Kroeber, Alfred Louis (18761960)
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American anthropologist, student of Boas. The acknowledged leader of American anthropology after Boas's death. Kroeber rounded the anthropology department at University of California at Berkeley (1901). He did fieldwork in New Mexico, Mexico and Peru. With Robert Lowie, he headed what is often known as the Cultural History school in American anthropology. Among his many publications are the monumental Handbook of the Indians of California (1925), and the article "On the Super-Organic" (1917), a theoretical paper, where societies are considered to be akin to living organisms, with a life of their own. In this article, Kroeber approaches a Durkheimian view of society that was rare in American anthropology. Towards the end of his life, Kroeber (and Kluckhohn) entered into an intensive cooperation with the sociologist Talcott Parsons, in which it was agreed that there would be a "division of labor" between sociology and anthropology in the United States: sociologists would study institutions and social organization, while anthropologists would restrict themselves to the study of culture. In practice, however, this "truce" did not last for long.


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