The Influence of American Anthropology on the Work of Vera Stein Erlich


Boravak i studij kulturne antropologije u SAD veoma je utjecao na rad Vere Erlich. Prvobitno zanimanje za psihologiju porodice i obrazovanja i za položaj žene u patrijarhalnom društvu preusmjerila je na antropološku analizu promjena u patrijarhalnom društvu i porodici. Na njezino novo znanstveno usmjerenje najviše su utjecali kulturni antropolozi Kroeber i Redfield, kao i pripadnici smjera »kultura i ličnost«. Poput sljedbenika te antropološke tradicije, Vera Erlich nailazila je također na poteškoće u objašnjavaju unutarnje dinamike promjena u patrijarhalnom društvu. Definiravši ga kao društvo koje živi po principu moralnog integriteta, reda i koherentnosti, sve potrese i promjene tog reda morala je pripisati »vanjskim faktorima«.Living and studying anthropology in Berkeley in the 1950\u27s and the 1960\u27s had a profound effect on Vera Erlich\u27s scientific orientation. Her primary interest in psychology, education and the status of women shifted towards the anthropological analysis of changes in patriarchal family and society. The most natural theoretical link between the two phases of her intellectual development was the "culture and personality” school which at that time dominated American anthropology. In this article, by analyzing two major Erlich’s books (Family in Transition, Princeton 1966; and In the Company of Man, Zagreb 1968), the author traces the theoretical influence of Kroeber, Benedict, Mead, Redfield and some others on Vera Erlich’s concepts of culture, cultural style, mentality, patriarchal society etc. In conclusion, it is pointed out that Vera Erlich could not resolve the contradiction of stability vs. change in patriarchal cultural order. While explaining stability by "inner factors’ of coherence, moral integrity and order, she attributed cultural change to "outside factors" — such as emancipation from the rule of Turks in South Slay areas. The problem is shared by "culture and personality" tradition in general, since it cannot account for the dynamics and contradictions of culture except at the level of the socialization of individual

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