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Anthropologists and the Rediscovery of America, 1886–1965

$38.00 USD

  • Date Published: November 2010
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511922329

$ 38.00 USD
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  • This book examines the intersection of cultural anthropology and American cultural nationalism from 1886, when Franz Boas left Germany for the United States, until 1965, when the National Endowment for the Humanities was established. Five chapters trace the development within academic anthropology of the concepts of culture, social class, national character, value, and civilization, and their dissemination to non-anthropologists. As Americans came to think of culture anthropologically, as a 'complex whole' far broader and more inclusive than Matthew Arnold's 'the best which has been thought and said', so, too, did they come to see American communities as stratified into social classes distinguished by their subcultures; to attribute the making of the American character to socialization rather than birth; to locate the distinctiveness of American culture in its unconscious canons of choice; and to view American culture and civilization in a global perspective.

    • A consideration of major issues in American intellectual and cultural life
    • Impressively researched in both published and unpublished sources
    • Attempts to tell the story of the culture concept (culture in its anthropological sense) in American thought in a way that transcends disciplines
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2010
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511922329
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Culture in the American grain
    2. Social class in the ethnography of the American scene
    3. The psychology of culture and the American character
    4. The drift of American values
    5. America as a civilization.

  • Author

    John S. Gilkeson, Arizona State University
    John S. Gilkeson is Associate Professor of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies at Arizona State University, where his teaching focuses on history and American studies. He has been Visiting Professor at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin and has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History. He is the author of Middle-Class Providence, 1820–1940.

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