American Anthropologist

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American Anthropologist  
Discipline anthropology
Language English
Publication details
Publication history
Frequency Quarterly
ISSN 0002-7294

American Anthropologist is the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). It is known for publishing a wide range of work in anthropology, including articles on cultural, biological and linguistic anthropology and archeology. Its first incarnation (known as the "Old Series") started in 1888 and was published by the Anthropological Society of Washington, the first anthropology association in the United States.[citation needed] The "New Series" began in 1899 under an editorial board that included Franz Boas, Daniel G. Brinton, and John Wesley Powell and continues to this day.

Four-field approach

The four fields of Anthropology include cultural, linguistic, archeology and biological/physical. Sometimes applied anthropology is added as a fifth division.

Among the journals published by the AAA, The American Anthropologist is the only one that follows the "four field" approach, publishing articles from all the subdisciplines of anthropology.[1] Proponents of four-field anthropology see American Anthropologist's broad scope as important to maintaining disciplinary unity, while critics have expressed serious reservations about this aim, and criticize pressures since the 1970s against editors and works that do not subscribe to four field holism as an ideal for anthropological scholarship.[2]


  1. Segal et al. 2005, Introduction, p.20
  2. Segal et al. 2005, Introduction, pp.7, 22


External links