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Rappaport, Roy A. (1926–97)

Roy a. rappaport was one of the most influential ecological anthropologists of the 20th century. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1966, studying under other major scholars of ecological anthropology, such as Marvin Harris, Harold Conklin, and Andrew Vayda. It was Gregory Bateson, however, who exerted the strongest influence over Rappaport's work. Bateson introduced Rappaport to systems theory and encouraged him to think about cultural practices as optimizing human adaptation and maintaining ecological balance. Rappaport's work played an important role in the development of theories regarding how people relate to, adapt, and manage their environments. More specifically, he was devoted to understanding why ritual should order ecosystems and human life.

Rappaport made a significant theoretical shift from the cultural ecology model, the dominant framework ...

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