Margaret Mead Facts

Margaret Mead Facts
Margaret Mead was a well-respect cultural anthropologist, academic, author, and activist whose ideas helped give rise to the "sexual revolution" during the 1960s and 1970s. Mead's studies of sexual mores in Pacific Islander and southeastern Asian societies are often credited with changing not only how anthropological research is conducted, but also how Americans have viewed sexual relationships since the 1970s. Margaret was born to a well-educated family of academics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 16, 1901. Her father, Edward, was a finance professor at the prestigious Wharton School in Philadelphia and her mother Emily was a sociologist. Mead earned her bachelor's degree from Barnard College in New York City in 1923, her master's degree in 1924 at Columbia, and her PhD from Columbia in 1929. Margaret married three times, having a child, Mary, with her third husband, Gregory Bateson.
Interesting Margaret Mead Facts:
Mead's childhood doctor was controversial pediatrician and activist Benjamin Spock.
Margaret had two sisters and one brother.
Controversial anthropologist Franz Boas was one of Mead's mentors.
She taught anthropology at many American universities throughout her career, including: Columbia University, Fordham University, and the University of Rhode Island.
One of Mead's first academic postings was as the assistant curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Margaret's research and ideas were published in dozens of books and academic articles.
Mead never took the surname of any of her three husbands.
Mead's three most famous and influential books were Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) and Growing up in New Guinea (1930), and Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935).
She argued in Coming of Age that because Samoan society was more sexually open, girls had an easier time transitioning into adult than their American counterparts.
In Sex and Temperament, Mead examined three societies in New Guinea that challenged traditional Western gender norms: one society was led by women and in another the women were just as warlike as the men.
Mead's research on sex and gender in southeast Asia became popular in academia, eventually spreading to the mainstream of American society during the "Counterculture Revolution" of the 1960s.
She was the president of the American Anthropological Association in 1960.
Margret was the vice president of the New York Academy of Sciences for much of the 1960s.
Her research into symbols was influential in the sub-discipline of anthropology known as "semiotics."
Margaret stated that sexual orientation was fluid and could change several times throughout a person's life.
Many of her findings and views were later challenged by other anthropologist, especially New Zealand anthropologist Derek Freeman.
During the late 1940s at the beginning of the Cold War, Mead was employed by the right-wing think tank RAND corporation to research and report on various aspects of Russian culture, particularly Russians' attitudes toward authority.
Mead was a member of the Episcopal Church.
Margaret Mead died of pancreatic cancer on November 15, 1978 at the age of seventy-six.
She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
A stamp was issued with Margaret Mead's face on it in 1998.

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