ANTHRO 2A Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Indigenous Peoples Of The Americas, Franz Boas, Cultural Relativism

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Culture - a system of meanings embedded in symbols about the experiences that are shared by a group of people and passed on from generation to generation. Learned behaviors to cope with natural/social environments. Culture articulates meanings in the lives of people who make up a society. Franz boas - german-american anthropologist that developed the four field approach to support the holistic approach. Impressed with inuit people and developed strong disagreement with social/cultural evolution (stages of civilization barbarism savagery) Became an ethnographer and founded the first american department of anthropology at columbia university (1888) Strong proponent of cultural relativism and established the theory of historical particularism to challenge and disprove social cultural evolutionary models. Contributed to the development of participant observation fieldwork through his research among north american indigenous cultures. The four-field approach (franz boas: cultural anthropology, biological (physical) anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, *public/applied anthropology a result of becoming more politically engaged.