Download PDF by Lee D. Baker: Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture

By Lee D. Baker

ISBN-10: 0822346982

ISBN-13: 9780822346982

Within the past due 19th century, if ethnologists within the usa well-known African American tradition, they typically perceived it as whatever to be conquer and left in the back of. even as, they have been dedicated to salvaging “disappearing” local American tradition by way of curating items, narrating practices, and recording languages. In Anthropology and the Racial Politics of tradition, Lee D. Baker examines theories of race and tradition built by way of American anthropologists throughout the past due 19th century and early 20th. He investigates the position that ethnologists performed in making a racial politics of tradition during which Indians had a tradition useful of maintenance and exhibition whereas African americans did not.Baker argues that the idea that of tradition constructed via ethnologists to appreciate American Indian languages and customs within the 19th century shaped the root of the anthropological idea of race finally used to confront “the Negro challenge” within the 20th century. As he explores the results of anthropology’s diverse ways to African americans and local americans, and the field’s assorted yet overlapping theories of race and tradition, Baker delves into the careers of well known anthropologists and ethnologists, together with James Mooney Jr., Frederic W. Putnam, Daniel G. Brinton, and Franz Boas. His research takes into consideration not just clinical societies, journals, museums, and universities, but in addition the improvement of sociology within the usa, African American and local American activists and intellectuals, philanthropy, the media, and govt entities from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the ideal court docket. In Anthropology and the Racial Politics of tradition, Baker tells how anthropology has either answered to and assisted in shaping principles approximately race and tradition within the usa, and the way its principles were appropriated (and misappropriated) to wildly diverse ends.

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Ideas about culture also served as a central concept in attempts to empower Native Americans during the New Deal and African Americans during the New Negro movement; as well, the same concepts reappeared as critical elements of the Red and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 1970s. introduction 21 Relationships between American Indian communities and anthropol­ ogists have often been tinged with ambivalence and derision (Deloria 1969:78–100). Despite, or, I suppose, in spite of, the less-than-amicable relationships, Americanists like Mooney and Boas consistently focused on customs, languages, and religions of American Indians that were very different from their own and explained them as legitimate practices that could be understood in terms of history and culture.

Yet members committed to this uplift project were forced to explain why so many blacks could not or would not conform to proper standards of behavior, and they basically introduction 27 argued that the history of slavery, racism, disfranchisement, and segregation was simply an insurmountable obstacle that other immigrants did not face (Williams 1989:113–48). One of the most influential proponents of uplift was Frazier. He explained the “simple Negro folk culture” as an “incomplete assimilation of western culture by the Negro masses,” arguing that “generally when two different cultures come into contact each modifies the other.

Like Tuskegee and Hampton for Negroes, Hampton and the Carlisle School became defining institutions for education policy to assimilate Indians (Adams 1995; Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute 1893; Makofsky 1989; Robinson 1977). According to C. Kalani Beyer, in 1880, Samuel Chapman Armstrong went back to Hawai’i to help reestablish even more strict— English-only—industrial training schools, and he even “had a great deal of influence in determining the curriculum” at the new Kamehameha Schools (Beyer 2007:36).

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Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture by Lee D. Baker


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