In this unit (to accompany the SAPIENS podcast S6E1), students will examine the idea of adolescence as a focus of anthropological research. Students will investigate the creation of the social category of adolescence. They will explore Margaret Mead’s ideas and contentions about adolescence that resulted from her work in American Samoa.
The phase of biological and social growth and development during which the transition from childhood to adulthood occurs. The age range for this transition is typically 10 through the early 20s.
A 1928 book written by American anthropologist Margaret Mead. The book focused on Mead’s research on adolescence in American Samoan culture.
A debate involving the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a direct result of inherited biological makeup (sometimes referred to as genetic predisposition) or learned influences.
The concept of sexuality refers to the sociocultural identities associated with erotic thoughts and practices, and the complex experiences humans have regarding their bodies and perceptions of gender.
Freeman, Derek. 2000. “Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa and Boasian Culturalism.” Politics and the Life Sciences 19 (1): 101–103.
Sanday, Peggy Reeves. 1980. “Margaret Mead’s View of Sex Roles in Her Own and Other Societies.” American Anthropologist 82 (2): 340–348.
Zorbaugh, Harvey W., and L. Virgil Payne. 1935. “Adolescence: Psychosis or Social Adjustment?” The Journal of Educational Sociology 8 (6): 371–377.
Article: Gary Schwartz and Don Merten’s “The Language of Adolescence: An Anthropological Approach to the Youth Culture”
Article: Meredith W. Reiches’ “Adolescence as a Biocultural Life History Transition”
Article: Suet Lin Hung and Kwok Kin Fung’s “Social Constructionist View of Adolescence”
Book: Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa
Video: Adriana Galván’s “The Adolescent Brain: A Thriving Look”
Aimee L. Richards, Freedom Learning Group