chapter  5
Imagining Anthropology’s History
ByHerbert S. Lewis
Pages 15

"The process of European global power has been central to the anthropological task of recording and analyzing the ways of life of subject populations". From the standpoint of anthropology, it is also reflexive, addressing the colonial use and formation of ethnography and its supporting practices of travel. The modern anthropological doctrine of cultural relativism grew out of American anthropology and the ideas and teachings of Franz Boas, which were then adopted by his students. "In the rural areas, African agency and the anthropologist's vulnerability had already combined to bring about a degree of Africanization to the discipline and its practices". A generation and a half after 1968 there are few practicing anthropologists who remember, or have learned, the "disciplinary history" of anthropology that the authors scorn. American anthropology seems to have vanished from history courses altogether—to be replaced by "nos ancetres, Marx, Weber, Durkheim—et Foucault".