Happenings and Hearsay: Experiences of a Biological Anthropologist

Overview

One of the founders of modern human biology and physical anthropology, Gabriel W. Lasker holds a well-established place in the history of science. In a classic article published in Science in 1969, Lasker advanced the idea of plasticity, the process of human adaptation to stressful environments by a series of modifications to the body during the course of physical growth and development. This concept was a factor that led the scientific community to give up its reliance on the notion of genetically fixed racial ...
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Overview

One of the founders of modern human biology and physical anthropology, Gabriel W. Lasker holds a well-established place in the history of science. In a classic article published in Science in 1969, Lasker advanced the idea of plasticity, the process of human adaptation to stressful environments by a series of modifications to the body during the course of physical growth and development. This concept was a factor that led the scientific community to give up its reliance on the notion of genetically fixed racial types. As he documents the rapidly changing field of anthropology and some of its leading figures, Lasker gives his readers a peek inside the lives of people who have defined what it means to be human - and one of those people is himself.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As the subtitle suggests, this is a highly personal account of an eminent biological anthropologists life, but because Lasker worked with or professionally encountered most 20th-century physical anthropologists, as well as many of the more prominent sociocultural anthropologists, it also provides an entertaining history of the fields development. Lasker describes in rather idiosyncratic detail the personalities, institutions, and research projects with which he has been affiliated over the years. Students of the discipline interested in the behind-the-scenes relationships and events that shaped their field and historians of the social sciences in search of insights concerning who spoke to whom about what will find this an illuminating source. There is not much in Laskers study for general readers, however, and few collections will find it indispensable.Glenn Petersen, Baruch Coll. & Graduate Ctr., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814328408
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 223
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.33 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
1 Family Background and Early Years 1
2 Unemployed and Off to China 14
3 First Exposure to Anthropology 28
4 The Long Trip Home for Graduate Study 34
5 Cambridge, Massachusetts 43
6 Hooton's Students 52
7 The Anatomy Department at Harvard 61
8 Conscientious Objection 69
9 The First Years in Detroit 77
10 Teaching Anthropology 84
11 The New Physical Anthropology and the Old 89
12 Editing and Publishing 97
13 Bernice "Bunny" Kaplan 109
14 Fieldwork in Mexico 114
15 Peru 129
16 Meetings and Congresses 135
17 Personalities 142
18 Associates 151
19 Biological Anthropology in Britain 155
20 Other Countries 165
21 Human Biological Variation 170
22 Major Changes in the Field 176
23 Looking Back 186
App.: Lasker's Publications 189
Bibliography 209
Index 213
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