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

By Lee D. Baker

Within the overdue 19th century, if ethnologists within the usa well-known African American tradition, they generally 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 through 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 through American anthropologists in the course of the overdue 19th century and early 20th. He investigates the function that ethnologists performed in making a racial politics of tradition within which Indians had a tradition invaluable of maintenance and exhibition whereas African american citizens did not.Baker argues that the concept that of tradition built by means of ethnologists to appreciate American Indian languages and customs within the 19th century shaped the foundation of the anthropological notion of race ultimately used to confront “the Negro challenge” within the 20th century. As he explores the consequences of anthropology’s diverse ways to African americans and local american citizens, and the field’s diverse yet overlapping theories of race and tradition, Baker delves into the careers of renowned anthropologists and ethnologists, together with James Mooney Jr., Frederic W. Putnam, Daniel G. Brinton, and Franz Boas. His research takes under consideration not just medical 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 executive entities from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the perfect court docket. In Anthropology and the Racial Politics of tradition, Baker tells how anthropology has either replied to and assisted in shaping rules approximately race and tradition within the usa, and the way its principles were appropriated (and misappropriated) to wildly varied ends.

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Extra resources for Anthropology and the Racial Politics of Culture

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This approach was influential among many intellectuals of the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance who liked to explain difference in terms of culture, not race (Lamothe 2008). Often discounting issues of class, these intellectuals used the idea of an African homeland to craft a complicated cultural identity, as opposed to claiming a simple racial identity. Too often, however, this approach reproduced naive ideas of alterity and simply produced another Other. Folklore, musicology, cultural history, and art history were approaches these scholars deployed in a collective effort to vindicate and validate the past as well as the present.

For many years the Office of Indian Affairs maintained a policy of trying to eliminate everything aboriginal from the American Indian by substituting there for something that originated with the white man, whether or not it was adapted to the Indian’s needs. But the present Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Honorable Francis F. Leupp, who has long been an earnest student of the Indian problem, finds good in the aborigines that his predecessors seem to have overlooked, and is securing the means for encouraging some of the native industries.

For seven hundred dollars you can use your biology to identify your culture. The tension between uplift and heritage has been a staple within African American and Native American communities for generations, and introduction 29 it serves as a key theme throughout this book on the racial politics of culture. In recent decades, anthropologists have scrutinized the concept of culture; at the same time, however, other disciplines, institutions, foundations, industries, media conglomerates, and social groups have institutionalized what can rightly be seen as a skewed but nevertheless anthropologically inflected idea of culture (Fabian 1983; Clifford 1988; Abu-Lughod 1991; Trouillot 1991; Visweswaran 1998; Briggs 2002; Evans 2005; Williams 2006).

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