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By Franz Boas

The nice anthropologist's vintage treatise on race and tradition. Discusses organic and cultural inheritance, the fallacy of racial, cultural or ethnic superiority, the scientific foundation for human individuality, and lots more and plenty extra. essentially the most influential books of the century, now in a value-priced variation. advent by way of Ruth Bunzel.

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Each individual must be studied as a member of the group from which he has sprung. We may not assume that the round-headed or brunette individuals in Denmark are identical with the corresponding forms from Switzerland. Even if no anatomical dif- ferences between two series of such individuals are discernible represent they strains. Identity genetically distinctive can occur in exceptional individuals only. we were If to select a group of tall, men and women, who marry among blond Sicilians, themselves, we expect that their offspring in later generations must will revert more or versely, we if less to the Sicilian type, select and, con- a group of brunette, brown-eyed Swedes, their offspring will revert more or less to the blond, blue-eyed Swedish type.

Mouth may be The large or small, the tongue thin or thick, the palate arched or pitch of the voice be the same his mouth, flat. and for all. There are differences in the in timbre. Still the dialect will The articulation does not depend THE PROBLEM OF RACE 49 any considerable extent upon the form of the mouth, but upon its use. to In all our everyday habits imitation of habits of the society to which we belong exerts its influence over the functioning of our minds and bodies and a degree of uniformity of thought and action about among individuals who is brought differ considerably in structure.

Every organ has — to use Dr. Meltzer's Within limits it term —a margin of safety. can function normally according to THE PROBLEM OF RACE 47 environmental requirements. Even a partly disabled organ can be sufficient for the needs of the body. when these limits are ex- Inadequacy develops only ceeded. There are certain conditions that are most favorable, but the loss of adequacy when is very slight the conditions change within the margins of safety. In most cases of the kind here referred to the environmental influence acts upon different individuals in the same direction.

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