Franz Boas

July 9, 1858 - December 21, 1942

Membership Type:
Member (elected 1900)

Franz Boas is regarded as both the “father of modern anthropology” and the “father of American anthropology.” He was the first to apply the scientific method to anthropology, emphasizing a research- first method of generating theories. Through this methodology Boas established the theory of cultural relativism, which states there are no absolutes among cultures; the beliefs and practices of a culture can be examined only within the confines of that particular culture.

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