Mirror for Man

The Relation of Anthropology to Modern Life

Clyde Kluckhohn,

Mirror for Man: The Relation of Anthropology to Modern Life
 
 

While the world has undoubtedly been shrinking, at the same time it has grown more complex. The likelihood of culture clashes leading to outright conflict is high, perhaps higher than ever. As Andrea L. Smith convincingly argues in her new introduction to this classic work, certain questions are as valid today as in 1949, when Mirror for Man was first published. Can anthropology break down prejudices that exist between peoples and nations? Can knowledge of past human behavior help solve the world’s modern problems? What effect will American attitudes likely have on the future of the world?

In Mirror for Man, Clyde Kluckhohn scrutinizes anthropology, showing how the discipline can contribute to the reconciliation of conflicting cultures. He questions age-old race theories, shows how people came to be as they are, and examines limitations in how human beings can be molded. Taking up one of the most vital questions in the post-World War II world, whether international order can be achieved by domination, Kluckhohn demonstrates that cultural clashes drive much of the world’s conflict, and shows how we can help resolve it if only we are willing to work for joint understanding.

By interpreting human behavior, Kluckhohn reveals that anthropology can make a practical contribution through its predictive power in the realm of politics, social attitudes, and group psychology. Andrea L. Smith’s new introduction provides convincing evidence for the continuing importance of one of the earliest “public intellectuals.”

 



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