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However, in the theoretical sense, Kroeber’s biggest contribution is the re- formulation of Spencer’s concept of the superorganic which Kroeber. The idea of “The superorganic” is associated with Alfred Kroeber, an American anthropologist writing in the first half of the twentieth century. A. L. KROEBER. University of California. Search for more papers by this author. First published: April‐June

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When Kroeber entered anthropology, previous work had already established the importance of culture in explaining dissimiliarities of behavior found in societies around the world. Kroeber himself deprecated this work, indicating that he had included it in his collected papers only because it is primarily functional in approach, in contrast to his other papers on kinship.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. In the s, when, for superorgsnico first time, the Bureau of Indian Affairsunder John Collieremployed anthropologists, a step widely hailed by young and unemployed anthropologists, Kroeber disapproved and even refused to recommend students to Collier.

“The Superorganic,” or Kroeber’s hidden agenda.

Since you know well the Lowie collection at Berkeley, are there any texts that might be available online? The implications of these statements need further elucidation [ see Culture ].

Kroeber felt strongly that individual cultures must be considered as wholes, although he never developed a holistic oroeber that satisfied him.

Pages — in Alfred L. Kroeber viewed himself primarily as an ethnographer and ethnologist. These are often beautifully written and perceptive, but they are far from detailed ethnographies.

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It is also important to emphasize that in asking this question, Kroeber clearly sees the importance of biological anthropology and human evolutionary superorganlco to cultural anthropology. Since language is a cultural phenomenon, similar units should be discoverable in other aspects of culture. Degeneration or simplification and the relative stability of elements through time and space also may be relevant.


At the same time he pioneered studies of dialect surveys among aboriginal American Indians, publishing significant material as early as and Kroeber included material from the article in his textbook Anthropology: His most extensive reporting on a single tribe is perhaps his early work on the Arapaho; his several publications deal with decorative symbolismceremonial organization and religion —and tales and language b. In his later years Kroeber perhaps more than any other individual was the spokesman of the profession in the United States.

He returned to some supedorganico, such as the Yurok and Mohave, time and again over almost a lifetime. All living things, plants and animals, are built up of inorganic elements, mainly hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, plus some trace elements.

Do not think of a dog as a carbon atom or a hydrocarbon molecule. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. I have cut it down to just under 8, Difficulty of access supports kroebwr. Similarly, do not think of a community, an institution, a society as a human being. These, in conjunction with the trait lists, provide a rich body of material.

After a short visit to Mexico, which resulted in the first documentation of subperiods in the Mexican Archaic superorhanico the Pre-classic period through controlled stratigraphic excavation and the seriation of surface materials, he centered his efforts on Peru. Is anthropology a unique discipline because it has a unique subject matter?

If a peoples e.

Savage Mind’s new occasional paper series: first up, The Superorganic | Savage Minds

Over time I would like to work on the British side of the tradition, since that was actually how I was trained as well at least in undergrad. Porno basketryfor example, is dealt with in the context of California basketry, not Porno culture; Yurok kin-term systems are described and compared with those of ssuperorganico neighbors b. But not all things that are similar are necessarily borrowed, and in his Anthropology Kroeber characteristically opened his chapter on diffusion with a discussion of the couvade, a set of similar behavioral restrictions placed upon the father at the birth of a child, found in Europe among the Basques and in Brazil among some Indians.


It also was a major source from which scholars in other fields as well as the general public learned about anthropology. As an ethnographer Kroeber was thorough and showed great ability in establishing field rapport.

The problems of independence superorfanico research and freedom of publication for government-employed anthropologists which he anticipated continue to preoccupy the professional associations. These themes dominated his more important courses as well as several of his major monographs.

“The Superorganic,” or Kroeber’s hidden agenda.

He could, on occasion, use thoroughly functional concepts in his descriptive analyses see for example his section on the Yurok in the Handbook of the Indians of Californiabut his habit of mind and his interest led him back continually to the natural-history approach of classical biology and a humanistic emphasis upon patterns and styles. It was the very precise methodology of linguistics that interested him, and he speculated upon ways of developing similar techniques in ethnology. These patterned phenomena he related to other aspects of culture and suggested that certain historic and repetitive configurations of growth and change may be identified.

The Science of Cultural Anthropology. Race, Language, Culture, Psychology, and Prehistory.

These are by no means at the level of modern structural analysis, and it is primarily for this reason that Kroeber often denied that he was a linguist. He did not, however, teach ethnographic methodology to his students as, indeed, he had never taught archeological methodology.