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anthro response paper 1 - difference in your perception...

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John Aliberti Response Paper 1 Anthro 106 2/5/08 Option 2 Margaret Mead was a famous anthropologist who came out with a book, “Coming of Age in Samoa ”, based on her groundbreaking field study of the Samoan culture. In her studies Mead concluded that Samoan adolescence was a smooth passage from a child to an adult, unlike the United States which has been known for its adolescents to have a confused, anxious and downright awkward period of growth. However her study did not go uncontested. In 1983, five years after Margaret Mead passed away, anthropologist Derek Freeman came out with his own book, Margaret Mead and Samoa: the making and unmaking of an anthropological myth . Freeman’s book attempts to discredit Mead saying that the group of Samoans she was studying was lying to her. This dispute is a prime example of the Rashomon effect which in essence says that two people can experience extremely different yet equally plausible accounts of the same event due to a
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Unformatted text preview: difference in your perception, subjectivity, or recollection of this event. This brings up a problem, how do you decide who to trust if both anthropologists believe in their own story, and they are both professional anthropologists? How do you figure out what criteria to use to asses whether or not a story is reliable? I thought about this for a while and the only thing I can really think of would be to look at these anthropologists track records. If an anthropologist is know to be truthful on a regular basis then maybe you would be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand, if an anthropologist has been untruthful before in the past then you would be less likely to believe what they have to say. However, if you take in to account the Rashomon effect then both anthropologists could be telling the truth, yet they just simply experienced their surroundings in a different way for some reason or another....
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