The University of Wisconsin Press

Anthropology / History of Anthropology


Bones, Bodies, Behavior
Essays in Behavioral Anthropology
Edited by George W. Stocking, Jr.

History of Anthropology (VOLUME FIVE)
Richard Handler, Series Editor

Bones, Bodies, Behavior is wonderful—a valuable and exciting contribution to the scientific literature on physical anthropology.”
—Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, Division of Biological Sciences, Cornell University

History of Anthropology is a series of annual volumes, inaugurated in 1983, each broadly unified around a theme of major importance to both the history and the present practice of anthropological inquiry. Bones, Bodies, Behavior, the fifth in the series, treats a number of issues relating to the history of biological or physical anthropology: the application of the “race” idea to humankind, the comparison of animals’ minds to those of humans, the evolution of humans from primate forms, and the relation of science to racial ideology.

Following an introductory overview of biological anthropology in Western tradition, the seven essays focus on a series of particular historical episodes from 1830 to 1980: the emergence of the race idea in restoration France, the comparative psychological thought of the American ethnologist Lewis Henry Morgan, the archeological background of the forgery of the remains “discovered” at Piltdown in 1912, their impact on paleoanthropology in the interwar period, the background and development of physical anthropology in Nazi Germany, and the attempts of Franx Boas and others to organize a consensus against racialism among British and American scientists in the late 1930s. The volume concludes with a provocative essay on physical anthropology and primate studies in the United States in the years since such a consensus was established by the UNESCO “Statements on Race” of 1950 and 1951.

Bringing together the contributions of a physical anthropologist (Frank Spencer), a historical sociologist (Michael Hammond), and a number of historians of science (Elazar Barkan, Claude Blanckaert, Donna Haraway, Robert Proctor, and Marc Swetlitz), this volume will appeal to a wide range of students, scholars, and general readers interested in the place of biological assumptions in the modern anthropological tradition, in the biological bases of human behavior, in racial ideologies, and in the development of the modern human sciences.

George W. Stocking, Jr.George W. Stocking, Jr. (1928–2013) was the Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology and the Committee on the Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago. He was the author of many books, including Victorian Anthropology, After Tylor: British Social Anthropology, 1888–1951, and The Ethnographer’s Magic, and was the founder and long-time editor of the History of Anthropology series published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He was awarded the Huxley Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service by the American Anthropological Association. His most recent book with the University of Wisconsin Press is Glimpses into My Own Black Box: An Exercise in Self-Deconstruction.

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August 1990

LC: 87-40377 GN
272 pp.  6 x 9,  illus.

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ISBN 978-0-299-11254-7
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“This very useful fifth volume of the series . . . expands the focus of this project to include biological anthropology. . . . What is clear in many of these essays is the ethnocentrism of the early monogenists who, believing in the unity of Homo sapiens, saw the potential for all humans to make the cultural transformations needed to perfect their ‘human nature’ (that is, to become just like their observers). . . . A volume that clearly belongs in every university library.”
—Marshall Joseph Becker, American Journal of Physical Anthropology

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