Fried, Morton Herbert

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FRIED, MORTON HERBERT (1923–1986), U.S. anthropologist. Born and educated in New York City, Fried received his B.S. from the City College of New York in 1942. He served in the U.S. Army (1943–46) and, under the Army Specialized Training Program, studied Chinese at Harvard, graduating in 1944. He did his graduate work at Columbia University, where he earned a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1951. He taught sociology and anthropology at New York City College (1949–50). He then became an instructor in the department of anthropology at Columbia University from 1950 to 1953; he was associate professor from 1957 to 1961 and then became a professor, teaching at Columbia for the next two and a half decades. He also served as chairman of the anthropology department (1966 –69).

Fried specialized in Asian studies and studied the Chinese in the Caribbean and Guianas (cf. his Fabric of Chinese Society (1953, 19682), a study of the social life of a Chinese county seat). His other research interests included social kinship and social stratification in primitive society, especially China; evolution; and social and political organization, and evolution of the state. He was co-editor of Readings in Anthropology (2 vols., 1959, 19682) and Evolution of Political Society (1967).

In 1981 he was invited by the People's Republic of China to act as a consultant to high government officials on implementing exchanges of scholars and students between the U.S. and China.

Fried's other books include The Classification of Corporate Unilineal Descent Groups (1957), On the Evolution of Social Stratification and the State (1957), State: The Institution (1968), The Study of Anthropology (1972), Explorations in Anthropology: Readings in Culture, Man, and Nature (1973), and The Notion of Tribe (1975).

[Ephraim Fischoff /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]