Abstract

Part 1 of this article explored the development of Alan Lomax’s theory of expressive style and culture in terms of his family background, temperament, cultural surroundings, influences, intellectual growth, and the nature and impact of his field experiences, the primary source of his ideas. It described the program of research established by Lomax and anthropologist Conrad Arensberg, codirector of the project, and set out its areas of investigation. Part 2 describes the project’s hypotheses, methodology, and results; reviews its criticisms; and takes a personal, reflexive look at Lomax’s personality, public persona, and presentational style as factors in the reception of his work. Finally, it touches upon the potential of a comparativist, cross-cultural approach to the current study of expressive culture.

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