Redfield, Robert

Redfield, Robert

Redfield, Robert, 1897-1958, American anthropologist and sociologist, b. Chicago, grad. Univ. of Chicago (B.A., 1920; Ph.D., 1928). He began teaching at the Univ. of Chicago in 1928, later becoming professor of anthropology and dean of the social science division. His field research in Mexico in the 1920s resulted in Tepoztlán (1930), a pioneer case study of a folk community that was the forerunner of a series of important studies. As research associate (1930-47) at the Carnegie Institution he directed anthropological investigations in Yucatán and Guatemala and evolved the concepts of folk society and folk culture, borrowing from sociological methods and concepts. He attempted a closer integration of the social sciences and the humanities. In his later years he turned increasingly to the comparative study of civilizations. His writings include The Folk Culture of Yucatán (1941), The Primitive World and Its Transformations (1953), and The Little Community (1955).
Robert Redfield (December 4, 1897 - October 16, 1958) was an American anthropologist and ethnolinguist. Redfield graduated from the University of Chicago, eventually with a JD from its law school and then a PhD in social anthropology, which he began to teach in 1927. After a series of published field studies from Mexican communities (Tepoztlán, Chan Kom), in 1953 he published The Primitive World and its Transformation and in 1956, Peasant Society and Culture. Moving further into a broader synthesis of disciplines, Dr Redfield embraced a forum for interdisciplinary thought that included archeology, anthropological linguistics, physical anthropology, social anthropology, and ethnology.

Redfield wrote in 1955 about his own experience doing research in Latin America on peasants. As he did research, he realized he had been trained to treat the society as an isolated culture. However, he found people were involved with trade, and there were connections between villages and states. More than that, the village culture was not bounded. Beliefs and practices were not isolated. Redfield realized it did not make sense to study people as isolated units, but rather it would be better to understand a broader perspective. Traditionally, anthropologists studied folk ways in the "little tradition", taking into account broader civilization, the "great tradition".

Redfield and his wife Margaret are the parents of James M. Redfield, a professor of classics at the University of Chicago.

The papers of Robert Redfield and Margaret Redfield are located at the Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Published works

Redfield's published works include:


External links

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