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Anthropology 10 Pages

Coming Of Age In Samoa


Read Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead.  Respond to the issues in Section 1 PLUS Section 2 OR 3 of the following discussion prompt.

1.  What elements of Mead's account were most compelling to you and why? How does presenting this material in an ethnography bring out social issues in a way you might not see in other kinds of presentations? Are there any things that you question or wish were presented differently?  

2. Think about and analyze the text in the context of one of the course themes we've discussed already, using Mead's text and at least one other text we've read in the course. Potential themes are: social structure belief systems and values relationships and personal interconnections language and terminology


3. Mead's text is both famous and controversial in anthropology for a number of reasons. Do some research in secondary sources about the controversy around this book, thinking about the following the role of popular ethnography/ issues around academic scholarship OR the use of the text by the feminist movement

Present the basic arguments for and against Coming of Age in Samoa you find in your research, and explain how these issues impact your impressions on the value of Mead's work. Do they change your perspective, and why or why not?

Make sure to not only comment on these issues descriptively but in terms of connections to bigger themes and social meanings. Focus on one or two themes from the overall text-- don't feel like you have to cover it all in your paper. You can also combine the various sections listed here as you prefer, as long as you cover all of the parts of the discussion prompt. The overall assignment should be between 8 and 10 pages, and don't forget to use references appropriately in your paper.


Title: Coming Of Age In Samoa
Length: 10 pages (2750 Words)
Style: APA


Coming of Age in Samoa

Question 1

 Coming of Age in Samoa is a book written by Margaret Mead an American anthropologist who based her research on youth particularly adolescent girls on the Ta’u island of Samoa. First published in 1928, the text launched Mead as a pioneering researcher and one of the most renowned anthropologist in the world. The book is among the most read anthropological texts together with Yanomamo: The Fierce People by Napoleon Chagnon. Over the years since its publishing,the book has sparked debates and controversies regarding culture, society, and science. 

It is a major book in the nature versus nurture argumentas well deliberations on issues such as adolescence, family, gender, social norms, and attitudes. Despite the influence her work has had in the world of anthropology, certain of her claims regarding the Samoan culture have received negative criticism(Mead, 2001). Derek Freeman is one of the anthropologists who have challenged Mead’s works by claiming that the researcher was swindled into counterfactually believing that the people of Samoa have relaxed sexual norms compared to the westerners.


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