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Franz Boas was a German-born American anthropologist who is also known as the “Father of Modern Anthropology.” He was also the first one to implement the scientific method into the study of human cultures and societies.
See the fact file below for more information on the Franz Boas or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Franz Boas worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Born as Franz Uri Boas on July 9, 1858 in Minden, Westphalia.
- Franz Boas was the son of Sophie Meyer and Meier Boas.
- Franz Boas opposed antisemitism and rejected to be converted to Christianity, but did not identify himself as a Jew.
- Franz Boas attended Heidelberg University for a semester before transferring to Bonn University where he spent four terms.
- Boas studied physics, geography, and mathematics.
- In 1879, Boas transferred to the University of Kiel.
- In 1881, Boas received a doctorate in physics for his dissertation entitled Contributions to the Understanding of the Color of Water.
- Franz Boas’ dissertation talked about the absorption, reflection, and the polarization of light in seawater.
- Boas also investigated how different intensities of light created different colors when interacting with different types of water.
- Franz Boas received his teaching qualification in geography with the research he did from 1883 to 1884 in Baffinland, Canada, where he studied about native Inuit migrations.
- In 1888, he published his research as a book entitled “The Central Eskimo.”
- In 1885, Boas worked at a museum in Berlin where he got interested in the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.
- In 1886, Boas went on a three-month journey to study the native tribes of British Columbia.
- In 1887, Boas worked as an assistant editor for the journal “Science.”
- In 1889, Boas moved to Clark University in Massachusetts and worked his first teaching position.
- In 1892, Boas became a chief assistant in anthropology at the Columbian Exposition.
- That same year, Boas worked at the Field Museum in Chicago until 1894.
- In 1896, Boas became a lecturer in physical anthropology at Columbia University.
- In 1899, Boas was promoted to professor of anthropology.
- From 1896 to 1905, Boas worked as a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
- Franz Boas presented the four-field structure of anthropology around cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, linguistics, and archeology.
- In 1889, Boas published “On Alternating Sounds,” which contain his studies of Native American languages.
- In 1911, Franz Boas published “The Mind of Primitive Man,” which was based on a series of lectures about race and culture.
- That same year, Boas also published “Handbook of the American Indian Languages.”
- In 1912, Boas published “Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants,” which talked about his study concerning the changes in body form among children of immigrants in New York.
- Boas also presented that the environment had an effect on the physical characteristics of people that can be seen over time.
- In 1927, Boas published “Primitive Art.”
- In 1928, Boas published “Anthropology and Modern Life.”
- In 1940, Boas published “Race, Language and Culture.”
AS AN ANTHROPOLOGIST
- Boas is often called as the “Father of American Anthropology” because he trained the first generation of U.S. scholars in the field of anthropology.
- Famous anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict were both his students.
- Several of Boas’ graduate students went on to establish some of the first anthropology departments in different universities across the country.
- The emergence of anthropology as an academic discipline in the U.S. is closely connected to Boas’ work and his legacy through his former students.
- Boas was also a key figure in the establishment of the American Anthropological Association.
- Anthropology is also called “the science of humanity.”
- Anthropology is the study of human beings in aspects ranging from biology and evolutionary to the features of society and culture that distinguishes humans from other animal species.
- Boas presented the four subfields of anthropology.
- Physical anthropology is a subfield of anthropology which deals with the origin, evolution, and diversity of people.
- Physical anthropology aims to answer three problems: (1) human and nonhuman primate evolution, (2) human variation and significance, and (3) biological bases of human behavior.
- Cultural anthropology is another subfield of anthropology which deals with the study of culture in all of its aspects.
- Linguistic anthropology, or linguistics, is another subfield of anthropology which deals with the study of the role of language in social lives of individuals, communities, and societies.
- Linguistic anthropology explains how language shapes communication and what roles language plays.
- Archeology is another subfield of anthropology that deals with the study of the extinct cultures.
- Archeology aims to recover material remains from the past to describe the humans of the past and to find out how it is connected to the present.
- Franz Boas married Marie Krackowizer in 1887.
- The two had six children together.
- For more than four decades, Franz Boas oversaw the Columbia Anthropology Department.
- In 1936, Franz Boas retired from the University where he became emeritus in residence.
- Franz Boas died on December 21, 1942 after suffering a stroke.
Franz Boas Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Franz Boas across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Franz Boas worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Franz Boas who was a German-born American anthropologist who is also known as the “Father of Modern Anthropology.” He was also the first one to implement the scientific method into the study of human cultures and societies.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Franz Boas Facts
- Boas Who?
- Test Yourself!
- Boas’ Life
- Four Fields
- His Works
- What Do You Want?
- Visit A Museum
- Letter to Boas
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Use With Any Curriculum
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