Malinowski was one of the founders of functionalism in the social sciences and he shaped the fundamental methodology of modern anthropology. His spatial contributions to anthropology and the social sciences are two-fold. First he trained a generation of British anthropologists in the methodology of fieldwork and stressed the importance of living with a population. Functionalism, often considered his most important theoretical contribution, developed based on his understanding of how the Trobriand Islanders coped with and maintained social relations across vast stretches of ocean.