The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research

The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research For Most Of The Twentieth Century, Margaret Mead S Renowned Book Coming Of Age In Samoa Has Validated An Antievolutionary Anthropological Paradigm That Assumes That Culture Is The Overwhelming Determinant Of Human Behavior Her Account Of Female Adolescent Sexuality In Samoa Initiated A Career That Led To Margaret Mead Becoming Indisputably The Most Publicly Celebrated Scientist In America But What If Her Study Wasn T All It Appeared To Be What If, Having Neglected The Problem She Had Been Sent To Investigate, She Relied At The Last Moment On The Tales Of Two Traveling Companions Who Jokingly Misled Her About The Sexual Behavior Of Samoan Girls What If Her Famous Study Was Based On A Hoax In The Fateful Hoaxing Of Margaret Mead, Derek Freeman Addresses These Issues In A Detailed Historical Analysis Of Margaret Mead S Samoan Researches And Of Her Training In New York By Franz Boas And Ruth Benedict By Examining Hitherto Unpublished Correspondence Between Mead, Her Mentor Franz Boas And Others As Well As The Sworn Testimony Of Fa Apua A Fa Am, One Of Mead S Traveling Companions Of Freeman Provides Compelling Evidence That One Of The Most Influential Anthropological Studies Of The Twentieth Century Was Unwittingly Based On The Mischievous Joking Of The Investigator S InformantsBut The Fateful Hoaxing Of Margaret Mead Goes Beyond A Historical Account Of How The Hoax Took Place It Is An Examination Of How Mead S Boasian Training Set Her Up To Be Hoaxed And Set Others Up To Accept Her Conclusions The Book Is Than A Correction Of Scientific Error It Is A Crucial Step Toward Rethinking The Foundations Of Social Science And The Overly Relativistic Worldview Of Much Of The Modern World

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  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research
  • Derek Freeman
  • English
  • 27 September 2019
  • 9780813336930

10 thoughts on “The Fateful Hoaxing of Margaret Mead: A Historical Analysis of Her Samoan Research

  1. says:

    I had to speed read through this one, and it should be a third of its size It s incredibly repetitive Presumably he was trying to very carefully build the argument needed to debunk Mead s research, and he s definitely convincing It s just that he repeats a lot of that evidence over and over and over

  2. says:

    Margaret Mead s Coming of Age in Samoa is a kind of prequel to the current global warming science controversy The young Mead goes to Samoa to search for anthropological truth as preached by her mentor, Franz Boas, and finds exactly what she had set out to find And all before computer modeling, too Anthropology as an aspiring science hasn t been the same since.

  3. says:

    I didn t finish this book mostly because it was repetitive It s like he had 100 pages of material and felt a need to fill 250 He could have filled it with anthropological details, which I would have enjoyed He could also have elaborated on this nature vs nurture debate that I never really understood how does one society being sexually open prove anything Instead, he repeated his thesis and his backup arguments so many times, I just got bored For what it s worth, I buy his argument I admit to having been a little skeptical when I read MM s book she wasn t even there for the length of a single pregnancy , so I wasn t a hard sell on her info being inaccurate I just didn t need to be battered over the head with it over and over again.

  4. says:

    Derek Freeman is qualified by his academic training and his research experience to unmask the tragedy that is Margaret Mead s influence on Western civilization through her naive and obviously unscientific career that was marked by her publication of Coming Of Age In Samoa Sadly, no one in the West paid any attention to the howls of protest that arose from Samoans as they came to understand Mead s tragic misrepresentation of their culture But it is the sorry state of cultural anthropology that what Mead wanted to believe she found evidence to support in what proved to be the hoaxing of her by two teenagers sensitive to give to the American what she wanted to hear Though the author is too much the honest researcher to draw such a conclusion, I am persuaded that Margaret Mead was driven by the desire to not only prove her mentor right but also to substantiate the claim of Jean Jacque Rousseau that the natural man unrestricted by structure and society can fornicate and adulterate without consequences to his heart s content The sexual revolution in the West in the late 1960s and early 1970s was in all probability given intellectual support by Mead s work with disastrous results still be reaped Only now, three fourths of a century too late, Mead and her fellow travelers are shown to be wrong, terribly and tragically wrong.

  5. says:

    The story behind the Coming of Age in Samoa Details of how Mead set out to do the research with the preconception that it is nurture not nature that dictates our behaviour She was heavily influenced by Frank Dooz, her supervisor, who was one of the founders of anthropology in the US Because of decisions made regarding other research that she wanted but was not supposed to do, she had insufficient time to conduct adequate research on her original project Therefore when she questioned two Samoan 20 year olds and was told a story their way of telling her to mind her own business , she was ready to believe it, even though it contradicted other data, since it proved what she wanted to prove.

  6. says:

    I never reached a true conclusion as to whose accounts were likely to be accurate I suspect the answer is a little of both.MM was one of the first contacts with her studied peoples, and as a woman had access to a whole other side that DF could never have reached The same is also true in reverse Separated by gender, fame and time, it s no wonder that they had different results.

  7. says:

    Es una cr tica al analisis de Mead, cuestionando sus hallazgos y m todo.

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