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Diversity discussion at CSUB
  April 18, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

California State University, Bakersfield’s anthropology program will host its annual Promoting Awareness of Cultural Origins and Diversity Forum on Wednesday, May 17, at 6 p.m. in the Stockdale Room on the CSUB campus.

The forum will feature Walter Goldschmidt, University of California, Los Angeles anthropology professor emeritus, presenting, “Human Diversity as a Biological Imperative.”

“When culture developed to the point of transforming humans into care-giving mammals, it was possible to keep people alive who were diverse in their inherent abilities,” Goldschmidt explained. “We see this in Neanderthals who had survived after they were too crippled to have maintained themselves.

“This preservation of diversity enabled societies to share in the special talents through exchanges and other social institutions. This, in turn, enabled our ancestry to occupy all terrestrial environments capable of sustaining large mammals,” he continued. “Thus the inherent diversity also led to cultural diversity. Because human societies require a high measure of conformity to preserve a social order, this creates an inevitable conflict. The advantages of having different people with diverse abilities, whether inherent or cultural, outweigh such problems but require institutional means of ameliorating conflict.”

Goldschmidt graduated from the University of Texas, Austin in 1933 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, followed by his master’s in 1935. He received his doctorate from UC Berkeley in 1942. He has been a professor in the department of anthropology at UCLA since 1946.

During his tenure at UCLA he has helped create several organizations including the African Studies Center, the African Studies Association, the Society for Senior Anthropologists, the Society for Psychological Anthropology, and the Anthropological Film Research Institute.

Goldschmidt’s study of California agriculture has led to the “Goldschmidt Hypothesis” which is still influencing policy research on American agriculture. His study of native land use and rights in Alaska has been influential in preserving access to land among the Tlingit people and is influencing the decisions relating to the Athapascan interior. His publication on the early use of applied anthropology in America remains a major source for that field.

In addition to the forum, a round table discussion will be held on Thursday (May 18) at 10 a.m. in Dorothy Donahoe Hall, room B108. Seating is limited and a reservation is required.

For additional information or to R.S.V.P. for the round table discussion, please call Brian Hemphill at (661) 654-2405.