George M. Foster (anthropologist)

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George M. Foster (October 9, 1913 – May 18, 2006) was an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, best known for contributions on peasant societies (the "principle of limited good" and the "Dyadic Contract") and as one of the founders of medical anthropology.[1][2]

Evidence of notability

  • President of the American Anthropological Association (elected 1970).
  • Elected to the US National Academy of Sciences (elected 1976)
  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 1980)
  • Recipient of the Malinowski Award(1982) from the Society for Applied Anthropology
  • Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology (2005)


Clark, M., R. V. Kemper, and C. Nelson, (eds) (1979) From Tzintzuntzan to the “Image of Limited Good”: Essays in honor of George M. Foster. (Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers No. 55-56). Berkeley, CA: x + 181 pp.

Selected publications

Foster, George M. (1960) Culture and Conquest: America's Spanish Heritage, Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology No. 27. New York: Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Foster, George M. (1961) The Dyadic Contract: A model for social structure of a Mexican peasant village. Am. Anthropol. 63:1173-1192.

Foster, George M.(1962) Traditional Cultures and the Impact of Technological Change, New York: Harper & Bros.

Foster, George M.(1967) Tzintzuntzan: Mexican Peasants in a Changing World, Boston: Little, Brown and Co.


  1. ^ Maclay, Kathleen (2006) UCBerkelyNews - Press Release: George M. Foster, noted anthropologist, dies
  2. ^ Kemper, R. V. and Brandes, S. (2007), George McClelland Foster Jr. (1913–2006). American Anthropologist, 109: 425–428

External links

  • National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir
  • Finding Aid to the George McClelland Foster Papers, 1934-2005, The Bancroft Library

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