Margaret Mead Case Study

2006 Words 9 Pages
Margaret Mead was a popular American writer, cultural, and visual anthropologist. Throughout her career, Margaret Mead has also conducted over twenty field trips (Yans-McLaughlin 2000). In addition, Mead’s fieldwork focused on the development and growth of adolescents. The reason why I chose Margaret Mead is because of the tremendous contributions that she has made to the field of anthropology and the public. In addition, I find it very astounding that Mead “offers a resolution of the old apparent conflict between science and humanities through the development of a human science capable of justifying within science both quantitative and qualitative knowledge” (Ruby 2000, 165). Therefore, this provides a significant point of why one should combine …show more content…
Margaret Mead was determined to make a difference in the field of anthropology and she believed that anthropology has been simple just like any other science. Mead notes that “‘anthropology […] has always been highly dependent upon photography,’ Mead has also pointed out that visual anthropology finds itself ‘in a discipline of words’” (Ruby 2000, 46). Mead’s work not only played a significant role in the lives of scholars, but other anthropologists were also inspired by her theory and methodology of work. According to Molloy, “Mead’s work is a sustained commentary on the self and its relation to the larger society. It is one of the arguments of this study that the self as represented is not just any individual, but is in some sense both an American self and the self of America” (Molloy 2008, 1). Therefore, Mead’s works were not only reflective, but they were also reflexive. In addition, Mead “broadened the base of information on which social anthropology now rests, enriching it with insights borrowed from such previously excluded disciplines as psychology and economics” (Mead 2003, 2). That is, Mead’s research focused on the study of human behavior and incorporates subjectivity. Maguire reminds us that “Mead addressed methodological shortcomings in her own discipline of anthropology and offered insights into the future of research which should not prolong the polarisation between science and the humanities that had taken hold after the Renaissance …show more content…
In our excerpt, she sums up the lessons she wishes readers to derive from her study” and that is why I chose Coming of Age in Samoa as one of my sources (Hollinger and Capper 2001, 206). In Coming of Age in Samoa, Mead mentions that she had spent nine months in American Samoa, in order to gather comprehensive facts regarding teenage girls. According to Meads, “I gathered many detailed facts about these girls, the size of their families, the position and wealth of their parents, the number of their brothers and sisters, the amount of sex experience which they had had” (Mead 1928, 10). As an anthropologist, Mead is able to provide a vivid description of her fieldwork experience based on her research and studies of the Samoan adolescent lifestyle. Mead’s fieldwork “sought 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” (Library of Congress

Related Documents