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Male and Female

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  130 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Mead's anthropological examination of seven Pacific island tribes analyzes the dynamics of primitive cultures to explore the evolving meaning of "male" and "female" in modern American society. On its publication in 1949, the New York Times declared, "Dr. Mead's book has come to grips with the cold war between the sexes and has shown the basis of a lasting sexual peace." Th ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 22nd 2001 by Harper Perennial (first published 1949)
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Cindy
Sep 19, 2016 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was an abridged audio book. Mead, the world-famous anthropologist, talks about the roles of men and women in a half dozen different societies around the world. I assume it suffered from being an abridgment (I usually avoid these like the plague, but didn't realize this was an abridgment when I ordered it.) Mead is a little too accepting of some of Freud's nonsense about young children's feelings about gender, but I guess that's to be expected since she wrote this in the 1940s. It was intere ...more
Alison Kenney
Dec 16, 2014 Alison Kenney rated it liked it
"We know of no culture that has said, articulately, that there is no difference between men and women except in the way they contribute to the creation of the next generation; that otherwise in all respects they are simply human beings with varying gifts, no one of which can be exclusively assigned to either sex. We find no culture in which it has been thought that all identified traits - stupidity and brilliance, beauty and ugliness, friendliness and hostilty, initiative and responsiveness, cou ...more
Zsofi
Jan 12, 2015 Zsofi rated it really liked it
It's one of the most pleasant things in the world to read something after you should have done it. For me (and to many) Margaret Mead represents the heroic age of I-anthropology. I found great pleasure in her marvelous descriptions, her witty remarks and also the material she was working with: the everyday lives of remote tribes. It really reads better than some fiction. If I had to choose some excerpts, I'd pick the first chapter and the last one (the latter especially because it is always nice ...more
Thomas
Apr 03, 2008 Thomas rated it it was amazing
Margaret Mead published this first in 1948. It is as relevant for our culture today as it was when she first penned her ideas. It is about developing gender roles and identities in the U.S. as the great melting pot. Her argument that no one in America speaks the same language and as a result marital relationships are more tenuous when compared to more primitive cultures continues to illuminate. I still read it.
Candace
Oct 22, 2008 Candace rated it really liked it
Although my ex-partner is of the opinion that Margaret Mead, now long dead, can "go suck a dick", I have to agree with her - American's are lousy lays. Polynesia and France for the win?

Um . . . but seriously she looses me at times with what seems to me to be too much of a focus on child rearing habits; however she more than makes up for this with her insights into American culture.
Christina Mary Mary
Apr 23, 2008 Christina Mary Mary rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, wonderful wonderful. Hello people, do we wonder why there is a high divorce rate and women and men seem to have less and less in common? We do it to ourselves. This book was written in the 1940s, but because Mead is a genius, it's timely and well-worth a read.
Carrie
Sep 24, 2008 Carrie rated it really liked it
academic, but great for anyone interested in gender and/or anthropology. margaret mead was amazing.
Kelly Palakshappa
Mar 27, 2008 Kelly Palakshappa rated it it was ok
Mead is an important aspect to anthropology, but this book is written from an early colonist perspective.
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Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who was frequently a featured writer and speaker in the mass media throughout the '60s and '70s as a popularizer of the insights of anthropology into modern American and western life but also a respected, if controversial, academic anthropologist.

Her reports as to the purportedly healthy attitude towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian
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