Talk:Franz Boas

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Prussian-born, not German[edit]

His origins lie in Prussia -- not Germany. Since his ethnicity was German, you could rightly call him, "Prusso-German", if you like, but you can't simply call him, "German", since it is misleading. If he was German, then so was Sigmund Freud. I am sure you see the problem.Mwidunn (talk) 23:08, 3 April 2020 (UTC)mwidunn

Bibliography, research in the Pacific Northwest, and needed rewrite[edit]

This article could really use a bibliography of Boas' writings. Also, it is rather weakly hinted at that his main research interest over a nearly 50 year period was the Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia, and the article should describe or at least name some of the actual books he wrote on Pacific Northwest peoples: Chinook Texts and Kathlamet Texts, the first book-length publications by a single Native American author, Qqiltí or Charles Cultee, The Social Organization and Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians (seminal at the time), Tsimshian Texts, The Ethnology of the Kwakiutl, which was a massive undertaking, etc. Why isn't George Hunt mentioned, his most important collaborator? I find that the insertion of a more basic chronology and recounting of his life is sorely needed, at least before discussing his accomplishments in more general terms. This is a biography, and it is especially weak after the turn of the century. As Maunus said above, the article needs a rewrite, but given the existing complexity of some parts that read like a Ph. D. dissertation, it may be too much to hope for that someone will undertake a major revision. Curiocurio (talk) 23:22, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

It is on my to-do list. :)·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:31, 21 July 2018 (UTC)

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Unorthodox punctuation[edit]

By uniting the disciplines of archaeology, the study of material culture and history, and physical anthropology, the study of variation in human anatomy, with ethnology, the study of cultural variation of customs, and descriptive linguistics, the study of unwritten indigenous languages, Boas created the four-field subdivision of anthropology which became prominent in American anthropology in the 20th century.

I had to go to the source to be sure I was understanding that sentence as intended.

"The fact that American anthropology has included sociocultural anthropology, linguistics, physical anthropology, and archaeology—the so-called four fields approach—is partly a reflection of Boas's broad interests".

Okay, so my and/with/and high-level parse was correct after all.

By uniting the disciplines of archaeology (the study of material culture and history) and physical anthropology (the study of variation in human anatomy) with ethnology (the study of cultural variation of customs) and descriptive linguistics (the study of unwritten indigenous languages), Boas created the four-field subdivision of anthropology which became prominent in American anthropology in the 20th century.

The original is not suitable for the reading audience of Wikipedia. It's the kind of thing you're required to read in graduate school, and mostly wish you didn't have to. No-one can read the original and name the four important things quickly, so it has effectively buried its lead, as well.

I also take issue with descriptive linguistics thumbnailed as "the study of unwritten indigenous languages". Perhaps this is how Boas went about it, but it's not the high-level view presented in that article itself. — MaxEnt 01:56, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Did Boas die of a heart attack or stroke?[edit]

There is some conflicting information. On the page for Levi Strauss, it states Boas died of a heart attack. MillsOrlando (talk) 00:46, 2 May 2020 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by MillsOrlando (talkcontribs) 20:37, 30 April 2020 (UTC)

Good catch. Based on Google books, the source at Claude Lévi-Strauss did not support that it was a heart attack. I will adjust that article. Grayfell (talk) 00:54, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
Since none of the three sources actually mention a cause of death, I have removed that detail from this article, as well. Grayfell (talk) 01:09, 2 May 2020 (UTC)