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Confronting the Margaret Mead Legacy Scholarship, Empire, and the South Pacific

A multicultural outlook scrutinizing Mead's impact on Western anthropology.

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  • "The legendary Margaret Mead established the importance and relevance of anthropology in the public mind and presented to Americans the view that theirs was among many cultures. She was at once shaped by the influences in the American intellectual community of the 1920s and, in turn, she was later to contribute to the image that the world has of the South Pacific. Moreover, Mead and her followers promoted sensationalized and inaccurate depictions of Pacific peoples as primitives defined primarily by sexuality or cannibalism. This book reveals the consequences of such Western condescension and integrates the views of U.S. and Pacific scholars in a historic critique of the products connected to the ethnographic enterprise in the Pacific. Destined to be highly controversial, this collection of articles provides for the first time a multicultural perspective on Margaret Mead's impact on Western anthropology and her views of colonialism, imperialism, and strategic and business interests in the South Pacific as well as Southeast Asia. The contributors, most of them active supporters of a nuclear-free and independent Pacific, use different styles and discourses to observe that it is only in the anthropological imagination that Pacific cultures are exotic paradises and sites of clan warfare. The authors demonstrate how these societies are still portrayed out of context with certain crucial issues ignored by Western scholars, for example, unemployment, colonialism, nuclear testing, and radiation poisoning. As such, the participants go beyond postmodernism and merely talking about the relationship between who "sees" and what is seen, by affirming the relevance of indigenous Pacific concepts as a new way to link scholarship and accountability. Acknowledging anthropology's contribution to stereotypes of savagery and exoticism, the contributors propose a global anthropology that is non-hierarchical, advocacy based, and cognizant of North-South relationships. Their conclusions will make anthropologists reevaluate the field and their relationships to the people they study. The impressive list of contributors includes: Warilea Iamo, Papua New Guinea's first anthropologist and current director of the National Research Institute; John D. Waiko, first Papua New Guinean historian and Professor of History at the University of Papua New Guinea; Nahau Rooney, the first woman parliamentarian of Papua New Guinea, former Minister for Justice, and one of Mead's "informants"; Susanna Ounei, a leader in the struggle for New Caledonian independence; the late Eleanor Leacock, renowned feminist anthropologist; Peter Worsley, the eminent British sociologist; Glenn Alcalay, researcher in medical anthropology and advocate for rights of radiation victims; Simione Durutalo, lecturer at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji; and the editors."
  • "A multicultural outlook scrutinizing Mead's impact on Western anthropology."@en

  • "Mead, Magaret"
  • "Electronic books"@en
  • "Aufsatzsammlung"

  • "Confronting the Margaret Mead legacy : scholarship, empire, and the South Pacific"
  • "Confronting the Margaret Mead legacy : scholarship, empire and the South Pacific"
  • "Confronting the Margaret Mead Legacy Scholarship, Empire, and the South Pacific"@en
  • "Confronting the Margaret Mead legacy scholarship, empire, and the South Pacific"@en