Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Thurnwald, Richard (1869–1954)
Francis M. Williams
Richard Thurnwald, an understudied AustrianGerman anthropologist and sociologist, was known for his comparative studies of social institutions. He was a pioneer in every sense of the word: the first German language ethnologist to do serious fieldwork (in German New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and neighboring areas in Melanesia and Micronesia) and the first to collect a great number of artifacts from this area. Thurnwald did path-breaking ethnographical, folkloristic, economic, anthropological, and linguistic research. Although he was, in theoretical terms, a functionalist, he paid more attention to history than did Bronislaw Malinowski (1884–1942). Thurnwald viewed social anthropology from a paradigm that suggested studying ...