CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM. What is the Functionalist view of Human Nature? What is the Relationship between the individual and the society? How do Functionalists account for change? How do functionalists deal with conflict? How is the function of a given institution determined?
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What is the Functionalist view of Human Nature?
What is the Relationship between the individual and the society?
How do Functionalists account for change?
How do functionalists deal with conflict?
How is the function of a given institution determined?
Must all institutions have a function?
Boas en route to Baffin Island 1883 and Central Inuit; to study of reflectivity of sea-water
Analyst seeks to understand phenomena by grasping how they make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively
1886: First collecting trip for American Museum of Natural History (New York City) to Nootka and Kwakiutl — massive documentation of Northwest Coast culture
Four Field Approach
Influential generation of anthropologists trained under Boas at Columbia University and established Boasian doctrines in North American universities:
1897 enrolled in a course in American Indian languages at Columbia Universityoffered by Franz Boas
“ no culture is wholly intelligible without reference to the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205).
“cultures occur in nature as wholes; and these wholes can never be entirely formulated through consideration of their elements.
NATIVE NORTH AMERICA:
seeks to understand the growth and development of personal or social identity as it relates to the surrounding social environment
1922 begins teaching at Barnard College as assistant to Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead
Ruth Fulton Benedict
Demonstrated the primacy of culture over biology in understanding the differences between people
Contrasted the ways of life of the Zuni, Natives of Dobu and Kwakiutl
The Dobuan…is dour, and passionate, consumed with jealousy and suspicion and resentment. Every moment of prosperity he conceives himself as having wrung from a malicious world by a conflict in which he has worsted his opponent. The good man is one which has many such conflicts to his credit…
paranoiac and mean spirited
“We have seen that any society selects some segment of the arc of possible human behaviour”… and in so far as it achieves integrations its institutions tend to further the expression of its selected segment and inhibit opposite expressions”.
During World War II, Benedict worked for the Office of War Information, applying anthropological methods to the study of contemporary cultures.
Margaret Mead 1901-1978
based on a detailed study of 68 girls between 8 and 20 in three contiguous villages
that adolescence in Samoa
was not a stressful period
society lacked stresses
“This tale of another way of life is mainly concerned with education with the process by which the baby, arrived cultureless upon the human scene, becomes a full-fledged adult member of his or her society. The strongest light will fall upon the ways in which Samoan education, in its broadest sense, differs from our own. And from this contrast we may be able to turn, made newly and vividly self-conscious and self-critical, to judge anew and perhaps fashion differently the education we give our children (1928: 13)
1983 Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth
Derek Freeman (1916-2001)
central idea: that differences between peoples are usually cultural differences imparted in childhood
The fierce cannibalistic Mundugumor
The graceful headhunters of Tchambuli,
1942 And Keep Your Powder Dry, a book on American national character for War effort