In this unit (to accompany the SAPIENS podcast S6E2), students will learn through Mead’s fieldwork examining Samoan culture, the facets of ethnography, and the impact that Mead’s work made in the field. By examining the cultural findings from Mead’s work in Samoa, students will be able to analyze the bigger picture of her impact through an anthropological lens.
A historic parochial school building in Afao village on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa.
The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.
The scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures.
A ceremonial hostess selected by a high chief of a Samoan village from the young girls of his household, elevated to a high rank, and charged with the formal reception and entertainment of visitors
Feinberg, Richard. “Margaret Mead and Samoa: Coming of Age in Fact and Fiction.” American Anthropologist 90, no. 3 (1988): 656-663.
Jones, Janice, and Joanna Smith. “Ethnography: Challenges and Opportunities.” Evidence-Based Nursing 20, no. 4 (2017): 98-100.
Côté, James E. “Was Mead Wrong About Coming of Age in Samoa? An Analysis of the Mead/Freeman Controversy for Scholars of Adolescence and Human Development.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 21, no. 5 (1992): 499-527.
Article: Chris Drew’s “15 Great Ethnography Examples”
Article: The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s “Ethnography”
Article: Park Ethnography Program’s “What is Ethnographic Research”
Exhibition: Library of Congress, Samoa: The Adolescent Girl’s “Margaret Mead: Human Nature and the Power of Culture”
Video: CrashCourse’s “Social Development: Crash Course in Sociology #13”
Video: The School of Life’s “The Ancient Origin of Sexual and Gender Identity – Margaret Mead”
Casie Gray, Freedom Learning Group