Cultural and social anthropology are distinguishable if not entirely seperated intellectual or academic traditions. The use of the terms "cultural" and "social" to draw the distinction became common in the 1930s, but the divergence arose earlier, most directly from the differences between the studies advocated by Franz BOAS (1858 1942) in the United States from the 1890s, and the new directions anthropology had begun to take in England around that time at the initiative of R. R. Marrett (1866 1943), C. G. Seligman (1873 1940), W. H. R. RIVERS (1864 1922), and Alfred Haddon (1855 1940).
|Today the two terms do not denote a precise division of approaches and for this reason some anthropologists have dispensed with the distinction (e.g., R. Barrett 1984: 2). For many others, however, the difference remains important, at least as a shorthand way of characterizing ethnographic styles.|
The rubric "cultural anthropology" is generally applied to ethnographic works that are holistic in spirit, oriented to the ways in which culture affects individual experience, or aim to provide a rounded view of the knowledge, customs, and institutions of a people. "Social anthropology" is a term applied to ethnographic works that attempt to isolate a particular system of social relations such as those that comprise domestic life, economy, law, politics, or religion give analytical priority to the organizational bases of social life, and attend to cultural phenomena as somewhat secondary to the main issues of social scientific inquiry.
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