Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
In Joan Mark's introduction to the Bison edition of this classic work, she offers a good analysis of the impact of these twenty-seven fictional stories written by anthropologists and first published in 1922. Anthropology's radical change in methodology at the turn of the century -- of which Parsons and Franz Boas (twenty of these stories can be identified with Boasian anthropology) were noticeable figures in the transformation -- led Parsons to attempt to tackle the problem of the relation of the individual to the culture. Consequently, she asked her fellow anthropologists to write fictions about Native Americans in which they could speculate how individuals would think and feel in certain situations, issues that were lacking from strictly scientific descriptions. The result was this volume with the message that "every society both supports the individuals born within it and at the same time exacts a toll on them."
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1992