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Studying Contemporary Western Society: Method and Theory

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Volume 5

Margaret Mead: The Study of Contemporary Western Culture

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Studying Contemporary Western Society

Method and Theory

Margaret Mead
Edited and with an Introduction by William Beeman, Brown University

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304 pages, bibliog.

ISBN  978-1-57181-815-7 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (December 2003)

ISBN  978-1-57181-816-4 25% OFF! $24.95/£17.00 $18.71/£12.75 Pb Published (December 2003)

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Few anthropologists today realize the pioneering role Margaret Mead played in the investigation of contemporary cultures. This volume collects and presents a variety of her essays on research methodology relating to contemporary culture. Many of these essays were printed originally in limited circulation journals, research reports and books edited by others. They reflect Mead's continuing commitment to searching out methods for studying and extending the anthropologist's tools of investigation for use in complex societies. Essays on American and European societies, intergenerational relations, architecture and social space, industrialization, and interracial relations are included in this varied and exciting collection.

Margaret Mead served as Curator of Ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1925 to 1969. She began her career with a study of youth and adolescence in Samoan society, published as Coming of Age in Samoa (1928). She published prolifically, becoming a seminal figure in anthropology, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1979.

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology General Cultural Studies
Area: North America Europe


Series Preface
William O. Beeman

Introduction to this edition
William O. Beeman


Chapter 1. Towards a Human Science
Chapter 2. Talks with Social Scientists: Margaret Mead on What is a Culture? What is a Civilization?
Chapter 3. Anthropologist and Historian: Their Common Problems
Chapter 4. Changing Styles of Anthropological Work


Chapter 5. Methodology in Racial Testing: Its Significance for Sociology
Chapter 6. The Study of National Character
Chapter 7. The Swaddling Hypothesis: iIs Reception
Chapter 8. Some Cultural Approaches to Communication Problems
Chapter 9. A Case History in Cross-National Communications
Chapter 10. Adolescence in Primitive and Modern Society: The New Generation
Chapter 11. Our Educational Emphasis in Primitive Perspectives
Chapter 12. Early Childhood Experience and Later Education in Complex Cultures


Chapter 13. From Plight to Power: Youth as a Political and Economic Force
Chapter 14. Religion in the Melting Pot: Religion and our Racial Tensions
Chapter 15. The Contemporary American Family as an Anthropologist Sees It
Chapter 16. Sex and Censorship in Contemporary Society
Chapter 17. Sexual Behavior: An Anthropologist looks at the [Kinsey] Report
Chapter 18. Jealousy: Primitive and Civilized

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