Few anthropologists today realize the pioneering role Margaret Mead played in the investigation of contemporary cultures. This volume collects and presents a variety of her essays on research methodology relating to contemporary culture. Many of these essays were printed originally in limited circulation journals, research reports and books edited by others. They reflect Mead's continuing commitment to searching out methods for studying and extending the anthropologist's tools of investigation for use in complex societies. Essays on American and European societies, intergenerational relations, architecture and social space, industrialization, and interracial relations are included in this varied and exciting collection.
About the Author
Margaret Mead served as Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1925 to 1969. She began her career with a study of youth and adolescence in Samoan society, published as Coming of Age in Samoa (1928). She published prolifically, becoming a seminal figure in anthropology, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1979.
Table of Contents
William O. Beeman
Introduction to this edition
William O. Beeman
PART I: ANTHROPOLOGY AS A DISCIPLINE
Chapter 1. Towards a Human Science
Chapter 2. Talks with Social Scientists: Margaret Mead on What is a Culture? What is a Civilization?
Chapter 3. Anthropologist and Historian: Their Common Problems
Chapter 4. Changing Styles of Anthropological Work
PART II: SOCIAL THEORY IN THE STUDY OF CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
Chapter 5. Methodology in Racial Testing: Its Significance for Sociology
Chapter 6. The Study of National Character
Chapter 7. The Swaddling Hypothesis: iIs Reception
Chapter 8. Some Cultural Approaches to Communication Problems
Chapter 9. A Case History in Cross-National Communications
Chapter 10. Adolescence in Primitive and Modern Society: The New Generation
Chapter 11. Our Educational Emphasis in Primitive Perspectives
Chapter 12. Early Childhood Experience and Later Education in Complex Cultures
PART III: PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
Chapter 13. From Plight to Power: Youth as a Political and Economic Force
Chapter 14. Religion in the Melting Pot: Religion and our Racial Tensions
Chapter 15. The Contemporary American Family as an Anthropologist Sees It
Chapter 16. Sex and Censorship in Contemporary Society
Chapter 17. Sexual Behavior: An Anthropologist looks at the [Kinsey] Report
Chapter 18. Jealousy: Primitive and Civilized
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was astonished at this collection of unknown writings by the late, great anthropologist, Margaret Mead. The author and publisher have done an amazing service to the world by providing these dead-on, insightful readings, mostly (but not exclusively) about American culture--marriage, family, war, violence, old age--it is all here. Some of the pictures of American life are so true, they are almost painful. Have we learned nothing about ourselves in the last fifty years? The publisher now has a whole series of these forgotten writings by Margaret Mead. People need her now more than ever.