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The Social Climate During Margaret Mead Cross Cultural Study

1060 words - 5 pages

The Social Climate During Margaret Mead Cross Cultural Study
Lativia Harris
Thomas University

The Social Climate During Margaret Mead Cross Cultural Study
Margaret Mead was Anthropologist who educated and devoted her life to studying the human behavior of various cultures during the 1920’s. Mead work shed a light on different cultural norms and the difficulties of being apart of that culture. One of Mead most notable works and best seller was Coming of Age in Samoa., she published in 1928 after staying in Samon from 1925-1926 to research sexual behavior. Mead, research brought a social consciousness to the world during a time when it was difficult. For instance, during ...view middle of the document...

Flappers also started wearing make-up, something that had previously been only worn by loose women. Rouge, powder, eyeliner, and lipstick became extremely popular. The flapper attitude was characterized by stark truthfulness, fast living, and sexual behavior. Flappers seemed to cling to youth as if it were to leave them at any moment. They took risks and were reckless. They wanted to be different, so they smoked. Something only men had done previously. Their parents were shocked. Smoking wasn't the most outrageous of the flapper's rebellious actions. Flappers drank alcohol. At a time when the United States had outlawed alcohol (Prohibition), young women were starting the habit early.
For the first time a new form of faster transportation was becoming popular. Henry Ford's innovations were making the automobile an accessible commodity to the people. Flappers didn't just use cars to ride in. The back seat became a popular location for the new popular sexual activity. It was a radical change from their parents' and grandparents' generations. At the end of the 1920s, the stock market crashed and the world was plunged into the Great Depression. Frivolity and recklessness were forced to come to an end. However, many of the flapper's changes remained. Flappers broke away from the Victorian image of womanhood. They dropped the corset, chopped their hair, dropped layers of clothing to increase ease of movement, wore makeup, created the concept of dating, and became a sexual person. They created what many consider the "new" or "modern" woman.
Mead published work during this time focused on personality characteristic differences between men and women and how individuals were shaped by cultural conditioning rather than

heredity. Mead finds that premarital promiscuity was the ruling cultural pattern in Samoa, the community did not attempt to curb the sexual activity of adolescents and she had discovered Samoa to be a sexual Utopia of free love-making. Her findings were published in her book Coming of Age in Samoa 1928. The Library of Congress (n.d.), states the following:
In 1925, Margaret Mead journeyed to the South Pacific territory of American Samoa....

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