Chapter

Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas: Anthropology, Equality / Diversity, and World Peace

James Tully

in Indigenous Visions

Published by Yale University Press

Published in print March 2018 | ISBN: 9780300196511
Published online September 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780300235678 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.12987/yale/9780300196511.003.0006
Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas: Anthropology, Equality / Diversity, and World Peace

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This chapter attempts to rediscover the world of Franz Boas by examining his work on two general (non-Indigenous) world visions. The first is the worldview or picture (Weltanschauung or Weltbild) of civilized and primitive peoples and cultures that became dominant in the nineteenth and twentieth century: the civilized/primitive vision. Boas argued that this worldview misrepresents the world of cultures and serves to legitimate the racism, imperialism, genocide, and militarism of the civilized nations. The second, marginal vision is a more accurate representation of a world of diverse cultures: the equality/diversity vision. Boas argued that if his anthropological critique of the former and evidence for the latter were widely taught and accepted, this world-historical cultural transformation would lead away from racism, imperialism, and war toward world peace.

Keywords: Franz Boas; world vision; worldview; civilized people; primitive people; culture; equality; diversity

Chapter.  15173 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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