Re: your mail

ray scupin (scupin@LC.LINDENWOOD.EDU)
Tue, 14 Jun 1994 13:52:27 -0500

On Tue, 14 Jun 1994, John Mcreery wrote:

> Danny Yee writes, "We have talked a lot about the education of undergraduates
> and the training of postgraduates: what about the education of the public at
> large?" Great question. Answering it should be the core of the profession's
> vision of itself. I note, as others have before me, that in the States the
> founding generations (Boas and his students) all important political agendas:
> to combat the idea inherent in 19th century nationalisms that race, language
> and culture are necessarily connected, by demonstrating how they vary
> independently of one another and showing that other cultures could make
> unexpected sense when seen in their own terms, thus encouraging mutual
> respect. These ideas have become so widely diffused that now we are having to
> look for something else to identify with. Ideas please.
> John McCreery


Boas' ideas regarding race, language, and culture may have become
diffused widely among *some academics*, however, most of the world has not
absorbed these findings. I find this to be the case when I'm teaching or
discussing these issues with family or friends outside academe. I concur
with Dan that someone ought to write a popularly-oriented 'Misconceptions
of Humanity Refuted,' but would it outsell Stephan King or John Grisham???
I have my doubts...

Ray Scupin