Examine the contributions of Bronislaw Malinowski to the field of anthropology.
Bronislaw Malinowski was a phenomenal and well-regarded anthropologist, doing research throughout Africa and the Pacific Ocean. His contributions deal in large part with the sexual mores and taboos of society and whether they are inherent or learned behaviors. His belief was that these behaviors are not inborn but are more often than not learned, and he even believed he found a society that had yet to discover the link between sex and childbearing (though this is disputed).
Perhaps the greatest achievement, however, was simply the view he took of anthropology, as opposed to his actual discoveries. Malinowski is credited with a much more human-centered approach to anthropology, and he attempted in large part to understand the individual characteristics and experiences of people in cultures. This ground-level view of cultures has shaped the practices in anthropology since his time and has led to a great number of other discoveries and theories.
Bronislaw Malinowski, among other things, used his findings while working with people in Micronesia to suggest that Sigmund Freud's understanding of the formation of sexual identity was irrelevant in certain social contexts. The Oedipus complex, he argued, simply did not make sense in matrilineal societies where the maternal uncle was the real "father figure." While many (really most) of his findings have been disputed or even refuted, his idea that social and cultural context is crucial to psychological development has been highly influential in anthropology, sociology, and other social sciences. Malinowski sought to show how cultural institutions helped to meet individual human needs. This opposed the structural functionalist model associated with Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, who was interested in the broader needs of society. Malinowski was also significant for his methods, which involved a more "hands on" and involved method of observing the culture of other peoples. Finally, he was instrumental in describing the concept that would become known to anthropoligists as "reciprocity."