Women You Should Know – Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead (1901-1978), a world-renowned anthropologist, was born in Philadelphia to a Quaker family. She studied anthropology at Barnard University and received her degree in 1923. She continued her studies, receiving her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1929. At 23 years of age, Margaret went to Samoa in the South Pacific where she studied the natives of the area. In 1922, her findings were published in a book titled Coming of Age In Samoa. This book remains a best seller today. Margaret was an innovator in her field, as she combined psychological sciences with anthropological field studies. Mead was the first to put a female slant on anthropological studies, by examining child-rearing practices. Margaret’s findings resulted in a theory about the way children learn. “Learning Through Imprinting,” was a groundbreaking theory that is still being investigated. Margaret’s interests were expansive and included speaking on such issues as human rights, women’s issues, child development and education. Mead was a prolific writer having wrote 44 books and more than a thousand articles on a variety of topics. She worked as a curator for the Museum of Natural History and held a position as Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She received many honours throughout her life, including being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1976, two years before her death.

Source for additional information – Anthropology Biography Web: Margaret Mead

Reference – Mead, M. (1961). Coming of age in Samoa; a psychological study of primitive youth for Western civilization. New York: Morrow.