Benedict and Mead - Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead...

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Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead Anthropology grows up Monday, January 31, 2011
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Ruth Benedict • 1887-1948 • Student of Boas • Came to anthropology via literature/poetry and creative writing • Culture and Personality • “Describing culture(s) through comparison Monday, January 31, 2011
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Margaret Mead • 1901-1978 • Also a student of Boas • Came to anthropology via English and psychology • Popularized anthropology • “Nature vs. Nurture” Monday, January 31, 2011
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Famous quotes. .. • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” • (Anthropology requires) “the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.” Monday, January 31, 2011
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...On many topics “Women want mediocre men, and men are working to become as mediocre as possible.” Monday, January 31, 2011
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Infuence beyond anthropology Mead wrote a monthly column in the last two decades oF her liFe that answered readers' questions on school prayers, telepathy, happiness, John Paul Sartre, school busing, why people like to have their hair stand on end. Is housework easier than it was ±Fty years ago? Is Shakespeare really Shakespeare? What is the Fatal Fascination oF baseball? Monday, January 31, 2011
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Culture and Personality - Benedict •“For Benedict, cultures are more than the sum of their parts; they are a con±guration based on fundamental values of existence that differ between cultures . Cultures have a distinctive essence because key values are learned by individuals as members of particular cultures” (Moore). Monday, January 31, 2011
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Childhood education - Mead •Cultural values are a specifc set oF values transmitted during early childhood. •The importance oF childrearing practices Monday, January 31, 2011
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Their BIG question •Why, if humans are all biologically/ hereditarily equal, are people so unique and different from society to society? Monday, January 31, 2011
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•National Character Studies •The large, unifying characteristics of a nation (assumes that national boundaries neatly mirror those of cultural groups) •Strong reliance on direct and large-scale cross cultural comparison •Work that has been subsequently questioned. .. Monday, January 31, 2011
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cultural comparison came to be viewed as especially suspicious because they compared what were assumed to be self-contained, stable, and highly integrated cultures , when the reality was that all local cultures existed within a single worked system integrated by capitalist expansion and absorption” (Fox and Gingrich 2002:2). Monday, January 31, 2011
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Benedict and Mead - Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead...

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