Re: Margaret Mead Debunked?

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 20 Dec 1997 23:22:27 -0500

Damien Broderick wrote:
> At 09:16 AM 12/20/97 -0500, Daniel wrote:
> >The book is by D. Freeman and is titled _Margaret Mead and Somoa:
> >The Making and Unmaking of an Antropological Myth_ (1983). The
> >case if sometimes contrasted with that of Jane Goodall. [...]
> >IMHO, Goodall was a scientist and Mead an ideologue. I'm surprised
> >it would even arise as a point of controversy on this list.
> Freeman's version is by no means universally accepted by scholars. In
> Australian anthropological circles (his home base), he tends to be
> dismissed as a somewhat unstable figure with a bee in his bonnet and a chip
> on his shoulder. I have no special knowledge of my own to add to this.

I don't remember the authors, but the one psych course I took included
reading two books regarding the Oedipus Complex in the Samoan Society.
The first, earlier book had claimed that because Samoan society was
matriarchal, in which the father left the family and was not as
important as the Mother's brother to the family, that Samoans did not
have an oedipal complex. The later work debunked the conclusions of the
first, showing that, by its mythic structure, there was an oedipal
complex, that was possibly more severe and violent than that in a
patriarchal society, but tended to be repressed by the individual. THe
title of the second book was "Oedipus in the Trobriands". Apparently the
first book had been widely touted by feminists here in the US as proof
that patriarchal society as we had was bad for child development and
family harmony.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
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