In this unit (to accompany the SAPIENS podcast S6E3), students will track the changes in anthropological scholarship by looking at the study of anthropology before and after Mead’s groundbreaking publication, Coming of Age in Samoa. Students will plot the major theories in anthropology in the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will evaluate the movement in the field of anthropology to be more inclusive and to consider positionality, self-reflexivity, and multivocality.
The practice of providing equal opportunities and resources to people from different backgrounds, especially those from marginalized communities who may otherwise be left out.
An approach to data collection and interpretation that includes multiple perspectives and worldviews.
The anthropologist’s awareness of their position, power, and perspective compared to the culture they are studying.
The practice of self-criticism and reflection to acknowledge and understand the way the anthropologist’s own culture and personal experiences influence their views and biases.
Narayan, Kirin. “How Native Is a ‘Native’ Anthropologist?” American Anthropologist 95, no.3 (1993): 671-686.
Nelson, Peter. “Where Have All the Anthros Gone? The Shift in California Indian Studies from Research ‘On’ to Research ‘With, For, and By’ Indigenous Peoples.” American Anthropologist 123, no.3 (2021): 469-473
Book: Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa
Film: Frank Heimans’ “Margaret Mead and Samoa”
Podcast: Anthropological Theory: A Podcast Created by Anthropology Students “Postcolonialism”
Video: Manufacturing Intellect’s “Margaret Mead Interview on Cultural Anthropology (1959)”
Video: Smithsonian Education’s “Anthropologies of Inclusion: Recognizing a Common Humanity”
Jasmine Rubel, Freedom Learning Group