Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

6.1 Explain the weaknesses of the nineteenth-century unilineal evolutionary approaches in anthropology.

6.2 Describe the basic strengths and weaknesses of the diffusionist approach in understanding different cultures.

6.3 Discuss historical particularism developed by Franz Boas.

6.4 Explain the differences between structural functionalism and psychological functionalism.

6.5 Discuss the twentieth-century neoevolutionary approaches, including cultural materialism.

6.6 Describe the Marxist approach in anthropology that emerged in the 1970s.

6.7 Discuss the symbolic anthropology approach as a humanist method.

6.8 Discuss the approach of feminist anthropologists.

6.9 Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the postmodern approach in anthropology.

6.10 Discuss the new theoretical approaches in cultural evolution in the twenty-first century.