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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During the period in which anthropology first gained extensive recognition as a professional discipline and the number of anthropologists began to grow rapidly, this work was the only textbook. The notable exception is The Nature of Culture, published in Uhle had suggested chronological depth for his materials.

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

In his major contribution dealing with culture areas, Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North AmericaKroeber outlined 6 grand areas, 56 areas, and 43 subareas.

This is of course a highly ambiguous situation, in essence forcing people to live in imposed isolation. He observed that if the Indian service truly wanted scientific research it should contract with the universities to have it done independently. The regard in which Kroeber was held and the reasons for his eminence rest on several characteristics. For recently contacted peoples, FUNAI tries to do as much as possible to convince them to continue living as they did prior to contact.

Actually Kroeber had a lively interest in psychology, his minor subject as superorganicco graduate student.

Kroeber, Alfred L. |

They behave, however, in concert with each other, as a system external to individuals —— society. He could, on occasion, use thoroughly functional concepts kdoeber his descriptive analyses see for example his section on the Yurok in the Handbook of the Indians of Californiabut his habit supetorganico mind and his interest led him back continually to the natural-history approach of classical biology and a humanistic emphasis upon patterns and styles.


At the same time, Kroeber argues, art and literature conveys truths that are enduring, but which are aesthetic and not scientific.

For a complete bibliography, see Stewardpp. This curiosity repeatedly led him to enter a new field, topic, or problem on which little had superorganio written or which lacked systematization. If you separate the dog or tree into its separate elements, it dies. 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. Humans have thoughts and behaviour.

Superorganco was concerned primarily with historical relationships within and between languages, but he also published some essentially analytical papers concerned with such problems as incorporation or noun composition.

Kroeber sees the organic and the mental as being very closely connected — indeed, he argues that intelligence may be genetically determined. Modern kinship studies have gone beyond Kroeber and in different directions, but superorgwnico questions he raises are still significant and partly unanswered [ see Culture ; Kinship].

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 Krober among the Basques and in Brazil among some Indians.

Predictably, Kroeber argues that organic racial difference cannot affect the growth of civilization. Retrieved December 31, from Encyclopedia. It is also important to emphasize that in asking this question, Kroeber clearly sees the importance of biological anthropology and human evolutionary history to cultural anthropology.

In The Nature of Culture he included an exchange of views with A. If borrowing is postulated, particularly of isolated traits without continuous geographic distributions, then absences or failures to borrow must also be considered and explained. Pages 66—78 in Alfred L. Such measures of relationship could also be used, in his view, to establish historical depth, superofganico for relationships and for traits or trait complexes.


Savage Minds

What articles come to mind? In any case, his publications appeared over a period of sixty years, and he rarely bothered to note changes in his views or to organize his developing theoretical views into an overarching, coherent, or consistent design. It is just easier to access and, frankly, cries out for an editor more. They are rarely presented as theory in the grand style, but rather as interesting hypotheses.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Kroeber makes this argument through a discussion of the role of genius in shaping history.

It operates at a higher level of complexity than the organic. In any case, the culture element distribution studies produced much less than Kroeber hoped for, and he himself made little use of them. Not only does the work summarize the information then known, but superorganuco also delineates cultural areas and discusses their historic implications.

He used it most commonly in suerorganico to aesthetic productions, and when he occasionally extended it to other human activities he seems to have meant a distinctive mode of expression or action.