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Margaret Bateson (Mead)

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: November 15, 1978 (76)
New York, New York, United States (pancreatic cancer)
Place of Burial: Buckingham, Bucks, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Edward Sherwood Mead and Emily Mead
Ex-wife of Gregory Bateson; Luther Sheeleigh Cressman and Reo Franklin Fortune
Mother of Mary Catherine Kassarjian; Private and Private
Sister of Richard Ramsey Mead; Katherine Mead; Priscilla Ann Rosten and Elizabeth Steig

Occupation: anthropologist
WikiPedia-EN: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mead
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978)

American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s.

She earned her bachelor degree at Barnard College in New York City and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University.

As an Anglican Christian, Mead played a considerable part in the drafting of the 1979 American Episcopal Book of Common Prayer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mead

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mead

Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist, who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

She was both a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and Western culture, and also a respected, if controversial, academic anthropologist. Her reports about the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures amply informed the 1960s sexual revolution. Mead was a champion of broadened sexual mores within a context of traditional western religious life.

An Anglican Christian, she played a considerable part in the drafting of the 1979 American Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.[1]:347-348

She was a recognised figure in academia.



Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor's degree at Barnard College in New York City and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. Mead was a respected and often controversial academic who popularized the insights of anthropology in modern American and Western culture. Her reports detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures influenced the 1960s sexual revolution. She was a proponent of broadening sexual mores within a context of traditional Western religious life.

Margaret Mead, the first of five children, was born in Philadelphia, but raised in nearby Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Her father, Edward Sherwood Mead, was a professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and her mother, Emily (née Fogg) Mead, was a sociologist who studied Italian immigrants. Her sister Katharine (1906–1907) died at the age of nine months. This was a traumatic event for Mead, who had named the girl, and thoughts of her lost sister permeated her daydreams for many years. Her family moved frequently, so her early education was directed by her Grandmother until, at age 11, she was enrolled by her family at Buckingham Friends School in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. Her family owned the Longland farm from 1912 to 1926. Born into a family of various religious outlooks, she searched for a form of religion that gave an expression of the faith that she had been formally acquainted with, Christianity. In doing so, she found the rituals of the Episcopal Church to fit the expression of religion she was seeking. Margaret studied one year, 1919, at DePauw University, then transferred to Barnard College where she earned her bachelor's degree in 1923. She studied with professor Franz Boas and Dr. Ruth Benedict at Columbia University before earning her master's degree in 1924. Mead set out in 1925 to do fieldwork in Samoa. In 1926, she joined the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, as assistant curator. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1929.

Before departing for Samoa, Mead had a short affair with the linguist Edward Sapir, a close friend of her instructor Ruth Benedict. But Sapir's conservative ideas about marriage and the woman's role were anathema to Mead, and as Mead left to do field work in Samoa the two separated permanently. Mead received news of Sapir's remarriage while living in Samoa, where, on a beach, she later burned their correspondence. Mead was married three times. Her first husband (1923–28) was American Luther Cressman, a theology student at the time who eventually became an anthropologist. Mead dismissively characterized their union as "my student marriage" in Blackberry Winter, a sobriquet with which Cressman took vigorous issue. Her second husband (1928–1935) was New Zealander Reo Fortune, a Cambridge graduate and fellow anthropologist. Mead's third and longest-lasting marriage (1936–50) was to the British anthropologist Gregory Bateson, with whom she had a daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, who would also become an anthropologist. Mead's pediatrician was Benjamin Spock, whose subsequent writings on child rearing incorporated some of Mead's own practices and beliefs acquired from her ethnological field observations which she shared with him; in particular, breastfeeding on the baby's demand rather than a schedule. She readily acknowledged that Gregory Bateson was the husband she loved the most. She was devastated when he left her, and she remained his loving friend ever after, keeping his photograph by her bedside wherever she traveled, including beside her hospital deathbed.

Mead also had an exceptionally close relationship with Ruth Benedict, one of her instructors. In her memoir about her parents, With a Daughter's Eye, Mary Catherine Bateson implies that the relationship between Benedict and Mead was partly sexual. Mead never openly identified herself as lesbian or bisexual. In her writings she proposed that it is to be expected that an individual's sexual orientation may evolve throughout life. She spent her last years in a close personal and professional collaboration with anthropologist Rhoda Metraux, with whom she lived from 1955 until her death in 1978. Letters between the two published in 2006 with the permission of Mead's daughter, clearly express a romantic relationship. Both of Mead's surviving sisters were married to well-known men. Elizabeth Mead (1909–1983), an artist and teacher, married cartoonist William Steig, and Priscilla Mead (1911–1959) married author Leo Rosten. Mead also had a brother, Richard, who became a professor. Mead was also the aunt of Jeremy Steig.

During World War II, Mead served as executive secretary of the National Research Council's Committee on Food Habits. She served as curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1946 to 1969. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1948. She taught at The New School and Columbia University, where she was an adjunct professor from 1954 to 1978 and was a professor of anthropology and chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus from 1968 to 1970, founding their anthropology department. In 1970, she joined the faculty of the University of Rhode Island as a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Anthropology. Following Ruth Benedict's example, Mead focused her research on problems of child rearing, personality, and culture. She served as president of the American Anthropological Association in 1960. In the mid-1960s, Mead joined forces with communications theorist Rudolf Modley, jointly establishing an organization called GYLPHS, inc., whose goal was to create a universal graphic symbol language to be understood by any members of culture, no matter how primitive. In the 1960s, Mead served as the Vice President of the New York Academy of Sciences. She held various positions in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, notably president in 1975 and chair of the executive committee of the board of directors in 1976. She was a recognizable figure in academia, usually wearing a distinctive cape and carrying a walking-stick. Mead was featured on two record albums published by Folkways Records. The first, released in 1959, An Interview With Margaret Mead, explored the topics of morals and anthropology. In 1971, she was included in a compilation of talks by prominent women, But the Women Rose.]

In later life, Mead was a mentor to many young anthropologists and sociologists, including Jean Houston. In 1976, Mead was a key participant at UN Habitat I, the first UN forum on human settlements. Mead died of pancreatic cancer on November 15, 1978.

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Margaret Mead's Timeline

1901
December 16, 1901
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
1939
December 8, 1939
New York, New York, United States