Margaret Mead

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bateson, Gregory, and Margaret Mead. Balinese Character: A Photographic Analysis.
(3.) Margaret Mead, "Homogeneity and Hypertrophy: A Polynesian-Based Hypothesis," in Polynesian Culture History: Essays in Honor of Kenneth P.
"As we celebrate the 40th Margaret Mead Film Festival, the air is charged with tension and change.
I was surprised to learn that she was a student in the famed 1926 introductory class in anthropology at Barnard, taught by Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, with Margaret Mead, then a Columbia graduate student, as their assistant, since Boas, Benedict, and Mead rarely mention Du Bois in their writings about those years.
In Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth, Freeman ripped apart Mead's facile contentions point by point, and refuted her characterizations of Samoan society as irreligious and relaxed about adolescence and sexual behaviour.
Interesting, beautifully told, and well-researched, Euphoria offers fictional insight into the life and work of Margaret Mead, taking liberties with facts only to achieve that seemingly impossible goal of making anthropology seem sexy and dangerous.
Led by Margaret Mead, anthropologists had been struggling to prove the social relevance of their work.
His book At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil won the Margaret Mead Prize.
In this work for general readers (first published in 1995), he presents a framework for understanding leadership and illustrates the framework with profiles of famous leaders such as anthropologist Margaret Mead, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., Pope John XXIII, and Mahatma Gandhi.
One of my favorite quotations is from anthropologist Margaret Mead. It's a famous quotation, and you may have heard it before, but it's worth repeating: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Its cultural perspective has always been an avowedly interdisciplinary one, and its past Fellows have included such distinguished figures as Paul Tillich, Margaret Mead, Mircea Eliade, W H Auden, Robert Motherwell and Mies Van der Rohe.
The Stars: Mother Teresa, Buckminster Fuller and Margaret Mead

Full browser ?