Ruth Benedict

From Metapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Boasian anthropology
American Anthropological Association
Boasian anthropology
Cultural relativism
Franz Boas
Noble savage
Race denialism
Recent African origin
of modern humans
Statement on "Race"
The Race Question
Ruth Benedict.

Ruth Fulton Benedict (5 June 1887 – 17 September 1948) was an American Boasian anthropologist. She studied under Franz Boas. Among her own students was Ashley Montagu.

Unlike many other prominent Boasian anthropologists, Benedict was not (openly) Jewish, although she may have been of Jewish descent.[1]

Furthermore, "some of Boaz’s most famous gentile followers were also at odds with American society: Margaret Mead was bisexual and Ruth Benedict was lesbian. Thus, “the Boasians shared an out-group sensibility, a commitment to a common viewpoint and a program to dominate the institutional structure of anthropology.”"[2] They have been argued to have become the most publicly visible of Boas students. Boas, like Freud, have been argued to have deliberately recruited and publicly promoted some gentiles out of concern "that his Jewishness would make his science appear partisan and thus compromised".[3]

Benedict's Patterns of Culture (1934) was translated into fourteen languages and was published in many editions as standard reading for anthropology courses in American universities for years. Among other views, it expresses support for cultural relativism.

One of Benedict's lesser known works is the propaganda pamphlet "The Races of Mankind", which she wrote with her colleague at the Columbia University Department of Anthropology, Gene Weltfish. The race denialist pamphlet was intended for American troops and used simple language with cartoon illustrations. Exceptionally, citing no source, the propaganda pamphlet claimed that Blacks from the Northern United states had on average scored substantially higher on IQ tests than Whites from the Southern United states, supposedly due to claimed higher poverty in the South. See also Race and intelligence: The genetics or not debate: Socioeconomic factors

See also


  1. Modell, Judith Schachter. (1983). Ruth Benedict, Patterns of a Life. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  2. Science Strikes Back
  3. Kevin B. MacDonald. The Culture of Critique. 1998, 2002. 1st Books Library.
Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.