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  1. Introduction
  2. Alfred Kroeber: The main figure in the development of American anthropology
  3. The concept of configurationalism
  4. The first female anthropologist to conduct actual fieldwork in a faraway place
  5. Leslie White and the re birth of evolutionism
  6. Conclusion

From the 1920 through the 1950's there was an effort to explain culture, but to explain it according to its effects on human behavior and development. Some theorists see things universally while other want to look at each culture as unique and thus not capable of being compared with other cultures. Theories were developing across the world stating that ?culture? was just a small piece of the socio-cultural system and that we as scientists need to look at all aspects. And finally, theories were being revived regarding the line of development that all societies follow. In the following paragraphs I will develop the approaches of several ?post-boasian? theories as well as the approaches of the British social anthropologists. Finally I will discuss the theories of White and Steward and their attempts to bring back the theory of evolutionism.

[...] For her, the separate institutions operated independently from human social life and had no effect on culture. Because of this assumption, she stated that cultures have an infinite number of varieties because they are built through the minds of the population. ?Culture, in turn, determines people's personality by favoring ?temperate types? best suited to (2004, 153). This is made apparent in Benedict's article ?Configurations of Culture in North America.? The primary values of a culture are instilled through a process of enculturation. [...]


[...] They both looked as society as a whole, which consists of several features of social life interconnected and dependent on the functional unity of the system. Thus, Radcliffe-Brown did not see culture in and of itself. He saw culture as one feature of social life in the system (2004, 185). This is an area where Malinowski and R.B. differed. Like I previously noted, Radcliffe-Brown's main achievement is his theory of structural functionalism. By structure he meant, ordered arrangement of parts of components?(2004, 191). [...]


[...] The best way to measure this, according to White in the text as well as his article ?Energy and the Evolution of Culture,? is the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year. He observed that evolution is a process where one element grows from another sequentially. For him, evolution is associated with progress based on material benefits. Cultures evolve as the amount of energy increases and if effectively harnessed. In ?Energy and the Evolution of Culture,? White notes that cultures do not evolve if the members cannot effectively harness energy. [...]

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