Margaret Mead

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Margaret Mead
BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, US
EducationBarnard College (1923) M.A., Columbia University (1924) Ph.D., Columbia University (1929)

Mead, Margaret,

1901–78, American anthropologist, b. Philadelphia, grad. Barnard, 1923, Ph.D. Columbia, 1929. In 1926 she became assistant curator, in 1942 associate curator, and from 1964 to 1969 she was curator of ethnology of the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. After 1954 she served as adjunct professor of anthropology at Columbia. A student and collaborator of Ruth BenedictBenedict, Ruth Fulton,
1887–1948, American anthropologist, b. New York City, grad. Vassar, 1909, Ph.D. Columbia, 1923. She was a student and later a colleague of Franz Boas at Columbia, where she taught from 1924.
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, she focused her interests on problems of child rearing, personality, and culture. Her fieldwork was carried out primarily among the peoples of Oceania. She was also active with the World Federation for Mental Health. A prolific writer and avid speaker who enjoyed engaging the general public, Mead was instrumental in popularizing the anthropological concept of culture with readers in the United States. She also stressed the need for anthropologists to understand the perspective of women and children. Her works include Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), Growing Up in New Guinea (1930), The Changing Culture of an Indian Tribe (1932), Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935), Male and Female (1949), New Lives for Old: Cultural Transformation in Manus, 1928–1953 (1956), People and Places (1959), Continuities in Cultural Evolution (1964), Culture and Commitment (1970), and a biographical account of her early years, Blackberry Winter (1972). She is also the author of a book for young people, People and Places (1959). She edited Cultural Patterns and Technical Change (1953) and a volume of Ruth Benedict's writings, An Anthropologist at Work (1959, repr. 1966).


See studies by Mead's daughter, M. C. Bateson (1985), and by J. Howard (1985).

Mead, Margaret

(1901–78) cultural anthropologist, author; born in Philadelphia. Daughter of a University of Pennsylvania economist and a feminist political activist, she graduated from Barnard College in 1923 and went on to take a Ph.D. in Franz Boas' program at Columbia University in 1929. Appointed assistant curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History in 1926, she retained the museum connection for more than a half-century. After expeditions to Samoa and New Guinea, she published Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) and Growing Up in New Guinea (1930). Altogether, she made 24 field trips among six South Pacific peoples. She was married and divorced three times; her third husband (1936–50) was anthropologist Gregory Bateson, with whom she collaborated in field research. Her later works included Male and Female (1949) and Growth and Culture (1951), in which she argued that personality characteristics, especially as they differ between men and women, were shaped by cultural conditioning rather than heredity. Some critics called her field work impressionistic, but her writings have proved enduring and have made anthropology accessible to a wider public. In her later years she became one of the best known individuals in America, her presence and opinions sought for every possible occasion.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lois Banner is professor emeritus of History at the University of Southern California and the author, most recently, of Intertwined Lives: Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Their Circle (2003) and Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox (2012).
Margaret Mead, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, New York: Morrow, 1935.
Led by Margaret Mead, anthropologists had been struggling to prove the social relevance of their work.
Freeman piqued the curiosity of the mainstream media with his book, Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth.
I "guarded" Margaret Mead, Buckminster Fuller and Mother Teresa, among others.
As Margaret Mead once famously said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has.
Flanking him, as spiritual opposites, are his friend Walter Spies, the German painter of the sensuous tropics, and the rationalist student of the human, anthropologist Margaret Mead, who was in Bali at the same time as McPhee.
Que tendran en comun Katherine Mansfield, Dolores Ibarruri, Anna Ajmatova, Margaret Mead.
They have now been granted the freedom of the streets of the borough, by Mayor Margaret Mead.
Bisexual anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
He does pepper the mix with quotations from Margaret Mead Bill Clinton George Bernard Shaw and his personal favorite Albert Einstein which liven up the prose.

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