Topic ID #26388 - posted 1/19/2013 10:43 AM

Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad?



Jennifer Palmer

Webmaster
Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad?
by Barbara J. King January 17, 2013 2:49 PM

Jared Diamond is once again inflaming my tribe.

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies, Diamond questions the practice of psychologists who base their claims about human nature entirely on people from WEIRD — Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic — societies. In fact, Diamond writes, people in small-scale societies, people who gather and hunt, herd animals or farm, may have figured out better ways than WEIRD ways to treat people, solve social problems and stay healthy.

So far, this sounds pretty much like an embrace of the cross-cultural diversity that we anthropologists work to understand, even to celebrate. So what's the backlash all about?


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