Kroeber, Alfred Louis

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Kroeber, Alfred Louis

(krō`bər), 1876–1960, American anthropologist, b. Hoboken, N.J., Ph.D. Columbia, 1901. He taught (1901–46) at the Univ. of California and was director (1925–46) of the anthropological museum there. An authority on the indigenous people of the Americas, he participated in many expeditions in the Southwest and in Mexico and Peru, where he conducted both ethnographic and archaeological research. Like his teacher Franz BoasBoas, Franz
, 1858–1942, German-American anthropologist, b. Minden, Germany, Ph.D. Univ. of Kiel, 1881. He joined an expedition to Baffin Island in 1883 and initiated his fieldwork with observations of the Central Eskimos.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Kroeber upheld the tradition of broad scholarship, and he was a major figure in the founding of the modern science of anthropology. He set forth clearly the relationship of culture patterns to the individual and presented a new concept of society as the interaction of groups and persons. Kroeber wrote many influential articles, and his books include Anthropology (1923, rev. ed. 1948), Configurations of Culture Growth (1944), The Nature of Culture (1952), and Style and Civilization (1957). Ursula Le GuinLe Guin, Ursula Kroeber
, 1929–2018, American writer, b. Berkeley, Calif.; daughter of anthropologist Alfred Louis Kroeber. Possessing a keen eye for physical and cultural detail, she used science fiction to explore contemporary society and made fantasy into a truly
..... Click the link for more information.
 was his daughter.


See biographies by his wife T. Kroeber (1970) and J. H. Steward (1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kroeber, Alfred Louis


Born June 11, 1876, in Hoboken, N.J.; died Oct. 5, 1960, in Paris. American anthropologist, representative and theoretician of the historical school in American cultural anthropology.

Kroeber was a professor at the University of California from 1919 to 1946. His research, which was devoted mainly to American Indians, contains much factual material. Many of Kroeber’s works were written from an antievolutionist point of view. In his later years, Kroeber abandoned these views and adopted the concept of the progressive development of human society.


Cultural and Natural Areas of Native North America. Berkeley, 1939.
Anthropology. New York, 1948.
An Anthropologist Looks at History. Berkeley, 1963.


Sovremennaia amerikanskaia etnografiia : Teoreticheskie napravleniia i tendentsii. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.