An Anthropologist at Work

An Anthropologist at Work

by Ruth Benedict
     
 

An Anthropologist at Work is the product of a long collaboration between Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead. Mead, who was Benedict’s student, colleague, and eventually her biographer, here has collected the bulk of Ruth Benedict’s writings. This includes letters between these two seminal anthropologists, correspondence with Franz Boas

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Overview

An Anthropologist at Work is the product of a long collaboration between Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead. Mead, who was Benedict’s student, colleague, and eventually her biographer, here has collected the bulk of Ruth Benedict’s writings. This includes letters between these two seminal anthropologists, correspondence with Franz Boas (Benedict’s teacher), Edward Sapir’s poems, and notes from studies that Benedict had collected throughout her life. Since Benedict wrote little, Mead has fleshed out the narratives by adding background information on Benedict’s life, work, and the cultural atmosphere of the time.

Ruth Benedict formed her own view of the contribution of anthropology before the first steps were taken in the study of how individual human beings, with their given potentialities, came to embody their culture. In her later work, she came to accept and sometimes to use the work in culture and personality that depended as much upon social psychology as upon cultural anthropology. She came to recognize that society—made up of persons or organized in groups—was as important as a subject of study as the culture of a society.

This volume, greatly enhanced by Mead’s contributions, is a record of what was important to Benedict in her life and work. It is expertly ordered and assembled in a way that will be accessible to students and professionals alike.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is a warm and human document, edited by one who was always close to Ruth Benedict.”

—Marvin K. Opler, American Anthropologist

“[A] fascinating source of insights into a remarkable woman presented by another remarkable woman, it will well reward any reader.”

—Julian H. Steward, Science

“Margaret Mead was first her pupil and her lifelong friend and colleague; now as her literary executor and biographer, she has assembled the best of Ruth’s papers, her journals, her letters, and her hitherto published or unpublished poems into a volume which makes fascinating reading for students of the humanities and the social sciences.”

—William N. Fenton, Journal of American Folklore

“This book is a personal memoir to an unusual and creative personality who was a loved friend and colleague of its editor and part author.”

—A. I. Richards, American Journal of Sociology

“The descriptions of Benedict’s career and influence are greatly enriched by selections from personal documents of hers… From these materials we can reconstruct the main outlines of a life.”

—Donald Cook, New Republic

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412818506
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
08/04/2011
Pages:
616
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.80(d)

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