Margaret Mead was an internationally renowned American anthropologist who was born in 1901 and died in 1978. Raised by a family of successful intellectuals, Margaret Mead developed the skills and passion necessary to become extremely successful in her field as well.
Margaret Mead was saturated by the academic pursuits of her family, which exposed her to the scientific method at a young age and prepared her for her own invaluable contributions to the human store of knowledge. Her father, Edward Sherwood Mead, was a professor of finance at Wharton business school. Mead’s mother, Emily Fogg Mead, held a doctoral degree in sociology. Margaret Mead's grandmother was a school teacher who began instructing Margaret at a young age. Consequently, Mead spent her childhood recording detailed observations of her siblings and their development, along with other analyses of the natural and human world.
Margaret Mead is considered to be a pioneer in cross-cultural research. Most of her research focused on male and female sex roles, human temperament, child development, and how these themes differ between cultures. She sought to discover a truth in her own culture by comparing and contrasting American culture with that of other societies.
Margaret Mead was extremely curious about the problems that American adolescents face in their transition to adulthood, which led to her famous research conducted in Samoa in the 1920s. Fieldwork with Samoan girls between nine and 20 years of age led Margaret Mead to conclude that adolescent rebellion and difficulties are not inherent in all human beings, but in fact differ extensively between cultures. Mead found that Samoan teenagers passed to adulthood gracefully because of the values of their culture, which caused an uproar in America at the time.
Between 1928 and 1972, Margaret Mead authored ten nonfiction books, as well as a memoir of her life. Meads books are: Coming of Age in Samoa, Growing Up in New Guinea, The Changing Culture of an Indian Tribe, Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies, And Keep Your Powder Dry, Male and Female: A Study of the Sexes in a Changing World, New Lives for Old: Cultural Transformation in Manus, People and Places, Continuities in Cultural Evolution, Culture and Commitment, and Blackberry Winter: A Memoir.