Indonesian Sociological Studies: Selected Writings

Indonesian Sociological Studies: Selected Writings

Indonesian Sociological Studies: Selected Writings

Indonesian Sociological Studies: Selected Writings

Excerpt

The more recent German and English ethnologists -- in contrast to the older school, which restricted itself mainly to the logical combination of the hypothetical phases of culture to be encountered among the more primitive peoples of the present day in the construction of its theories of evolution, in general without any detailed investigation of them in the history of their own development -- are giving more consideration to such peoples' own internal history and the cultural influences or tendencies from outside which have operated on them.

In this way the 'cultural history' school, or the 'Cologne school' -- and to a certain extent the same thing can be said of Frobenius -- has come to the determination of successive strata of civilization which with the help of the so-called form-and-quantity criterium it should be possible to distinguish in the cultures of peoples. Museum ethnologists in origin, the supporters of this school in the beginning applied such criteria to the material cultural heritage, from which in case a number of ethnographica of similar construction were encountered they would then conclude a cultural relationship. They considered them as belonging to a stratum of culture spread over various parts of the earth -- agoraphobia was unknown to them -- and on such a basis distinguished certain territorial spheres of culture. Later they applied the same procedure to religious and social phenomena as well. In contrast to the 'elemental ideas' of Bastian, who tried to explain everything from a similar predisposition of the whole of mankind, the emphasis was in this way placed once more on cultural transference. It was thus assumed that even though the purpose of an object used in everyday life might be changed, its adoption was not essentially different from the adoption of religious concepts (although the psychological factor in them is, after all, unmistak-

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