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Theme: The Nature of Anthropological Understandings Case Study: Margaret Mead Who is Margaret Mead? Biographical notes: Influences: Contributions to anthropology and ethnography: Her contributions on the writing of culture: Anthropologists as an author Ethnographic form and content The anthropologists as a writer As the dawn begging to fall among the soft brown roofs and the slender palm trees stand out against a colourless, gleaming sea, lovers slip home from trysts beneath the palm trees or in the shadow of beached canoes. The light may find each sleeper in his appointed place” (14) Culture and personality Psychological Anthropology: The notion that suggests that psychological dimensions in human beings are essential components of culture and human behaviour. Genealogy: Freud (1913) Edward Sapir (1920’s) Abram Kardinar (1930’s) Ruth Benedict (1920, 30’s) Margaret Mead (1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s) Critiques Feminist critique Was it a good thing for women? What about power relations and reproduction? Cultural relativism/tolerance: Tolerance Emphasizing difference Derek Freeman controversy In his 1983 article “Margaret Mead and Samoa; the making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth.” Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press Discussion questions What do we learn from this controversy? Was Margaret Mead, and the entire anthropological profession, being unscientific and irresponsible by presenting a politically motivated image of Samoa that was clearly false? On the other hand, was Mead naïve?