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Robert H. Lowie

(1883—1957)


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(1883–1957)

A student of Franz Boas, Lowie's book Primitive Society (1920) was the first modern survey of social organization in non-Western societies since the decline of evolutionism. Lowie attacked the theories of Lewis Henry Morgan on the basis of his own ethnography among Native Americans. His major works (The Origin of the State, 1927, and Social Organization, 1948) expanded on Morgan's speculative theories of the development of the state. According to Lowie, the state is based on territoriality, legitimacy, and the monopoly over the means of violence, a far more modern analysis than that of Morgan. However, Lowie insisted on imposing a rigid scientism on his research, which is not really suited to the study of human subjects.

Subjects: Social Sciences.


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