Although anthropology is hardly as central today, in the middle of the 20th century it was intended to be a kind of "master key" that unlocks the secrets of humanity for large sections of the educated public. It had achieved this status in a relatively short period of time by questioning, if not defeating, at least two alternative ways of thinking about human development. The first was racial science - the belief that humanity was almost divided into different species with different innate abilities, which could be arranged in a hierarchy that reflected the hierarchy of power in the modern world, with white or Caucasians at the top. The second - somewhat more insidious and permanent - also believed that humanity could be placed in a hierarchy that reflected the modern world, ...
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