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3 - Race

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2017

Mark Bevir
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
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Summary

Traditionally scholars writing on the disciplinary history of British anthropology have canonised 1871 as the beginning of a new era for the research field. Two important texts were published in this year: Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man and Edward Burnett Tylor’s Primitive Culture. Scholars have since argued that evolutionary frameworks came to redefine the theoretical landscape of anthropology in 1871 – referring to this period as the evolutionary turn. However, in making this point, that evolution became a new preoccupation for British anthropologists, the secondary literature has underemphasised the importance of other developmental theories in the human sciences during the decades before the 1870s. The introduction of evolution within the race sciences repositioned and expanded the earlier developmental models of researchers interested in human variation. With these considerations in mind, this paper examines the significance of developmental processes in the works of early nineteenth-century practitioners from James Cowles Prichard in the 1810s to Francis Galton in the 1860s. It also discusses some of the opposition to evolutionary and developmental writings during the middle of the nineteenth century.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2017

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  • Race
  • Edited by Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain
  • Online publication: 20 April 2017
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316711286.003
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  • Race
  • Edited by Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain
  • Online publication: 20 April 2017
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316711286.003
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Race
  • Edited by Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain
  • Online publication: 20 April 2017
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316711286.003
Available formats
×