Linton, Ralph

Linton, Ralph,

1893–1953, American anthropologist, b. Philadelphia, B.A. Swarthmore College, 1915, Ph.D. Harvard, 1925. He was (1922–28) assistant curator at the Field Museum, Chicago, then taught at the Univ. of Wisconsin (1928–37), at Columbia (1937–46), and at Yale (1946–53). His wide studies in the Americas, Africa, Madagascar, and the South Pacific produced insights into the process of acculturation and the complex of cultural-psychological relationships. Among his more general works are The Study of Man (1936), The Science of Man in the World Crisis (1945), Most of the World (1949), and The Tree of Culture (1955).


See biography by A. S. Linton and C. Wagley (1971).

Linton, Ralph

(1893–1953) cultural anthropologist; born in Philadelphia. Son of a restaurateur, raised a Quaker, he graduated from Swarthmore College in 1915, saw combat in France during World War I (which led to his dismissal from his family's Friends Meeting), and received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1925. Fieldwork took him to Polynesia in the early 1920s. He taught at the University of Wisconsin, Columbia University, where he succeeded Franz Boas, and Harvard. He introduced the terms "status" and "role" to social science and influenced the development of the culture-and-personality school of anthropology. His works, such as The Study of Man (1936) and The Tree of Culture (1955), are regarded more as popularizations of anthropology than as original scholarship.