Race, language and culture

By: Seiferle-Valencia, Anna
Material type: TextTextSeries: Macat library critical thinking seriesPublisher: London Routledge 2017Description: 89 p.ISBN: 9781912128389Subject(s): Biochemistry - Ethnology | Franz Boas | Social Sciences - Anthropology | Criticism - Critical thinking skillsDDC classification: 572.081 Summary: Franz Boas’s 1940 Race, Language and Culture is a monumentally important text in the history of its discipline, collecting the articles and essays that helped make Boas known as the ‘father of American anthropology.’ An encapsulation of a career dedicated to fighting against the false theories of so-called ‘scientific racism’ that abounded in the first half of the 20th-century, Race, Language and Culture is one of the most historically significant texts in its field – and central to its arguments and impact are Boas’s formidable interpretative skills. It could be said, indeed, that Race, Language and Culture is all about the centrality of interpretation in questioning our assumptions about the world. In critical thinking, interpretation is the ability to clarify and posit definitions for the terms and ideas that make up an argument. Boas’s work demonstrates the importance of another vital element: context. For Boas, who argued passionately for ‘cultural relativism,’ it was vital to interpret individual cultures by their own standards and context – not by ours. Only through comparing and contrasting the two can we reach, he suggested, a better understanding of humankind. Though our own questions might be smaller, it is always worth considering the crucial element Boas brought to interpretation: how does context change definition? https://www.routledge.com/Race-Language-and-Culture/Seiferle-Valencia/p/book/9781912128389
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Slot 1702 (2 Floor, East Wing) Non-fiction 572.081 S3R2 (Browse shelf) Available 196715

Franz Boas’s 1940 Race, Language and Culture is a monumentally important text in the history of its discipline, collecting the articles and essays that helped make Boas known as the ‘father of American anthropology.’

An encapsulation of a career dedicated to fighting against the false theories of so-called ‘scientific racism’ that abounded in the first half of the 20th-century, Race, Language and Culture is one of the most historically significant texts in its field – and central to its arguments and impact are Boas’s formidable interpretative skills. It could be said, indeed, that Race, Language and Culture is all about the centrality of interpretation in questioning our assumptions about the world.

In critical thinking, interpretation is the ability to clarify and posit definitions for the terms and ideas that make up an argument. Boas’s work demonstrates the importance of another vital element: context. For Boas, who argued passionately for ‘cultural relativism,’ it was vital to interpret individual cultures by their own standards and context – not by ours. Only through comparing and contrasting the two can we reach, he suggested, a better understanding of humankind.

Though our own questions might be smaller, it is always worth considering the crucial element Boas brought to interpretation: how does context change definition?


https://www.routledge.com/Race-Language-and-Culture/Seiferle-Valencia/p/book/9781912128389

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