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Cultural Anthropology: Exploring Foundational Theorists and Perspectives


Over the span of little more than 130 years, cultural anthropology has witnessed the rise of a considerable number of theoretical schools, each offering distinctive perspectives on the study of humans and their cultures (Rosman et al., 2009). Therefore, when delving into the realm of this discipline, it becomes crucial to organize the intricate tapestry of key theories and theorists that have not only shaped but also deeply imprinted the trajectory of this unique field of study. In this regard, the following article pays particular attention to the main developments that have contributed to the diversified landscape of cultural anthropology primarily in Europe and the U.S.



Proto-Anthropology


While cultural anthropology did not develop into a scientific subject until the 19th century, its origins can be traced back way further. The discovery of writings attributed to ancient Greek philosophers and travelers suggests, in fact, that the subject was already in the making. Societies have always held a strong interest in recording and analyzing the cultural variations that existed between one group and their neighboring communities. An early example of this approach can be found in the work of the famous Greek historian Herodotus, who researched the practices of foreign communities situated to the east and north of Greece and was intrigued by the outstanding cultural differences and similarities with the nearby area of Athens, where he originally came from (Schwimmer, 2023). Similarly, ancient Greek philosophers known as the Sophists have usually been considered the forerunners of cultural relativism for their indisputable claims in favor of a truth that is context-bounded rather than universally applicable. Although the most groundbreaking anthropological doctrine had thus been conceived, the discipline still struggled to acquire a scientific character, primarily due to a lack of theoretical grounds and empirical evidence.




Figure 1: The importance of Ancient Greece in shaping Western anthropology (Blumel, 2015).

A more pertaining starting point for cultural anthropology is often associated with the remarkable contributions of Ibn Khaldun. This brilliant Tunisian thinker, who lived during the 15th century, wrote the Muqaddimah, translated into English as "An Introduction to History", in which he explored the intersection of various areas of knowledge including law, education, politics, and economics. With his meticulous manual, he delivered a clear understanding of the evolution over time of different societies (Issawi, 2023), and offered a comprehensive historical account, mainly centered around Arabic and Berber societies, all while simultaneously “providing [us with] the criteria necessary for distinguishing historical truth from error” (Issawi, 2023, para. 10). In such a way, the early findings of Ibn Khaldun underscored the significance of empirical evidence and critical analysis in comprehending history and societies, leading him to birth the idea of a new science, which he called ilm al-ʿumrān, “the science of (human) culture” (Issawi, 2023). For the insights he provided into societal dynamics and his methodology, Khaldun’s Muqaddimah is considered by many experts the most direct precursor of modern anthropological research (Schwimmer, 2023).



Evolutionism & Diffusionism


The curiosity in studying diverse cultures continued to flourish throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, an era that saw the exploration and exploitation of non-Western society for Europe’s political and economic gain. Throughout history and to varying degrees, Western portrayals of other ways of living have always been polluted by ethnocentric biases and self-serving viewpoints. A more impartial approach to comprehending cultural variety emerged only during the European Enlightenment when social philosophers like Locke, Smith, and Rousseau formulated economic and political reforms rooted in what they saw as scientific principles, which were independent of the control of political and religious institutions. Nevertheless, non-European cultures were still integrated into their frameworks, not as alternative societal models, but as examples of early stages in a universal human history that evolved from "savagery" to "civilization", placing instead European nations at the forefront of progress and success. While keeping this double standard in mind, by the end of the 18th century pivotal questions regarding cultural anthropology’s main scope had already been formulated, encompassing debates such as universalism versus relativism, ethnocentrism versus cultural relativism, and the importance of empirical observations in studying human cultures (Eriksen, 2010). In this regard, the contributions of notable figures such as the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, the Scottish David Humes, and the Italian Giambattista Vico—to name a fewserved as an inspiration for early anthropologists who prioritized firsthand empirical experiences over speculative contemplation, cultural relativism over ethnocentrism (Eriksen, 2010).


As the 19th century unfolded, Europe underwent industrialization, and its influence began to extend even more globally, leading to an increasing need to understand other cultures for purposes of trade, communication, and eventually exploitation (Eriksen, 2010). It was in this atmosphere that cultural anthropology, initially referred to as "ethnology", evolved into a formal discipline, with dedicated societies and universities devoted to its studies. For instance, the establishment of the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879 in the United States marked the initiation of a research program aimed at collecting ethnographic data concerning Native American societies, particularly within regions undergoing westward expansion (Schwimmer, 2023). During this time, two important anthropological schools, evolutionism and diffusionism, emerged, seeking to elucidate the origins and evolution of cultural traits, practices, and ideas.



Figure 2: "Piegan Indian, Mountain Chief, listening to a recording with ethnologist Frances Densmore" for the Bureau of American Ethnology (Harris & Ewing, 1916).

As one of the earliest anthropological trends, evolutionism followed the premises of the theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin, who proposed the emergence and progression of all species via natural selection, a process by which individuals with advantageous traits were thought to be more likely to survive and pass on their traits to the next generation. The theory, which sparked significant debates in various other fields, played a pivotal role in shaping contemporary anthropology. As illustrated by professor of Cultural Evolution at the University of Exeter, Alex Mesoudi (2016):


Cultural evolution is the theory that cultural change in humans and other species can be described as a Darwinian evolutionary process, and consequently that many of the concepts, tools and methods used by biologists to study biological evolution can be equally profitably applied to study cultural change (Mesoudi 2011a; Richerson and Boyd 2005; Richerson and Christiansen 2013). ‘Culture’ here entails any socially (rather than genetically) transmitted information, such as beliefs, knowledge, skills or practices. Just as biologists seek to explain the diversity and complexity of life and living organisms, cultural evolution researchers seek to explain the diversity and complexity of culture and cultural phenomena (p. 481).


This perspective not only declared that human societies evolve in a unilinear manner analogous to biological evolution, moving from simple and primitive forms to more complex and advanced ones but it was also used to imply a hierarchical arrangement of cultures, with some societies seen as more developed and superior than others (Rosman et al., 2009). This theory became popularized and successively employed by European powers to justify the ongoing exploitation of non-Western societies and legitimize their supremacy over other cultural groups. In this regard, the American anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan, one of the main exponents of the evolutionist school, contributed to this movement by outlining in his detailed work Ancient Society (1877) a seven-stage evolutionary scheme from "lower savagery" to "civilization" (Eriksen, 2010). Another famous name in the evolutionist movement is that of Edward Tylor, another influential British anthropologist of the 19th century. Fascinated by Darwin's views on biological evolution, in his work Primitive Culture (1871), Tylor designed a series of distinct stages or levels of development to support the idea that cultures and societies progress over time. Tylor, together with early evolutionists, despite providing premature ethnographic insights and expanding the range of topics covered, also limited the vast diversity of human cultural practices and social structures into oversimplified classifications (Rosman et al., 2009). Although it is quite self-evident that not every society must fit into these eurocentric categories, at the time such classification led to the reinforcement of the pseudoscientific belief that the human species can and must be categorized into biologically distinct "races", some of them being superior and some inferior to others. Despite its problematic applications, the importance of 19th-century evolutionism in modern cultural anthropology primarily resides in its ambitious comparative endeavors, which have significantly contributed to a widespread aspiration for comparative investigations within the field. Additionally, the newly acquired cross-cultural methods of comparison eventually led to the assumption of the universal sameness of humanity across races, cultures, and even religious practices. This stance, strongly supported by early evolutionists of the 19th century, championed the concept of "the psychic unity of mankind", echoing the effort demonstrated by some early evolutionists in finding a common thread among societies, rather than merely attributing cultural differences to biological factors.



Figure 3: Illustration comparing the skeletons of various apes to that of a human (Hawkins, 1863).

Around the same time, another distinctive perspective emerged, offering an alternative and sometimes complementary viewpoint to evolutionist thought: diffusionism a doctrine centered on the historical spread of cultural traits. Unlike evolutionism, diffusionism contended that "each tribe shapes its culture not solely from internal resources, but also under the influence of external cultural elements originating from neighboring tribes" (White, 1945, p. 339). In other words, this theory posits that traits, concepts, and practices travel from one society to another via direct interaction, highlighting the impact of external forces, rather than biological elements, on a culture's evolution. In Europe, a group led by Fritz Graebner and Wilhelm Schmidt claimed that the primary driving force behind human development was the spread of cultural traits, and they believed that these could be traced back to a few creative hubs. They labeled these original hubs as Kulturkreise, leading to their identification as the Kulturkreise School of Cultural Anthropology (Mercier, 2022). Similarly to evolutionism, early diffusionist theories also frequently oversimplified the complexities of cultural development and lacked scientific validity. Fully embraced in German-speaking regions, notably in Berlin and Vienna, diffusionism gained significant traction even in English-speaking circles, including the U.S., right until the outset of World War II, when the movement waned in popularity as researchers began to meticulously study single societies without speculating on their historical progression (Eriksen, 2010). Despite this, a theoretical approach similar to diffusionism resurfaced in the late 1990s, under the influence of globalization, this time to comprehend how modern mass communication, migration, capitalism, and other "global" phenomena interact with single local contexts (Eriksen, 2010).



Franz Boas: Cultural Relativism & Particularism


Although Franz Boas initially supported the evolutionist perspective, his fieldwork with the Inuit of Baffin Island in the late 19th century and later with various Northwest Coast societies, particularly the Kwakiutl, prompted him to shift away from this viewpoint (Rosman et al., 2009). According to Theories of Man and Culture by Elvin Hatch (1973), Boas began examining the evolution of cultural characteristics through the lenses of two historical dynamics: diffusion and modification. As he delved deeper into this exploration, he came to understand that the cultural richness of a society—visualized by Boas as a mosaic woven from several different components—was largely shaped by the gradual phenomenon of diffusion, a process involving the integration of various elements, many originating from foreign origins, which interwove over time.



Figure 4: Illustration of ceremonial masks from "The Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island" (Boas, 1905).

After distancing himself from the evolutionary approach, he worked to popularize the concept of cultural relativism, which had emerged, as previously discussed, in premature form several centuries before him. In such a way, Boas rejected the ideas advocated by Tylor, Morgan, and other evolutionists, embracing instead a more particularist approach. In particular, he contended that the main role of cultural anthropology had to reside in the ability to understand each culture within its own original context, rather than evaluating and ranking cultures using Western-centric scales, which, according to him, were scientifically inaccurate (Eriksen, 2010). As a result, Boas further advanced the notion of cultural relativism by asserting that each society possessed a unique history that defied categorization within a universal developmental framework, thus contesting baseless assertions of racist pseudoscience prevalent among leading cultural anthropologists of his era. In the words of Sol Tax (2023), Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago, during the years 1948–76:


The revolutionary significance of Boas’s work is best understood in historical terms. Although almost all anthropologists through time have believed that humans comprise one species, few scholars of the early 20th century believed that the various races showed equal capacity for cultural development. It is largely because of Boas’s influence that anthropologists and other social scientists from the mid-20th century onward believed that differences among the races were a result of historically particular events rather than physiological destiny and that race itself was a cultural construct (n.d).


His most groundbreaking contribution to the discipline involved the re-interpretation of the study of human bone structures, through which he demonstrated that differences in shape and size of human skulls depended on external factors like health, food, and living conditions. This stood in stark contrast to the assertions of contemporary racial anthropologists who believed, on the contrary, that cranial structure remained an unchanging racial attribute, defining the inferiority of certain cultural groups in comparison to others (Moore, 2009). In this manner, Boas also managed to prove that disparities in human conduct do not primarily stem from inherent biological characteristics but predominantly arise from variations in culture and social environments. In effect, Boas introduced the idea that culture was the main factor in explaining behavioral distinctions among human societies, thereby establishing it as both the principal differentiating factor and the core analytical concept within modern cultural anthropology (Moore, 2009).


To conclude, Boas's insistence on methodical empirical data collection stemmed not only from his scientific convictions but also from his realization that cultural evolution obscured the uniqueness of individual cultures. His influence motivated subsequent scholars like Ruth Benedict, Alfred L. Kroeber, Margaret Mead, and Edward Sapir to embark on fieldwork to gather firsthand evidence of human behavior and cultural processes, thus laying the foundation for the so-called "culture history" school, which dominated American cultural anthropology for much of the 20th century (Schwimmer, 2023). Beyond merely emphasizing the need for fieldwork and direct observation, he contended that variations in traditions and beliefs were outcomes of historical casualty. Consequently, according to Boas, the essence of anthropology resided in comprehending how culture molded individuals' perceptions and interactions with the world, each culture doing so in distinct ways. To accomplish this, a profound understanding of the language and cultural rituals of the studied communities was imperative. For this specific reason, Boas introduced the four-field segmentation of anthropology, a structure that gained prominence within American anthropology and for which he holds undisputed recognition.



Figure 5: Franz Boas posing for the Hamat’sa life group figures in 1895 or before (National Museum of Natural History, 2015).

Functionalism


Between the two World Wars, certain schools of thought emerged as a reaction to previous anthropological trends, namely evolutionism and diffusionism, with the purpose of rejecting them entirely. In anthropology, functionalism proposed that the most effective means of explaining cultural phenomena was by use of their basic organizing principles. More precisely, it asserted that the goal of anthropological research should revolve around grasping the entirety of a culture by recognizing the intrinsic interconnectedness of all its components. As a result, drawing comparisons between cultures became futile, because each culture was to be observed as a singular and distinct entity. Similarly, the historical context lost its significance, since the interpretation of culture was now believed to occur at a particular moment, irrespective of the age or origin of its constituent elements. In short, functionality, rather than past remnants, held the utmost significance in the functionalist perspective. As the American anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits (1952) brilliantly puts it in his book titled Man and His Works:


The functional view, attempts to study the interrelation between the various elements, small and large, in a culture. Its object is essentially to achieve some expression of the unities in culture by indicating how trait and complex and pattern, however separable they may be, intermesh, as the gears of some machine, to constitute a smoothly running, effectively functioning whole (p. 215).


Bronislaw Malinowski, the main protagonist of this trend, played a pivotal role in establishing this theory within contemporary anthropological fieldwork. He dedicated an extensive period to conducting field research in the Trobriand Islands situated off the coast of New Guinea. In this context, he discerned the fundamental elements that constituted the societal structure, subsequently offering detailed depictions of how these institutions operated. In his comprehensive two-volume work titled Coral Gardens and Their Magic (1935), the Polish-British anthropologist delved into a specific aspect of the Trobrianders' economic system: horticulture (Rosman et al., 2009). His examination encompassed the intricate processes of planting and nurturing yams, alongside an exploration of the role of yams within the system of reciprocal obligations to kin and chiefs. Ultimately, Malinowski's findings proved that cultural institutions evolved not only in response to fundamental human biological necessities but also in response to what he defines as "culturally derived needs" (Rosman et al., 2009, p. 18).


Figure 6: Picture of Bronislaw Malinowski with natives on Trobriand Islands (Hancock, 1917-1918).

Another functionalist, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, took a somewhat divergent approach. While both anthropologists perceived society as organized into a functional harmony, in which its components work together to ensure the stability of the whole, Brown did not share the emphasis put on the role of individual needs in influencing institutions and social practices. In Radcliffe-Brown's opinion, social structures were the main cause for creating distinct typologies of societies. According to him, the components of social structure, like families, political governments, and religious systems already exist in a permanent state of balance and are what keep the stability and order in any given society.


With the decline of colonial empires after World War II, however, the functionalist theoretical framework, which emphasized the innate equilibrium of human societies, faced huge criticism (Rosman et al., 2009). It became progressively clear, as the world approached the two global conflicts, that societies lacked homeostatic characteristics, in that they do not inherently exhibit a propensity for internal cohesion and balance. Subsequent generations of functional anthropologists, exemplified by A. L. Epstein and Philip Mayer, who observed the tribal communities as they moved to urban settings and became part of the labor force (Rosman et al., 2009), made sure to stress this point by showcasing the economic and political shifts unfolding within the lives of these groups.



Structuralism


The roots of Structuralism can be traced back to Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913), a famous Swiss linguist, who viewed language as a coherent and orderly social system governed by a set of intangible rules. In cultural anthropology, the movement originated between the 1950s and 1960s in France and was heavily influenced by Claude Lévi-Strauss, who used de Saussure's structuralist positions on linguistics to discuss the developments of cultural traits among human societies. According to Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009), just as individual sounds in language do not have inherent meaning on their own but gain significance within a broader system, elements of culture also rely on their interconnectedness to convey cultural meanings (Rosman et al., 2009).


Figure 7: Claude Lévi-Strauss (Robine, 2001).

In striving to comprehend the hidden structures of society, Lévi-Strauss arrived at the concept of binary logic. This approach was aimed at categorizing and structuring the world through a dualistic system of opposing elements (such as hot vs. cold, up vs. down, right vs. left, and so forth). Building upon this pivotal concept, L. S. delved into the exploration of significant aspects of human behavior. For example, in his examination of kinship systems, he introduced an unparalleled interpretation of incest as an enduring cross-cultural principle by illuminating its functional significance and asserting its essential role in fostering exchange and communication among human groups (Treccani, n.d). Simultaneously, within the extensive collection of Amerindian myths, the author discerned the influential role of a logic that shapes intricate relationships connecting individuals, social structures, and ecosystems, marking a significant revelation (Treccani, n.d). Moreover, this method, based on comparison, strove to ascertain if there existed any common underlying structures across cultures that initially had appeared very different from each other (Rosman et al., 2009). With this structuralist method of analysis, Lévi-Strauss came to argue that the mental structures of the "savage" mind were identical to those of the "civilized" mind, suggesting not only that fundamental human traits are universal across all locations, but also that former evolutionist theories had been inherently wrong. In the English-speaking sphere, the acceptance of structuralism faced a delay due to the fact that Lévi-Strauss's major works were not translated until the 1960s (Eriksen, 2010). From the very beginning, these works garnered both strong supporters and critics. Structuralism came under scrutiny for its lack of scientific objectivity, as it proposed certain aspects of the human mind that could not be proven or disproven (most notably, the inclination to think in terms of contrasts or binary oppositions). Nevertheless, many individuals recognized Lévi-Strauss's body of work, which consistently focused on universal human traits, as a significant starting point in the exploration of symbolic systems like knowledge and myth (Eriksen, 2010).



Postmodern Turn


During the 1980s and 1990s, the field of cultural anthropology underwent a significant period of reflection and transformation. Cultural anthropologists began to critically rethink their approaches to studying foreign cultures, recognizing that their previous methods sometimes led toward oversimplification and generalization. In this context, postmodernist thinkers emerged as fierce supporters of a more holistic and nuanced approach, advocating for anthropology to fully embrace humanism and cultural relativism to avoid the pitfall of creating broad generalizations (Rosman et al., 2009). A pivotal criticism raised by postmodernists revolved around the notion of objectivity. It became increasingly evident that when cultural anthropologists engaged with a particular culture, their own cultural lenses inevitably shaped their perceptions and interpretations, ultimately influencing the outcomes of their research. Consequently, the concept of detached, impartial observation had to be urgently challenged and prompt a deeper awareness of the anthropologist's inherent biases. In this regard, James Clifford, a distinguished Professor in the Humanities and Emeritus Professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, became a significant figure in rejecting the idea that the complete comprehension of another culture was at all attainable. He observed that our understanding of other cultures will remain inherently incomplete due to the differences in our cultural and mental structures (Rosman et al., 2009). In such a way postmodernists like Clifford exposed the reality behind ethnographic depictions of foreign cultures, which were inevitably filtered through Western frameworks, and essentially turned into Western interpretations rather than authentic representations of the studied cultures. This shift in perspective finally underscored the role of the ethnographer as an interpreter or translator, mediating between distinct social contexts.

Nevertheless, these ethnographic accounts often failed to encapsulate the full spectrum of viewpoints held by individuals within the culture. Precisely because of this, Postmodernists advocated for a shift in this narrative, emphasizing the need to incorporate the authentic voices of informants themselves. This meant representing diverse viewpoints using the informants' own words and lived experiences. To facilitate this, some anthropologists sought feedback from their informants, allowing for a more collaborative and participatory approach to research. A noteworthy response within this evolving landscape was the adoption of the life history approach, a well-established anthropological method that focuses on capturing and analyzing the entire life trajectory of an individual within a specific cultural context (Rosman et al., 2009). This approach was particularly motivated by the desire to redress historical imbalances where ethnographic subjects' voices were often overshadowed or even suppressed by the dominant voice of the ethnographer. Additionally, the involvement of native ethnographers, those who are both part of the culture under study and possess anthropological training, emerged as a crucial consideration in the pursuit of accurate representation. These individuals were believed to possess an intuitive understanding of their culture, enabling them to empathize and interpret on a deeper level. However, this heightened understanding was balanced against the potential limitation of lacking an outsider's perspective. Critics pointed out that studying one's own culture might hinder complete objectivity, potentially leading to the justification of behaviors from an ethnocentric stance and the introduction of personal political biases (Rosman et al., 2009).

Figure 8: Margaret Mead conducting fieldwork in Bali (Britannica, 2023).

In conclusion, the anthropological landscape of the 1980s and 1990s witnessed a transformative period marked by critical self-evaluation, led by postmodernist perspectives. These shifts encouraged a more nuanced and participatory approach to research, elevating the importance of diverse voices and challenging the concept of objective observation. This era laid the foundation for a more inclusive and empathetic anthropological practice that continues to shape the discipline's evolution.


Final Thoughts

In just 130 years, cultural anthropology has experienced a dynamic evolution, marked by the rise of several theoretical schools that have shaped our understanding of human cultures. This article delved particularly into the key developments that have contributed to the rich tapestry of cultural anthropology in Europe and the U.S. From its origin in ancient Greece to the insights of Ibn Khaldun in the 15th century, early proto-anthropologists laid the groundwork for understanding cultural variations. Successively, with the advent of the 19th century, the establishment of formal anthropological disciplines occurred, notably with the emergence of evolutionism and diffusionism. The former, inspired by Darwin's biological evolution theory, portrayed cultural development as unilinear progress, despite its problematic implications of cultural hierarchy and Eurocentrism. The latter, on the other hand, emphasized the historical spread of cultural traits between societies. When Franz Boas championed cultural relativism, emphasizing understanding cultures within their own contexts, he contributed significantly to guiding cultural anthropology away from ethnocentric patterns and biological determinism. Furthermore, Boas' empirical approach led to the development of the culture history school, which focused on the impact of culture on human behavior. Another anthropological movement, functionalism, exemplified by Bronislaw Malinowski and A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, explained culture as an integrated system where each component served a purpose in maintaining societal equilibrium. However, this perspective faced criticism as it failed to address the complexities and changes within societies. Similarly, structuralism, influenced by Saussure and Claude Lévi-Strauss, explored the underlying structures that shape cultural meaning, focusing on binary oppositions and universal cognitive patterns. At last, the postmodern turn of the 1980s and 1990s led to a critical reevaluation of anthropological methods. Scholars like James Clifford highlighted the inherent biases of ethnographers and emphasized the need to incorporate diverse voices and perspectives, particularly those belonging to the subjects of their research. In such a way, the era of postmodernism promoted collaborative and participatory research approaches, challenging the idea of objective observation and advocating for a more inclusive understanding of cultures.


In conclusion, the journey of cultural anthropology has been marked by the rise and transformation of various theoretical schools. From proto-anthropology to the postmodern era, each phase has contributed to our understanding of human cultures, often by challenging prevailing assumptions and biases, which reflects a commitment to embracing complexity, inclusivity, and a deeper appreciation for the diverse tapestry of human societies.



Bibliographical References

Eriksen T. H. (2010). Small Places Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (3rd ed.). Pluto Press. https://urbablife.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/thomas_hylland_eriksen_small_places_large_issuebookfi-org.pdf

Herskovits, M. J. (1949). Man and His Works: The Science of Cultural Anthropology. Alfred A. Knopf. https://books.google.it/books/about/Man_and_His_Works.html?id=noREAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y Mercier, P. (2022). Cultural Anthropology. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/cultural-anthropology

Mesoudi, A. (2016). Cultural Evolution: A Review of Theory, Findings and Controversies. Evolutionary Biology (43), p. 481–497. https://alexmesoudi.com/files/papers/Mesoudi_EvolBiol_2016.pdf

Moore, J. D. (2009). "Franz Boas: Culture in Context". Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists. AltaMira.

Rosman, A., Rubel, P. G., & Weisgrau, M. (1981). The Tapestry of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. (9th ed., 2009). AltaMira Press, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. https://books.google.de/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6ew1k0MpnTMC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=cultural+anthropology+introduction&ots=7ySgvT754I&sig=kIDK2IaMy3NfRHjfGQuMWp_J3p8&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=cultural%20anthropology%20introduction&f=true

Schwimmer, B. (2023). Ethnology, Ethnography and Cultural Anthropology- A History of Theory in Cultural Anthropology Prior to 1980. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems. https://www.eolss.net/sample-chapters/C04/E6-20D-68-03.pdf

Issawi, C. (2023, August 23). Ibn Khaldūn. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ibn-Khaldun

Tax, S. (2023, July 5). Franz Boas. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Franz-Boas

White, L. A. (1945). “Diffusion vs. Evolution”: An Anti-Evolutionist Fallacy. American Anthropologist, 47(3), 339–356. http://www.jstor.org/stable/662757

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