In this unit (to accompany the SAPIENS podcast S6E6), students go beyond Freeman and Mead’s controversy to explore the repercussions of nature versus nurture in American scholarly debates from the 1980s to the 2000s. Students will research how these debates trickled into mass media reporting and affected American society.
Appell, George N. “Freeman’s Refutation of Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa: The Implication for Anthropological Inquiry.” The Eastern Anthropologist 37 (1984): 183-214.
Doughty, Howard. “Nature, Nurture, and Story-telling—Part 1: The Freeman-Mead Controversy.” College Quarterly 14, no. 2 (2011).
Ortiz, Daniel. “Creating Controversy: Essentialism and Constructivism and the Politics of Gay Identity.” Virginia Law Review 79, no. 7 (1993): 1833-1857.
Pinker, Steven. “Why Nature & Nurture Won’t Go Away.” Daedalus 133, no. 4 (2004): 5-17.
Article: Kaveh Majlesi, Paul J. Devereux, Petter Lundborg, and Sandra Black’s “The Role of Nature Versus Nurture in Wealth and Other Economic Outcomes and Behaviours”
Article: Leah McLaren’s “Does Parenting Even Matter?”
Article: Robin McKie’s “What Makes Us? Nature or Nurture? The DNA Debate Comes Back to Life”
Documentary: Tim Wardle’s “Three Identical Strangers”
Catherine Torres, Freedom Learning Group