Margaret Mead (1901–1978)
DOI link for Margaret Mead (1901–1978)
Margaret Mead (1901–1978) book
This chapter discusses the life history of Margaret Mead, a feminist thinker. Mead based her findings on the contrasts she observed among the Mundugumor, Tchambuli, and Arapesh peoples of the Sepik region of New Guinea. The results of Mead's first fieldwork, an ethnographic study of adolescent girls in American Samoa, were published in 1928 as Coming of Age in Samoa. Fifty-five years after Coming of Age in Samoa had been published, and after Mead had died, Australian anthropologist Derek Freeman published a critique of Mead's Samoan findings. Freeman had done ethnographic research in another part of Samoa decades after Mead's work. He argued that her findings about Samoan adolescent girls were wrong. Mead's life spanned much of the twentieth century and she witnessed the development of new modes of mass communication. She was the most media-savvy of her generation of academics, quickly adopting first radio and then television as means of communicating her research findings and ideas.