Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Chagnon, Napoleon (1938–)
Elizabeth A. Dyer
Napoleon Chagnon is biosocial professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Chagnon was born in 1938 in Port Austin, Michigan. He earned his PhD in anthropology at the University of Michigan in 1966. There, he studied unilineal cultural evolution under Leslie A. White. Chagnon tested White's assertions that changes in technology played a primary role in social evolution when he gathered ethnographic field data among the Yanomamo Indians of Venezuela and Brazil. When Napoleon Chagnon began his study of the Yanomamo in 1964, few Whites had interacted with them, and none for extended periods of time. Chagnon was able to document the effects of Yanomamo acculturation to outside cultures, particularly the political and ...