Nature and Nurture in French Social Sciences, 1859–1914 and Beyond
The prevailing assumption has been that French ethnographers highlighted the cultural and social environment while anthropologists emphasized the scientific study of head and body shapes. Martin Staum shows that the temptation to gravitate towards one pole of the nature-nurture continuum often resulted in reluctant concessions to the other side. Psychologists Théodule Ribot and Alfred Binet, for example, were forced to recognize the importance of social factors. Non-Durkheimian sociologists were divided on the issue of race and gender as progressive and tolerant attitudes on race did not necessarily correlate with flexible attitudes on gender. Recognizing this allows Staum to raise questions about the theory of the equivalence of all marginalized groups. Anthropological institutions re-organized before the First World War sometimes showed decreasing confidence in racial theory but failed to abandon it completely. Staum's chilling epilogue discusses how the persistent legacy of such theories was used by extremist anthropologists outside the mainstream to deploy racial ideology as a basis of persecution in the Vichy era.
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1 Introduction to the NatureNurture Debate
2 The Ethnographers
3 The Anthropologists
4 Ribot and Psychological Heredity
5 Heredity and Milieu in the Revue philosophique
From Measuring Heads to Testing Intelligence
7 The NonDurkheimian Sociologists
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Africans Alfred Binet anthro anthropometry aptitudes argued believed Binet biological Blanckaert Bon’s Bouglé brain Broca Castaing cephalic index civilization Collège de France colonial cultural d’anthropologie de Paris Delafosse Discussion Durkheim Durkheimians Ecole d’anthropologie Emile Durkheim ethnic ethnography ethnology European feminism feminist femme Fouillée French Galton Gennep George Montandon Grasserie hereditarian hereditary heredity human Ibid inferior influence inherited Institut intellectual intelligence internationale de sociologie l’évolution L’Hérédité l’homme Labarthe Lamarckianism Lato oscuro Letourneau linguistic Manouvrier Martial Mauss measurement mental Métis milieu Montandon moral Mucchielli Muséum nature Novicow nurture ofwomen Paligot Papillault Paul Broca Paul Rivet philosopher physician political psychology Quatrefages racial hierarchy René René Worms republican République raciale Review Revue philosophique Ribot role Rosny scientific Sibeud social Société d’anthropologie Société d’ethnographie Société de sociologie society sociologie sociologists Théodule Ribot theory thought tion Topinard Vacher de Lapouge Verneau Vichy Weismann women Worms Zaborowski Zerilli