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This week, Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg examines the rise of social science in the twentieth century and its impact on ...
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  Who Was Franz Boas? main page
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Who Was Franz Boas?
Aired 1/25/2001

This week, Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg looks at the life and influence of Franz Boas, "the father of American anthropology." In the early part of the twentieth century, the large number of immigrants entering America led some social scientists to dabble in what is now called "scientific racism." Boas fought this tendency, insisting that biology and culture were distinct. His thinking influenced a generation of anthropologists and changed the way Americans thought about race. But the methods of his followers, with their emphasis on "cultural relativism," came under strong criticism. Who was Franz Boas and what is his legacy?
  Read the full transcript


  Lee Baker
    associate professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University and author of "From Savage to Negro: Anthropology and the Construction of Race, 1896-1954"
  Matthew Frye Jacobson
    associate professor of American studies and history at Yale University and author of "Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples Abroad and at Home, 1876-1917"

Originally Aired: 1/25/2001

   
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