation into a more contextuallyaware hu. in as the racismsof our times. etc. They have a history. culdo the ethnic groups subsumed by them.studies. we must remind ourselves of the impor.ground arguI my ment primarilyin published and unpublished documents about the work of Boas and his firstgeneration The argument inseparablefrom disciofstudents.It also means that autonomyand historicallyconstitutedprofessional exethnicitiescome in many varieties and that to call a pertiseofanthropologists. reproduction mor.Wolf articulateshis relationshipto the Boasian tradition.As a historianofNorthAmericananthropology.rable ethnicitieshave the further tics of meaning and cultural construction and not theircontinueduse in the largerworld of politics and merelyautomaticrepetition inherited of forms. of Workon what is labelled have become major ideological weapons in "ethnicity. This thinkingposes a challenge communicationamong whom I count myself).London. Its relationshipto older ogy.culturalline of evidence.ityforharm-especially. Comments . moreclearlyabout the issues posed by race.Postof We taken note of Boas's critique of typological thinking Boasians of quite diverse lineage descent have some about races. Ont.to Wolfhimself.WOLF Perilous Ideas | 7 ticularism. have enormouscapacies ofethnicity can welcome the changesofperspec.culture." particularity in beginning the I960s.but we are nowherenear the end of the task.What anthropologists Perhapsmost significant.human interaction. or should. is my plinary practiceas an Amerindian linguist/symbolic anthropologist.In studies of culture our theorizings will.terlyclear that most of the world lies outside the disciand tality. Wolf's man biologythatcan engagethe development human "ideas" have consequences in the world (and he is utof bodiesin growth and maturation.contemWe politicalstrife. inevitably by For the past severalyearsI have been attempting ex.and still incomplete.and people/ethnicity termsof theiremergence in especiallyclearat the moment. in Wolf'sview. Wolfsuggestsa crossto plicatethe theoretical premisesofBoasian historical par. cultural Contemporary a problemand not a given: a cultureis a changing mani.ideas.(In line withthe lattercontention..logical ideation into anthropologicalideology.peal to emotionover reason. so I99OS. i6 viii 93 and powerfully modified culturallearning. Wolf's title speaks of "perilous ideas.porary. de facto. In Words. in common. Wolfis most lyricalwhen he offers Boasian critique a of the misuses of the concept of race in the recenthisDARNELL REGNA toryof Europe.remainwithinthe ivory we need to take much greater who discard outaccount of heterogeneity towers of academia.and biologywas Ontario."the personal distinguishes intellectual genealogies of individual anthropologists It is FranzBoas's enduring legacyto have made us think (Boas to Lesser to Mintz and. have learnedquite a bit in anthropol. Wolfranks the organizingconcepts of race. in and incommensuthe ways in which this differentiation obligationto critique producesa poli. point is once more a BoaMy sian one-that claims to ethnicity not the same evare erywhere at all times. Anthropologists and contradictions cultural systems and to explore moded racisms. nectedsystemsbut note also thatthismakes ofcultures students of popular culture. a claim forthe continuing relevanceto genexplanatory eralpublic discourseofredefined conceptsofrace as biological variabilityand culture as diversitiesof learned behaviours.and or Boas to Voegelin to Hymes to the ethnographers of peoplehood/ethnicity. an constructing argumentthat Boasian theorynot only exists but continues to characterize much of the anthropology done in NorthAmerica. survive. is recent. illness and health. often choose to dismiss the disciplinary fold. a formboth personaland generalizable. stud. and the to us now and to an anthropology the future. University Western of of hierarchy racial units was untenable.static culturologies. of course. As what the conceptsof our disciplinehave to offer the in of larger macrosystems come in many shapes and sizes. insistingthat race was a statisticalcategory. and interaction with the pline of anthropology).we must understand To of the inquiryratherthan the implementation it. have "kin group" or "school. the anthropological version of the concept is. social entityan "ethnic" groupis merelythe beginning real sense. This seems ture. Wolf states them eletanceofhis contribution we confront intensifying gantly. endangered. Boasian tradition idethe is tendto relegateto thejunk pile oftheirprofessional history remains ationallybased. Germany. Anthropology in some very is. comparing"more egalitarian tionalmigration movingeverlarger is numbersofpeople across national frontiers. 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.
unsatisfying two main reasons."culturalordering.quite so cavalier a fashionas Wolfdoes here. especially. and people.Y. I0003. interrelated elethropologists ative and constrained. New School forSocial ture. Research. partbecause althoughan enemylurks dication of the continuingproblem of explainingculand in tural"association and coherence. culture.Certainly. New York. nei. for itself. FebruaryI994 tribal peoples" in search of alternativeconstructions liberalhumanism'sgeneralprojectof emancipationand anthropological knowledgeare neverseriwhich would not dichotomize or rank races." reminder Boas's insistenceon and contradiction culture.as it were.While one might wish to sympathisewith "leadership. WolfreadsBoas particular to have opposed the German Romantic tradition.) on His argument about culturedraws imperceptively This is not the place to rewriteWolf's justificatory thatabout race.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.I2 vIII 93 apparently. 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. my view. U. Number i. perhas haps. in structed the work of Franz Boas (supplemented. 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.Insofaras Volksgeist of theo. the current practicesofculturalpoliries rationalized and supportedAryan supremacy.. Boas re.his argumentis unlikely to con.Ifmyfirst assertionis right.as con. that only the middle of the three. increasingly.65 Fifth Ave. then anthropology is anthropology directly implicatedin the ideologiesand that have emergedin the course JOEL S.Second.separationof what are. and mentsof a single historyat the same time allows Wolf Moreover. materialconditionsand mentalconcepts. Australia.Britain. necessaryand interrelated. 8 vII 93 It modernity. Formost ofthe history our discipline.8 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.and the like. any genuinemerit Wolf's stimulatingessay invites us to think critically and thatwith it anthropology must continueto "speak and historically about our concepts. historyof the discipline. to leave himselfout of the analysis.moreimportant.and.namely.influence.emo. Victoria3083.and power" involvedin his of Wolf's motivations. in my view.S. a globalised of Departmentof Sociology. This procedurestrikesme as for anthropology.by insightsfromthe third).and I wish to reflect reasonto [the]unreason" of racism.La Trobe University. the know how to see individualsas both cre. to traditional ously engaged. message is.Nonetheless." beneaththe surfaceit is never clearlyidentified We are now accustomed to thinkingof "order"in at part because the challenges that enemy poses both to . reconstructions to explain them. Germany.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. cus.ethnonationalism ethnicgroupclaims to powerhave their"virulent"side.France. froma certainlack of fo. The pology.and his inof vince anybut traditional liberalanthropology's staunch. in tional integration culture.control. First.worldwhereanthropologists have traditionally course.the complexity in est defenders. Bundoora.in problemsinherentin the anthropologicalproject that in which the spiritof a people produceda passionate. Wolfperhapsdis. Sufficeit here to point to a of device that allows him largelyto ignorethe thetwo have been defined contrastively. Apart from a worthy motive-to laud Sidney Mintz-this shortpiece tracesa verylong genealogyfor ROSEBERRY the conceptofrace. he is perfectly gone untained considerable respect for the emotional side of challengedto do theirresearch. conclusion: eternalvigilance is the price of conceptual of thoughtthat is externalto the historyof modernity.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.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.have been identified recentacademic discourseand.A.WILLIAM truncatedone forthe notion of DepartmentofAnthropology.now becomes a body just as did the racism of an earliertheoreticalera. Anthrowithits conceptualarsenal.N. ethnic on theway to post-WorldWarII cognitiveand symbolic chauvinism. KAHN politics of difference of WesternEuropean and.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. cultures. and peoples. a shorter one forthe conceptof cul.and an extremely The "peoplehood" or nationalism/ethnicity.of tics both in the United States and in those partsof the correct.both biological and here on threeof his observations:his emphasis on the ethnicist. Wielding withinwhich these different expressionsofWesternsoof of power and constructionof social meaning are both ciety'sunderstanding othernesshave arisen. culture. Nevertheless.
U. He correctly points to a centralproblemwith most schemes-the postulation of an organizaexplanatory tional.a singularsociety if you will.I take it. but it imaginesthe fleshlycarriers those souls living of in families. the other.maintaininga sense of complexityand contradictionin each domain under considerationand exploringthe mutually constituting in processes of political and cultural ordering specific social-historical fields. relatedproblemis that A ofholdingone dimensionofsocial and culturalrelations constantor relatively stable while rendering anotherdimensiondynamicand contradictory-onthe one hand. counting heads. and collectingrevenue. cultural. and it formsin turnthe basis of the widely accepted mythof the primacyand legitimacyof popular sovereignty (within each state). and households before(or as) he attemptsto construct A Christianmission sets out to save souls. We need to understandthe processes of political and cultural orderingwithout such convenient but misleading conceptual anchoring.A.with houses and yards. it. againstopposition. thisview.Of course. This beliefis asserted both internallyto each state and within the as world-system a whole.on thewhole. activelyopposingthesevalues. the political establishmentof "order. or. The perilousideas thatWolfdiscusses can be seen to be ordering concepts in preciselythis dual sense. I should like to develop the discussion on a peril which is referred in his remarksbut not developedfully. or ecological core in termsof which is culture seen to be secondary.Thus.but along with even the worstof architectshe imagines an orderedsocial world of tribes. Binghamton.It to conceptualizahas to do with the ways in which varying the tions play a role in legitimating delegitimating) (or historicalsystemsin which we live.O. Our perilous ideas need to be placed within and and sohistory made centralto the kind of comparative ciologythatWolfand othershave pioneered. can onlybe constructed the contextof specificsocial. that I term the capitalist world-economy. One key geoculturalvalue has been that everystate should be a nation. N.A colonial administrator attempting establish orderis to interested gathering in information. or apathy). But we have yet to think between order creatively enoughabout the relationship and contradiction.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. What does this have to do with races. NorthAmericangroundings. and people. historicalsystemhas a geoculture. I3902-6000. I believe that we all today are living in a singular historicalsystem. Yorkat Binghamton. We see thismost clearlyin his discussionofrace (themostfully developed of the ideas in this essay) and the tripartite classifications of civilizational core. in in Explanation. villages." the wider cultural ordering of complex social relations and processes. 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).these values may be integrated individualsuperegosto varying degreesor not at all. To the extentthatpeople give credenceto these two geoculturalvalues. Y.State University New P. as Wolfinsists. thatthe concepts have multiple usages and historiesand theiruse as oftenadds to our confusionas reduces it. I agree.peoLiberalreformism an ideology. economic.as a as ples? Everything. And theremay be groups. This is what we mean by "citizen" ship. an overly systematic understandingof capitalism or plow or digging-stick on agriculture. A second key geoculturalvalue has been the beliefthatover time it is possible to amelioratematerial conditionsand move in the directionof greater material equality. culture.SouthAfrican.S. 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. But a historicalsystemcannotfunction unless at least some normsand values of this kind prevail (win out. they are asthe which. barbarians.in anothervein. which means thatthereare normsand values which serve to legitimate the world-system a as institutional whole and which receive some important into support." meaning." We still do not adequately understandthe complex interplay among anthropological ideas.but we see it as well in his analysisofthe development of each of these concepts in "cauldrons of conflict. I97os the of andI980s.the posof tulationofa variety cultureriddlesthatcan be solved in termsof the requirementsof the more stable core. in my view.answers to thewhyquestionsposed by Wolfwill continueto elude us. I3 VIII 93 Wolfis as usual saying sensible thingsabout the concepts of race.WOLF Perilous Ideas I 9 least a dual sense. and the emergence of social and political strugglesof various sorts.as in the now formulaic references a knowledge/power to nexus. cultures. Box 6ooo. but we understand thatthe connectionsare intimate.and "monstrous races" characteristicof archaic civilizations.has come to permeatefirstthe core in the igth and as century thenthe periphery well in the 2oth (Wallerstein i 992b). without such thinking. "to arrange classify"and "to comor mand or make obey"-cognitive and political. disbelief. IMMANUEL WALLERSTEIN of FernandBraudel Center.I would serting ideologyofliberalreformism argue. He entitles his remarks"perilousideas. thisbeing realmeaning theI989 .ideas about peoplehood and ethnicity need to be understood in termsoftheirconceptualhistoriesand in termsof their and Balkan.and political histories.even institutions. a broadlysketched"Cartesian revolution" or "modernism"in termsof which a varietyof morespecificand variableculturalconstructs and forms can be arrayed.
torical system. We must also engage in the utopistics of inthe alternative venting orderinto which we wish to en.too. 30 VIII 93 and geneticcards theymighthave come to be Inuit or I want to thank my respondentsfor their comments. "groups"-crosscutting. ever-evolving.a singular society . cul. to but to honor Sidney look forsalvation. has in factdemurred fraught at grappling with such enterprises. the politi.linguistic. perhapsforall anthropology. . Building around this purpose derives definedas lesser breeds)forequal the studyof anthropology (those geoculturally not of motivations intellecin rights thepolis. cul. FebruaryI994 geoculturalvalue. the importanceof looking at humans simultaneously culturecarriers."Groupismis also the expressionof anthropologies.and culture. a productof these encounters.IO I CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35.place write a historyof anthropology find solutionsto theirproblems. called the "four-field They have no self-evident we are all members of multiple. ent-if our purpose is to studywhat makes us human demand exclusive loyalties. has the effectof pressingpeople to tribution. In this sense. however.Classical anthropology.Thus.withinthe human species in ways that were never adtribute?One thing surely is a demystification 'the umbratedbefore.Races. O'otam.quite different was about. example.My primarypurpose was not.Boas was punctilious and insistent about the has eroded. Anthropology.and the violence will much increase with a task of understanding similarity beforewe emergefromit." Yet I would reiteratethat fudgingthe distinctionswill lead us astray our purposeis to thinkclearly if of the beliefin the centrality the state.A.It is all too true. Third.hic salta! at tion.but it is scarcely or in the philosophicalendeavorsof the Enlightenment. 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. look for salvation.in theirstate.To the extentthat this ideology momentin time. Roseberry seconds the point. it to definethe importanceof that legacy for American and at has been an enormously stabilizingdoctrine and a pillar anthropology.S.raticliberation. of tures.one needs to remindoneself that if there were efforts dominate or destroy"the to other. It politicizes people Mintz. These are urgentissues to which thereis no easy po. the capitalist The rise of this systemconfronts us litical answer. I always thought that one of the goals of was to make people aware that ERIC R. 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.Yet.Boas preachedthe importance what now gets approach" in U. at the same time. was thus neverinnodirectly Still. language.but-I submit-anthropology would demo.of the demand of the underdogs lose sight of this central purpose at its peril. with all the othersocial sciences. We are in the midst of a crisis of our world-economy. 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.. another.and ethnicity a tures. seeking to suppress the demo. . and peoples are not essences. races. What can intellectualscon. who is one of the leading historiansof anthro.tem arose out of encounters of the West with "othterat the end ofthiscrisis. They have no Second.Y. U.S. culture.If this escalates.Boas insisted that this was what anthropology cal consequences are oftenveryunpleasant. N. Instead.about the causes of human similaritiesand differences.place theirfaith elsewhere than in states. I need to distinguishamong race. and language speakers. way. cent but implicatedin efforts conquest and dominaers have said. as and overlapping. this of the existingsystem.that analyticand comparativeunderstandings social pology.and to do so in a particular in a veryspecificdirection. conservativereaction. as Wolf so clearly shows. anthropologyfixedcontours. Sometimesthis even allowed us betterto comprehend ourselves. peoples have therefore new and much more that they imply are less than Wolf would have us beacute political resonance.and cultural encountershave been virtuallyruled out Reply . There is. forwhateverit is worth. Kahn remindsus that this encompassingglobal sysenough.I am pleased that into a bugaboo so impenetrableand incomprehensible of Darnell. WOLF teachinganthropology but fora different of shuffling the cultural. One can conceive ofotherpurposesand other face to "groupism.reject overlaps.to make groupidentity politicallyefficacious. hic Rhodus.This is the global panhuman entitywhich Immanuel Wallersteindefinesin his comment as "a singularhiscraticdemand in the name of liberalism."therewere also efforts comprehend to thatother.And it tends to tame any Mintz among the executors of the Boasian legacy and anarchistictendencies they may feel." and variability historicalsystem. Irvington. along erness" and that these encounterswere all too often with mayhem and oppression. indeed myriad. one no longer contained by lieve. First. and synoptically biological creatures. This expressesitself.people must find their solutions. But of course.findsvirtuein my account of Boas and his con.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. I wantedto place theirfaithin states.of race. .eitherin the universalizingreligions of "perilousideas" ofwhich Wolfspeaks. content. However.overthe whole rangeof our similaritiesand differences.as oth.in both the past and the presgroups tend to strengthen boundaries.
would HUNT. the claim that the centralpurposeof anthropol. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 3:279. ideology. I976. MIRCEA.) Mass. pp. BAUER. I988. Walthropologists in in study institution on building. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic rootsof Classical civilization. of court. The tyranny GreeceoverGerin many. New York:Grosset 28:87-II9. JR. I8-55. CLARE A.We urgently need to develop a more sensitive BERNAL. New York: of now at a discount.) Jr. The imageofthe barbarian medievalEuin and heterogeneity our subencompassthe complexity of rope. purpose. and Dunlap. W. Furthermore. 198I. I964. i982. of had moreenemies thanfriends his own time. Boas but ELIZA (I935). too.: Documentary Educational Watertown.Comparative Studiesin Society and History I): 3 -2-2.no. 2. enterat the end of this crisis. I964. behavior: Essays on biological anthropology. Puritanism in interpretation theEnglish Revolution. The greatchainof being:A of Harvard University could benefitfromtheoretically informed studyofthehistory an idea. This also does pire:Myths in and prophecies theAztec tradition. as the encountersamong different Anthropology Editedby GeorgeW. EMIKO."in Languagesofnature:Criticalessayson scienceand makes a plea forus to be more innovative Roseberry literature. or American adigms. I987. Criticalessayson scienceand literature."in Bones. I98I.ton. ReYes. The mythof theeternal return." Comparative perspectives lersteinasks that we anthropologists only cultivate not in slavery New World societies. Press.and my BUTLER. New York:Seabury WILLIAM PHILLIPS. OHNUKI-TIERNEY. des institutions BENVENISTE.it is surely BOAS. Cited References .(Historyof 5. I964 (I936). Press.This is an important message especiallyfor JORDANOVA. I990.BURLING. Boston:M. death. Editor. and revolution: Studies I964. I977. The crisisof German MOSSE. otheranthropologies. Inventing thepeople: The riseof ent. Roseberry'scomment suggeststhat LOVEJOY. ies. EditedbyLudmillaJordanova. "others"did not all producethe same results. 2d revised edition. amongdifferent societies and culturescan producea va. The old physical has I anthropology.bodand of understandings. New in the ways we think. Paris:EdiPress. New Brunswick: UniverRutgers and dialecticallyinformed sense of how involvements sityPress. HUGH. BRUCE. 536-52. 289-32I. Capital. I34. FRANK B. I973. conception/symbolization processes: Cognitive anthropology and symbolic happiness. New York: also the case thatnot all anthropologists were alike and FreePress. Quetzalcoatland theironyof emmessageis not beingheardin the present.GREENFIELD.) London:Dent/New York:Dutton. FRANZ. discussionsof its unusual mix of observationand grasp MAC DOUGALL. New Brunswick: those members of our discipline who have come to Rutgers Press. reference. RO GER. M. Trojans. Montreal: Harvest out That. I98I. A prehistory the social sciences: of in Phrenology France. religion. I958 Press. tionsde Minuit. human. indo-europeennes. University do equate what anthropologists with the ways in which LIVINGSTONE.in all the variationsand convergences that this racesin medieval termmay entail. Vol. happilysettleforthe small-scaleutopia ofthe discipline American Journal PhysicalAnthropology of 56:339-46. Race. KARL. D. Phasesin humanperception/ New York:Dover. BARNES. Anthropologists anthropologists write.Comparative Studiesin Societyand History I3:376-407.(Film. not mean that Boas was rightin everything wrote he AND TIMOTHY CHAGNON. WOLFGANG. I986. I988. and Anglo-Saxons. La fumee du tations contactchez les Yanomami(Br6sil). CHRISTOPHER. Pouvoir. pp.BLANCKAERT. 198I.He wants us to be more creative Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. Teutons. 23( MARX. pp. historical writing. DAVID. (Everyman's Library 848. of man.Minneapolis: of University Vol. LUDMILLA. I98I. about how we use our abstractionsto characterizeand JONES. AnnalsoftheNew York the alternativeorderinto which we wish to inventing Academy of Sciences 29e2. New York:Pantheon Books. HARRY ELMER. EDWARD E. Cognition componential and analysis: God's truth hocus-pocus.. just Madison:University Wisconsin of Press. New York: with a unifying generalanthropology. and culture.New York:Nordu metal:Histoire represen. I940. Magical and said. in popularsovereignty Englandand America. were isomorphic with Americananthropology. China and thesearchfor classification. Barbarians Arabeyes. JOHN B.Past and PresEDMUND MORGAN. I97I.Given the pessimism on the partof Schocken. I969.. AZIZ." Large-scaleutopias are HILL. NAPOLEON. "Micheletand theuses ofnatural HUSS.The Boasian legacyis oftentalked about as ifit Anthropologist 66:20-28. Vol. I988. Languagesofnature: ject matter. JR. theconquest:History MC LAREN." That claim asserts that there can be a GOULD. Cambridge: anthropology Press.sources. i982. et ALBERT. House/Hanover London:University and PressofNew England.andSTEPHEN Cambridge: mismeasure The J. Translated by Eden and CedarPaul. manyabout whetheranthropology a future. and that therecan be generalan. language. I. Beacon remarks were addressedto the concernthat his central CARRASCO. ROBBINS. Le vocabulaire trade. Minnesota droit. The monstrous a art Harvard thought.I986. ASCH. American Ethnologist 8:451-67. Stocking. notall theirthought processesclonedfrom identicalpar. Reversing SIMMONS.pp. would be carrying the Boasian legacy.EditedbyVeraRuplantation our small gardenbut also "engage in the utopisticsof bin and Arthur Tuden. R. S. A history of I962. is not all they do. Chicago: of University ChicagoPress. ogy is to address the question of what it means to be ELIADE. SIDNEY "Madeira and thebeginnings of New World and sugarcane cultivation plantation A slavery: who make that purpose their own. I985. including those of anthropological ogy:WilliamEdwards thedoctrine race. ARTHUR 0. University high ground. I. I965. I946 (i867). MARTIN. thatBoas sketchedout forus. On the non-existence human of write.. CLAUDE. Racial myths English in history: of contextwith operationsof inductionand deduction. "On theorigins French of ethnolrietyof outcomes.WOLF Perilous Ideas I iI ANGUS. 3-I8.among Norton. L'Homme GEORGE L. I99I.also constitutes claim to "a scientific FRIEDMAN. Slavery from Romantimes to theearlytransatlantic EMILE.but that races. in AL-AZMEH. i962.
WALLERSTEIN. Ga.conference 22oo Oakdale Rd. ANTHONY F. deen.Calif. CarterCenterof EmoryUniversity.K. of ModifiedStates of Consciousness. burg. JR. i992a. September. nization. Scotland. Milibandand L. librarian and the various academic fieldsthat recogLewis-Williams. DepartDepartment of Archaeology. . SymposiumThe PleistoAtlanta.King's College.A. Centrode Geologia de 4-9.Ga.A.and Power: Representing Bushman People of SouthApril 5-II.K.Plants and Culnual Meeting.. tion Program.and Johannesand work as a Semitist. Institute. in July cene/HoloceneBoundary. University equal world.S. ogy. ThreatenedPeoples and Environments the Americas: 48th International Costas y del Cuaternario. Race.Ithaca:CornellUniversity WALLACE. ConflictResolutional Symposium. Lerida. PAUL. of IMMANUEL. Write:Marcelo Zairate. University the Witwatersof rand.Stockholm. London:Merlin.U.Viking and evoluGEORGE W. in 40.Berkeley. Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.7600 Mar del Plata.Sweden. Chicago: University ChicagoPress. Readings SLOTKIN. Johannesburg 2o5o. Panitch.A.. culture. tion. or HonggangYang. Politics.Departmentof Anthro4rt. Troisideologies une seule?La problematique ou de la modernite. in to VERENA.AnApril 27-30. i992.International OriginsSociety. FebruaryI994 Cultureand personality. Wolfe.[iw] pp. nise his influence.Moscow. Theme: Smith's life.Spain.080I5 Barcelona. South Africa. Moscow II7334. The "right difference" an unSTOLCKE. STOCKING. ism.times.New York: Free Press.Mendoza. canists. I968.S. coordinator. Instituteof Ethnologyand AnthropolRichman. U. U.Atlanta.MS. Sweden. Rutgers University in earlyanthropolI965. 2d International Congressforthe Study 2UB. JAMES S. Congressof AmeriUNMP.Symposiumand Exhibitions.Spain. Rusin guage."in Socialistregister I992: New worldorder.S.. . Fla.University South Florida.I1 CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY Volume 35. Calendar International March 2I-24. Geneses9:7-24. Editor. 457. tion. Editedby R.U.U. European The beginnings moderncoloCHARLES. U. of Press. Cleveland Heights. International One Copenhill. Society. York:RandomHouse.theologian.Av. Old AberdeenAB9 October 3-7.Tampa. Dowson and J. Argentina. VERLINDEN.South Africa. ment of Hebrew and Semitic Languages. Number i. FundPublications Anthropology ogy. A. U. Write:Alvin W.University of Aberdeen. New "The collapse of liberal- New Brunswick: British literature. SouthernAnthropological Theme: Ethnocognition.encyclopaedist. Write:Instituteof Latin America Studies. Argentina. I97I. C.LeninskyProspect32A.S. Shamanism. Write:OrganizingCommittee.Ohio 44I I8. I970. 30307..Write:T.Texts and Images of People. 96-IIO. I96I. Conferenceon EthnicTra. of November.Aberthe ernAfrica.July I5-i8.A.S.Interna3362o... The Social and Cultural Originsof Landitional Culture and Folk Knowledge.Write:Institutde ProspectivaAntroto Anthropological Contributions ConflictResolupologica. in and myth Igth-century Press. Human Occupations in South America. Russia. Key symposium: tural Context. Write:Bruce Conference.Write:William Johnston. Scotland. William RobertsonSmith Congress.D. i992b. [iwl WHEATLEY.S-io6 9I Stockholm.Rock Art ResearchUnit. Casilla de Correo 722-CorreoCentral. The PivotoftheFourQuarters.a conference association with the Language sia.The Pleistocene/HoloceneBoundaryand pology. Florence.A.
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