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