Editor

Jean Goodwin

Proceedings Title

Between Scientists & Citizens

Description

In 1984 Derek Freeman launched a crusade against Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa, claiming to have definitively falsified her central claims. Anthropologists responded in a proliferating variety of ways, while failing to project scientific coherence. Underlying anthropology’s inability was its changing, and increasingly fissuring, conception of itself as a discipline. Was it a humanistic field or a science, and if a science what kind of science? Most saliently revealed was the discipline’s failure to recognize its own tacit acceptance of Mead’s impact on the American reading public without clearly—and earlier—advancing critical views of Mead’s earliest work.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/sciencecommunication-180809-85

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Scrambling on Defense: An Anatomy of Anthropological Responses to the Mead/Freeman Controversy

In 1984 Derek Freeman launched a crusade against Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa, claiming to have definitively falsified her central claims. Anthropologists responded in a proliferating variety of ways, while failing to project scientific coherence. Underlying anthropology’s inability was its changing, and increasingly fissuring, conception of itself as a discipline. Was it a humanistic field or a science, and if a science what kind of science? Most saliently revealed was the discipline’s failure to recognize its own tacit acceptance of Mead’s impact on the American reading public without clearly—and earlier—advancing critical views of Mead’s earliest work.

 

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