He then became a graduate research professor of anthropology at the University of Florida in Gainesville on the year 1981. Harriss major research has consisted of community studies in Latin America and ethnologies of Africa. He was very influential in the development of the theory of cultural materialism. He wrote Patterns of Race in the Americas (1964), (1968), Cannibals and Kings (1977), America Now (1981), Cultural Materialism (1979), Good to Eat (1986), and Our Kind (1989)." (Slider Encyclopedia) Dr. Marvin Harris is considered to be a generalist with an interest in the global processes that account for human origins and the evolution of human cultures. Due to his interests in cultural anthropology, Dr. Harris assumed the role of an anthropological historian theoretician. His work with cultural materialism took him to the Islas de la Bahia, Brazil, Mozambique, Ecuador, India and East Harlem. Harris shared his knowledge of cultural anthropology with the world through the publication of 16 books. They include Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches and Cannibals and Kings. He also authored an introductory anthropology college textbook with multiple editions titled Culture, People, and Nature. Upon the completion of his previous publications, he composed a series of essays concerning modern human behavior based on our origins according to evolution which he has titled, Our Kind. Harris died in Gainesville, Florida on October 25, 2001 2001. 2001)Cultural materialism is a systems theory of society that attempts to account for their: origin, maintenance and change. Cultural Materialism is based on two key assumptions about societies. First, the various parts of society are interrelated. When one part of society changes, other parts must also change. This means that an institution, such as the family cannot be looked at in isolation from the economic, political, or religious institutions of a society. When one part changes it has an effect on other parts of the system. Viewing society as a system of interrelated parts is at the core of most sociological theory. Difference in most theories is in terms of organizing principles. The second assumption of Cultural Materialism is that the foundation of the sociocultural system is the environment.The physical, biological, and chemical constraints to which human action is subject. Like all
1. Students in an Introduction to Anthropology Class, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota 2001.
2. Harris, Marvin. 2001 . The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture. Updated Edition. Walnut Creek: Altamira.
3. Harris, Marvin. 2001 . Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of Culture. Updated Edition. Walnut Creek: Altamira.
4. Elwell, Frank, 2001, Marvin Harriss Cultural Materialism, Retrieved June 1, 2001 (use actual date), http://www.faculty.rsu.edu/~felwell/Theorists/Harris/Index
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