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Franz Boas

Page history last edited by runningafterantelope@... 16 years ago

Franz Boas!!!!


July 9th, 1858-December 21, 1942, German-American Anthropologist




                                                           Photograph of Franz Boas


STRENGTHS: Pioneer of modern anthropology, applied the scientific method to human culture


Weaknesses: Sometimes had difficulty working with other faculty or colleagues, notably in his first job at Clark University and the American Museum of Natural History.


Special features: called “The Father of Modern Anthropology,” has a PhD in physics, developed first PhD program in Anthropology


Franz Boas is the “Father of Modern Anthropology” and remains one of the most well known anthropologists to date. Born in Germany to Jewish parents, Boas went on to study mathematics and physics in University. In 1883, Boas went to Baffin Island to study the Inuits for geographic purposes and became interested in human culture. Boas then went on to revolutionize the study of anthropology in virtually every area. In the field of biological anthropology, Boas studied the changes in form in children of immigrants. In linguistics, Boas studied and categorized many Native American languages. In sociocultural anthropology, Boas set himself apart from his colleagues by insisting that cultural boundaries were not static and must be studied in local and historical context. Boas’ contributions to anthropology are too many to count!




  • The Mind of the Primitive Man (1911)


  • Changes in the Bodily Form of Descendents of Immigrants (1912)


  • History of the American Race (1912)


  • Mythology and Folk-tales of the North American Indians (1914)


  • Race, Language and Culture (1940)


card by Sara Ray


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