Margaret Mead

Topics: Columbia University, Anthropology, Franz Boas Pages: 2 (604 words) Published: September 29, 2014
Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead, she was born Dec. 16, 1901, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S. and died Nov. 15, 1978, New York, N.Y. Margaret was the daughter of Edward Sherwood Mead, a professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and her mother, Emily (Fogg) Mead, was a sociologist. She was the oldest of 5 children. She was a graduate of Barnard College and received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1929. She became the most famous anthropologist in the world. Through her work people learned about anthropology and its holistic vision of the human species.

Frank Boas was one of the first partners in her life. Mr. Boas was a fellow anthropologist. He felt that Margaret would bring a fresh look into culture through a woman’s mind. Mr. Boas always focused and worked with men in his studies. He felt that Mead would be a good candidate to collect the information from younger woman because Mead was a young female also. Boas sent Margaret to a remote island to study the Samoa adolescent females in the mid 1920’s.

This was one of Margaret Mead’s first studies the adolescents in Samoa. She focused on characteristics of young females. This study resulted in her first book “Coming of Age in Samoa”. Her reasoning behind the study was to discover whether adolescence was a universally traumatic and stressful time due to biological factors or whether the experience of adolescence depended on one's cultural upbringing. The one focus was to see if the female adolescent reactions to life were from culture up bringing or were they genetic. “Nature versus nature”.

When Margaret arrived to the island, she realized she would need to learn the language. She knew she would already stand out as the westerner. She wanted to get rid of the interpreter and blend into the culture as much as possible to learn the proper ways. Mead spent countless hours and days learning the language before submerging herself into the Samoa village.

Mead found that the...
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