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The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth

In 1928 Margaret Mead announced her stunning discovery of a culture in which the storm and stress of adolescence do not exist. COMING OF AGE IN SAMOA has since become a classic - and the best-selling anthropology book of all time. Within the nature-nurture controversy that still divides scientists, Mead's evidence has long bee a crucial "negative instance," an apparent proof of the sovereignty of culture over biology.

In MARGARET MEAD AND SAMOA, Professor Freeman presents startling but wholly convincing evidence that Mead;s proof it false. On the basis of years of patient fieldwork and historical research, Freeman refutes Mead's characterization of Samoan society and adolescence point for point. Far from the relaxed transition to adulthood that Mead ascribed to permissive childrearing and tolerant sexual attitudes, Samoan adolescence, Freeman demonstrates, is a time of frequent stress in an authoritarian society with punitive methods of childrearing and restrictive regulations against premarital sex.

Freeman's book thus corrects a towering scientific error. His aim is not to blame margaret Mead but to understand how her error could have occurred and become basic to the doctrine of cultural determination.

Hardback - 379 pages

Published 1983

Very good condition - name has been cut neatly out of front endpaper Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Hamilton, Waikato, NZ

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