Overall, in looking at Eric Wolf’s, it is evident that he was not able to avoid the pitfalls that are associated with ethnocentric evolutions. In his assessment of evolution, Wolf considers the world to constitute a manifold, encompassing a totality of processes that are interconnected. He is seen to have the preconceived notion that the white people are oppressive of the black, which is seen in his wondering as to the reason that the white people have more cargo than the black people (Geertz, 2003). He asserts that the balance of power and trade are firmly in the east, an attribute that had already been formed, arguing that Europe provided the raw materials and slaves.
In the assessment of the element of kinship, Wolf contends that it works differently with the core issues addressed being ion whether resources are open or restricted. In this, he believes that it is the restriction of resources that lead to the creation of kinship groups bigger than families (Wolf & Eriksen, 2010). The position is that although elements of ranking and an extent of inequality could arise between the members of the kinship, it is only the emergence of exceptional leaders that will make others dependent on them for their livelihoods.
In the assessment of the global processes and the related power, Wolf assesses the issue of the prevalent relationship between power and ideas. There is the explanation of the core models of power, encompassing the power that is inherent in individuals, power being the capacity to impose one’s will in alter a power being a means of gaining control over the context in which others interact. The last power model existing in the global arena is the structural power which refers to the power manifested in relationships that not only function within the domains and settings but orchestrates the individual settings (Asad & Wolf, 1987). The main issue I established on this platform is the fact that there is the rejection of the position that power could emanate from counter-enlightenment. The emphasis on the fact that culture is a system evidenced by power diversity, ambiguity as well as contraction and perfect shared meaning and knowledge lead position that is concluded as being driven by abstractions of ideas that are not tenable.
These positions held by wolf can best be considered worrying because they are not only based on abstractions that cannot be realized by a physical society but the fact that kinship is being considered as the core business of development of any society. While it is true that kinship has its role in the creation of the future of a capitalist model, the prevailing attribute is that it is the core model that drives change and development in a society is too simplistic and unreliable (Wolf & Eriksen, 2010). The overall issue is that societies have been taught to view the West as the cradle of all that is good in humanity, characterized by civilization independent and is often opposed to the other societies and civilizations.
There, however, is the agreement among the writers that the prevailing relationship between the capitalist’s ad the workers could be the ultimate solution to the assessment of the capitalist formations. Overall, it is agreeable that Eric Wolf was not able to avoid the pitfalls of ethnocentrism, especially informed by his arguments of the formation of kinship and capitalism.
The assessment of the distinction between “nature” and “culture” is foundational to modern social sciences, including anthropology leads to the establishment of some unique attributes as put forward by the diverse theorists. The part of Clifford Geertz, his assertion is that the evaluation of culture ought not to be as an experimental science searching for a law but an interpretive one that is in search of meaning (Geertz, 2003). The position held by Clifford is that culture is not a power regarding something that can be applied in the attribution of behaviors, social events, processes or institutions but a context referring to something that can be intelligibly be described.
The assertion, in this case, is that the definition of culture is informed by individual interpretations of the intentions of the informants, what they think or are up to and systemizes these ideals. It is thus evident that the anthropological definition of culture is fictitious as it encompasses something that is made up and fictitious (Geertz, 2003). The core attribute that characterizes ethnographic description includes the fact that they interpretive that adopt said and changing it into elements that can be studied in addition to the fact that there is the assumption that everything is done on a small scale.
The position thus is that cultural interpretations lead to a situation whereby the creation of theories is very challenges and that we cannot develop theories that are diverse from the nature of what we have become used to (Geertz, 2003). The addition issue addressed, in this case, is that cultural theory cannot be considered as being predictive in that all theories are associated with events that occurred in the past. The assertion exposes us to the danger of losing touch with issues as politics and economics that are major components of the cultural foundation.
Boaz, on the other hand, addresses the issue of the universe, with the core positions addressed by Boaz including the assertions that societies evolve through pre-set development stages and that some are more ahead of others in this respect. The second component addressed by Boaz is the diffusionism which assumes that the cultural traits do not change over time but tend to diffuse from one central region across the entire globe (Boas & Golub, 2014). Boaz disagrees with the positions arguing that both positions hold the assumptions about human culture and consequently fit the evidence into the assumptions instead of trying to working deductively from data to theory. There is the additional fact encompassing the interest by Boaz in process change as well as the dynamism of culture, with the assertion being that all cultural models are in a constant flux and dependent on the fundamental modifications.
The core position by these individuals is the assertion that there is a tendency to make assumptions about the human culture and fit the evidence into the assumptions instead of attempting to work inductively from the data to the development of a theory. While the issue of theorizing is essential in any study, it cannot be realized at the moment due to the lack of adequate data. It is additionally evident that process, change as well as dynamism are vital elements of culture, supporting the assertion that cultural traits cannot remain constant for years since they are meant to traverse across the globe.
Asad, T., & Wolf, E. (1987). Are there histories of peoples without Europe? A review article.
Boas, F., & Golub, A. (2014). The Methods of Ethnology by Franz Boas, edited and with an introduction by Alex Golub.
Geertz, C. (2003). Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture. Culture: critical concepts in sociology, 1, 173-196.
Said, E. W. Knowing the Oriental ’. Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory, 392-405.
Wolf, E. R., & Eriksen, T. H. (2010). Europe and the People without History. Univ of California Press.
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