文化人类学的历史可以追溯到19世纪，当时像Lewis Henry Morgan和Edward Tylor这样的早期学者对文化系统的比较研究产生了兴趣。这一代人借鉴了查尔斯达尔文的理论，试图将他的进化观应用于人类文化。他们后来被解雇为所谓的“扶手椅人类学家”，因为他们的观点基于他人收集的数据，并没有亲自与他们声称要研究的团体进行亲身接触。这些观点后来被Franz Boas驳斥，后者被广泛称为美国人类学之父。博阿斯强烈谴责扶手椅人类学家对文化进化的信仰，认为所有文化都必须按照自己的条件而不是作为一部分加以考虑。进步模型。作为太平洋西北地区土着文化的专家，他参加了探险，他教过哥伦比亚大学教授的第一代美国人类学家。他的学生包括Margaret Mead，Alfred Kroeber，Zora Neale Hurston和Ruth Benedict。博阿斯的影响继续在文化人类学关注种族，更广泛地说，作为社会建构而非生物学基础的力量的身份。博阿斯坚决反对当时流行的科学种族主义思想，如颅相学和优生学。相反，他将种族和族裔群体之间的差异归因于社会因素。在博阿斯之后，人类学系成为美国大学的常态，文化人类学是研究的核心内容。博阿斯的学生继续在全国各地建立人类学系，包括在西北大学启动该项目的Melville Herskovits和加州大学伯克利分校的第一位人类学教授Alfred Kroeber。玛格丽特米德继续成为国际知名人士，无论是作为人类学家还是学者。该领域在美国和其他地方越来越受欢迎，让位于新一代极具影响力的人类学家如ClaudeLévi-Strauss和Clifford Geertz。这些文化人类学的早期领导者共同巩固了一门明确专注于世界文化比较研究的学科。他们的工作受到了对不同信仰系统，实践和社会组织的真正理解的承诺的激励。作为一个学术领域，人类学致力于文化相对主义的概念，认为所有文化在根本上是平等的，只需要根据自己的规范和价值观进行分析。北美文化人类学家的主要专业组织是文化人类学学会，该学会出版“文化人类学”杂志。
The history of cultural anthropology dates back to the 19th century, when early scholars such as Lewis Henry Morgan and Edward Tylor became interested in comparative studies of cultural systems. This generation borrowed from Charles Darwin’s theory and tried to apply his concept of evolution to human culture. They were later dismissed as so-called “armchair anthropologists” because their views were based on data collected by others and did not personally contact the groups they claimed to study. These views were later refuted by Franz Boas, who is widely known as the father of American anthropology. Boas strongly condemns the belief of armchair anthropologists about cultural evolution and believes that all cultures must be considered in their own right and not as part of it. Progressive model. As an expert in indigenous culture in the Pacific Northwest, he participated in the expedition. He taught the first generation of American anthropologists at Columbia University. His students include Margaret Mead, Alfred Kroeber, Zora Neale Hurston and Ruth Benedict. The influence of Boas continues to be concerned with ethnicity in cultural anthropology, and more broadly, as the power of social construction rather than biological basis. Boas resolutely opposed the popular scientific racist ideas of the time, such as phrenology and eugenics. Instead, he attributed the differences between racial and ethnic groups to social factors. After Boas, the Department of Anthropology became the norm of American universities, and cultural anthropology was the core of research. Boas students continue to build anthropology departments across the country, including Melville Herskovits, who started the program at Northwestern University, and Alfred Kroeber, the first anthropology professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Margaret Mead continues to be an international celebrity, both as an anthropologist and a scholar. The field is becoming more popular in the United States and elsewhere, giving way to a new generation of influential anthropologists such as Claude Lévi-Strauss and Clifford Geertz. These early leaders of cultural anthropology have consolidated a discipline that clearly focuses on comparative studies of world culture. Their work is motivated by a commitment to a true understanding of different belief systems, practices and social organizations. As an academic field, anthropology is committed to the concept of cultural relativism, arguing that all cultures are fundamentally equal and only need to be analyzed according to their own norms and values. The main professional organization of North American cultural anthropologists is the Cultural Anthropology Society, which publishes the journal Cultural Anthropology.