Frank Boas: "The Father of Anthropology" Term Paper

Frank Boas: "The Father of Anthropology"
Describes the contribution of Franz Boas, known as the "Father of Anthropology."
# 144963 | 2,730 words | 6 sources | APA | 2004 | US

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This research paper details the life and works of Franz Boas, known as the "Father of Anthropology." Boas was an early anthropologist who pioneered methods such as field work and ethnography, as well as the theory of cultural relativity. This paper explores Boas' personal history and education, as well as his ground-breaking work amongst the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of the U.S. The paper concludes by citing Boas's unique and lasting contribution to anthropology, which was his insistence upon the equal treatment of all cultures and his non-racist, relativistic ideals which still stand as examples of his lasting influence.

From the Paper:

"After graduation, Boas discovered that there were not many positions available in academia for a Jewish liberal, a reflection of the widespread anti-Semitism of the time (Hyatt 1990). An attempt to immigrate to the United States was unsuccessful, and in frustration Boas turned back to his interest in geography (Hyatt 1990). In 1883, Boas secured a position on an expedition to the Baffin Island region in the Arctic, the goal of which was to research the connection between seawater and migration patterns among the Eskimo (McGee 2000). At the time of the expedition, anthropology was not considered a "reputable" academic subject, and Boas's interest in the expedition was primarily as a geographical study to investigate the influence of the environment on the native peoples' behaviors, movements and cultural activities."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cole, Douglas. 1999 Franz Boas, The Early Years, 1858 - 1906. Seattle:University of Washington Press.
  • Hyatt, Marshall. 1990 Franz Boas, Social Activist: the Dynamics of Ethnicity. New York:Greenwood Press.
  • McGee, R. Jon and Richard L. Warms 2000 Anthropological Theory: An Introductory History. Mountain View, CA:Mayfield Publishing Company.
  • Rohner, Ronald P. 1969 The Ethnography of Franz Boas. Chicago:The University of Chicago Press.
  • Rohner, Ronald P. 1966 Franz Boas: Ethnographer on the Northwest Coast. In Pioneers of American Anthropology, June Helm, ed., pp. 149 - 222. Seattle:University of Washington Press.

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APA Format

Frank Boas: "The Father of Anthropology" (2010, October 20) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

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