Margaret Mead - Cultural Anthropologist, Birthday and Family

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Margaret Mead's Personal Details

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist known for her studies and works on cultural anthropology

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 16, 1901
Died onNovember 15, 1978
NationalityAmerican
FamousCultural Anthropologist, Columbia University, Intellectuals & Academics, Anthropologists
SpousesGregory Bateson (m.1936–1950), Luther Cressman (m.1923–1928), Reo Fortune (m.1928–1935)
SiblingsElizabeth Mead (1909–1983), Katharine (1906–1907), Priscilla Mead (1911–1959)
Childrens Mary Catherine Bateson
Universities
  • Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • Barnard College
  • DePauw University
Notable Alumnis
  • Columbia University
Birth PlacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, US
GenderFemale
FatherEdward Sherwood Mead
MotherEmily (Fogg) Mead
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Famous asCultural Anthropologist
Died at Age76

// Famous Cultural Anthropologist

Margaret Mead's photo

Who is Margaret Mead?

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist known for her studies and works on cultural anthropology. She was a religious and feminist woman with a curiosity about human activities and the cause of their actions. As a child, she developed a keen interest in human behavior. She was greatly influenced by her grandmother, who was a child psychologist and taught her to watch the behavior of the younger children to figure out the reasons behind their actions. Margaret was a well-educated and skilled woman with a clear understanding of her field of research. Her primary focus was to explore the human nature and the factors which influenced the actions of humans. She contributed significantly to the development of psychoanalytic theory by emphasizing the importance of culture in personality development. She proposed a theory about the evolution of human beings which she felt was directly related to their social and cultural backgrounds.

// Famous Intellectuals & Academics

Childhood & Early Life

She was born on December 16, 1901 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Edward Sherwood Mead, a professor and Emily Fogg Mead, a sociologist. She was the eldest of the five Mead children—four sisters and a brother.

Her grandmother, a child psychologist, played a significant role in her upbringing. She encouraged her to observe children’s behavior and study the cause of their actions from an early age.

Most of her schooling was done at home because of the family’s frequent movements from one place to another. She had a total of six years of formal schooling but most of her knowledge came from her family members.

In 1919, she joined the DePauw University, studied there for a year and then transferred to Barnard College from where she graduated in 1923.

In 1924, she earned her master’s degree from Columbia University after studying with Franz Boas and Dr. Ruth Benedict. In 1925, she went for an expedition to Samoa. She received her Ph. D. from Columbia University in 1929.

Career

In 1925, she went off to Samoa on a fieldwork to study the life of adolescent girls. She found that young Samoan girls experienced none of the tensions that the American and European teenagers suffered from, and studied the reasons behind it. She published ‘Coming of Age in Samoa’ in 1928 after her expedition.

In 1928, she went off on another expedition in New Guinea for her project on the study of the thought of young children. After her expedition to New Guinea, she published ‘Growing Up in New Guinea’ (1930) describing the social and cultural elements which influenced their character as an individual.

Her later works included ‘Male and Female’ (1949) and ‘Growth and Culture’ (1951), in which she argued that personality characteristics were shaped by cultural conditioning rather than by hereditary factors.

From 1954 to 1978, she taught at The New School and Columbia University as an adjunct professor. She was a professor of anthropology and chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus from 1968 to 1970.

She served many years of her life in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She successively served as assistant curator (1926–42), an associate curator (1942–64), curator of ethnology (1964–69), and curator emeritus (1969–78).

Major Works

As an anthropologist, she was best known for her studies on the illiterate peoples of Oceania. She studied them from various aspects of a human evolution—natural, cultural and sexual behavior—and contributed greatly to psychological research.

She is also significantly remembered for her insight in social issues such as women’s rights, child rearing, sexual morality, population control, environmental pollution and world hunger.

Awards & Achievements

She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1948.

In 1970, she was awarded the ‘Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science’ by the UNESCO.

In 1979, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom..

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1923, she married Luther Cressman, an American theology student who became an anthropologist. They got divorced in 1928.

In 1928, she married Reo Fortune, a New Zealander anthropologist who is known for his ‘Fortunate Number’ theory. They got divorced in 1935.

In 1936, her third marriage was with British anthropologist, Gregory Bateson. They had a daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, who also became an anthropologist. They got divorced in 1950.

Apart from marriages, she also shared a special relationship with Dr. Ruth Benedict. In her memoir, her daughter Mary describes the relationship as partly sexual, though never confirmed by Margaret herself.

She spent her last days with anthropologist, Rhoda Metraux, and letters exchanged between them were published in 2006, which indicated a romantic relationship.

She died of pancreatic cancer on November 15, 1978.

// Famous Anthropologists

Margaret Mead biography timelines

  • // 16th Dec 1901
    She was born on December 16, 1901 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Edward Sherwood Mead, a professor and Emily Fogg Mead, a sociologist. She was the eldest of the five Mead children—four sisters and a brother.
  • // 1923
    In 1919, she joined the DePauw University, studied there for a year and then transferred to Barnard College from where she graduated in 1923.
  • // 1923 To 1928
    In 1923, she married Luther Cressman, an American theology student who became an anthropologist. They got divorced in 1928.
  • // 1924
    In 1924, she earned her master’s degree from Columbia University after studying with Franz Boas and Dr. Ruth Benedict. In 1925, she went for an expedition to Samoa. She received her Ph. D. from Columbia University in 1929.
  • // 1925
    In 1925, she went off to Samoa on a fieldwork to study the life of adolescent girls. She found that young Samoan girls experienced none of the tensions that the American and European teenagers suffered from, and studied the reasons behind it. She published ‘Coming of Age in Samoa’ in 1928 after her expedition.
  • // 1928
    In 1928, she went off on another expedition in New Guinea for her project on the study of the thought of young children. After her expedition to New Guinea, she published ‘Growing Up in New Guinea’ (1930) describing the social and cultural elements which influenced their character as an individual.
  • // 1928 To 1935
    In 1928, she married Reo Fortune, a New Zealander anthropologist who is known for his ‘Fortunate Number’ theory. They got divorced in 1935.
  • // 1936 To 1950
    In 1936, her third marriage was with British anthropologist, Gregory Bateson. They had a daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, who also became an anthropologist. They got divorced in 1950.
  • // 1948
    She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 1948.
  • // 1954 To 1978
    From 1954 to 1978, she taught at The New School and Columbia University as an adjunct professor. She was a professor of anthropology and chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus from 1968 to 1970.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, she was awarded the ‘Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science’ by the UNESCO.
  • // 15th Nov 1978
    She died of pancreatic cancer on November 15, 1978.
  • // 1979
    In 1979, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom..

// Famous Alumni of Columbia University

Margaret Mead's FAQ

  • What is Margaret Mead birthday?

    Margaret Mead was born at 1901-12-16

  • When was Margaret Mead died?

    Margaret Mead was died at 1978-11-15

  • Where was Margaret Mead died?

    Margaret Mead was died in New York City

  • Which age was Margaret Mead died?

    Margaret Mead was died at age 76

  • Where is Margaret Mead's birth place?

    Margaret Mead was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

  • What is Margaret Mead nationalities?

    Margaret Mead's nationalities is American

  • Who is Margaret Mead spouses?

    Margaret Mead's spouses is Gregory Bateson (m.1936–1950), Luther Cressman (m.1923–1928), Reo Fortune (m.1928–1935)

  • Who is Margaret Mead siblings?

    Margaret Mead's siblings is Elizabeth Mead (1909–1983), Katharine (1906–1907), Priscilla Mead (1911–1959)

  • Who is Margaret Mead childrens?

    Margaret Mead's childrens is Mary Catherine Bateson

  • What was Margaret Mead universities?

    Margaret Mead studied at Columbia University, Columbia University, Barnard College, DePauw University

  • What was Margaret Mead notable alumnis?

    Margaret Mead's notable alumnis is Columbia University

  • Who is Margaret Mead's father?

    Margaret Mead's father is Edward Sherwood Mead

  • Who is Margaret Mead's mother?

    Margaret Mead's mother is Emily (Fogg) Mead

  • What is Margaret Mead's sun sign?

    Margaret Mead is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Margaret Mead?

    Margaret Mead is famouse as Cultural Anthropologist