chapter  4
A Social History of Adolescence in Samoa: Precontact Culture
Pages 18

Freeman contended that Samoan culture is , and has been, essentially homogeneous throughout the archipelago and that very little change relevant to the controversy took place between the time of Mead 's study and his own research. In a similar vein, he insisted that adolescence has been stressful in Samoa since before Mead's study and before contact with the West. The evaluation presented here casts Freeman 's case into serious doubt. But , that appraisal was based largely on evidence of a more inferential nature, so it could be argued that the review of Freeman's case is not complete. In order to more decisively judge this aspect of the controversy , it is appropriate to examine evidence of a more descriptive , historical nature that allows us to draw conclusions regarding social change and stability in Samoa (chapters 4 and 5) and the plausibility of " Mead 's Samoa" (chapter 6). The purpose in carrying out this comparison is to determine whether Mead 's Samoa fits with the "trajectory" of social change set in motion by contact with the West and the social engineering undertaken by the missionaries.