Fritz Graebner

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Graebner, Fritz


Born Mar. 4, 1877. in Berlin; died there July 13, 1934. German ethnographer. Founder of the reactionary so-called cultural-historical school of ethnography.

Graebner rejected the idea of the progress of peoples and the general laws of historical development in favor of a purely mechanistic approach to the study of isolated cultural phenomena. Similar phenomena in the cultures of different peoples are, according to Graebner, presumably the result of their origin in a single center. He maintains that the entire history of culture is the history of the migrations over the earth of several cultural complexes (“circles”) and the history of the mechanical combinations of these cultures.


Methode der Ethnologie. Heidelberg. 1911.
Das Weltbild der Primitiven. Munich, 1924.
“Kulturkreise und Kulturschichten in Ozeanien.” Zeitschrift für Ethnologic 1905. part 37. fase. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.