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The Meaning of Race: The Liberal Paradigm in Prewar German Anthropology

The Meaning of Race: The Liberal Paradigm in Prewar German Anthropology

Chapter:
(p.57) Two The Meaning of Race: The Liberal Paradigm in Prewar German Anthropology
Source:
Anthropology at War
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226222691.003.0003

This chapter examines the pre-war ideological context in German anthropological circles. Despite the encroachment of völkisch and racist strains of thought around the turn of the century, the liberal precepts of Virchow and his followers continued to inform anthropological work in the laboratory, the field, and the lecture hall. Even as the liberal tradition slipped from its previous position as the dominant paradigm, it persisted within the discipline, often existing alongside competing and often contradictory modes of anthropological thought.

Keywords:   Germany, pre-war ideology, racism, Virchow, liberal tradition

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