Essay The Diffusion And Dispersion As Opposites

1146 Words Sep 27th, 2016 5 Pages
*****The diffusion controversy established creation and dispersion as opposites, with authors on both sides discussing their preferences, sparing few words for the alternate side – although some, as far back as 1895, like Mason explained how both had a role in change in culture (Mason, 1895a). Soon, both were discussed not as opposites, but as co-current by American anthropologists. Simultaneously, they were established as stages in a linear sequence that described cultural change as a process.
*****Kroeber’s Anthropology (published in 1923) dedicated a chapter to invention, which he called “Parallels”, after which one on “Diffusion”. Kroeber started by discussing the creation versus dispersion controversy, like many other anthropologists, which according to him, existed from the difficulty in verifying autonomous inventions, limiting dispersal to a “mythical” status. Kroeber saw “truly autonomous or convergent invention” as ethereal rather than concrete. Even between inventions that were similar there would be differences and these “would not recur together once in a million times” to prove convergent invention. A “Partial convergence” or “incomplete parallelism” might occur; a root source, definitely. “To wage an ethereal battle two opposing sides is unproductive”, stated Kroeber, as both “compliment” each other. “Dispersion and imitation indeed occur” and “autonomous developments are varyingly propagated”. Dispersal leads to “modifications”, i.e invention, and “autonomous…

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