In 1925, White began studies for a Ph.D. in sociology/anthropology at the University of Chicago and had the opportunity of spending a few weeks with the Menominee and Winnebago in Wisconsin. The Evolution of Culture:... The world is changing and our beliefs are being challenged. Sur- However, during the Second World War, Titiev took part in the war effort by studying Japan. White differentiated three components of culture: technological, sociological, and ideological. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. White's most famous books are The Science of Culture (1949), a collection of his most important essays, and The Evolution of Culture (1959). It was then that he developed a worldview—anthropological, political, ethical—that he would hold to and advocate until his death. [1] Although White stops short of promising that technology is the panacea for all the problems that affect mankind, like technological utopians do, his theory treats the technological factor as the most important factor in the evolution of society and is similar to ideas in the later works of Gerhard Lenski, the theory of the Kardashev scale of Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev, and some notions of technological singularity. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. You don't want to miss this! In 1932, he headed a fieldschool in the southwest which was attended by Fred Eggan, Mischa Titiev, and others. An appraisal of Leslie A. This page was last edited on 28 September 2020, at 08:31. While authors such as Robert Carneiro, Beth Dillingham, and Gertrude Dole carried on White's program in its orthodox form, other scholars such as Eric Wolf, Arthur Jelinek, Elman Service, and Marshall Sahlins and Napoleon Chagnon drew on their time with White to elaborate their own forms of anthropology. Please make this work available in Kindle. Please bring it back to the catalog. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Most would fall on side or the other of the split between White and Titiev. His book will provoke equally potent debates today, and is a key component of any course or reading list in anthropological or archaeological theory and cultural ecology. Boas claimed his science promised complex and interdependent visions of culture, but White thought that it would delegitimize anthropology if it became the dominant position, removing it from broader discourses on science. White brought Titiev, his student and a Russian immigrant, to Michigan as a second professor in 1936. The evolutionist approach is, like the formal approach, generalizing; but it is also diachronic, seeing particular events as general instances of larger trends. But don't have the time or patience for a 400-page book? Search for more papers by this author. White lived first in Kansas and then Louisiana. Robert Lowie, an arch-cultural relativist disciple of Boas, referred to White's work as "a farrago of immature metaphysical notions", shaped by "the obsessive power of fanaticism [which] unconsciously warps one's vision.". White believed that phenomena could be explored from three different points of view: the historical, the formal-functional, and the evolutionist (or formal-temporal). A materialist, he was particularly concerned with societies’ ability to harness energy as an indicator of progress, and his empirical analysis of this equation covers a vast historical span. White went to Michigan when he was hired to replace Julian Steward, who departed Ann Arbor in 1930. White's argument on the importance of technology goes as follows:[2]. First published: April 1959. He was author of numerous books on theory and on his fieldwork in the American southwest. Leslie White (The United States, 1900-1975) Leslie White developed the theory of cultural evolution, which was ignored by most anthropologists at that time. [1] This technological component can be described as material, mechanical, physical, and chemical instruments, as well as the way people use these techniques. Act with certainty. White was born in Salida, Colorado, on January 19, 1900 and planned a career in the natural sciences before joining the Navy during World War I. While it can be argued that White's exposition of Morgan and Spencer's was tendentious, it can be safely said that White's concepts of science and evolution were firmly rooted in their work. WHITE E VERYTHING in the universe may be described in terms of energy. He was heavily influenced by Marxian economic theory as well as Darwinian evolutionary theory. White introduced a formula. You don't want to miss this! The period at Buffalo marked a turning point in White's biography. The most important factor in his theory is technology: "Social systems are determined by technological systems", wrote White in his book, echoing the earlier theory of Lewis Henry Morgan.

leslie white culture

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