Athropology abused

Twink (
Sun, 21 Dec 1997 08:51:48 -0500 (EST)

At 11:22 PM 12/20/97 -0500, Michael Lorrey <> wrote:
>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.

The problem I see here -- and I'm not about to becom a scholar of the
subject -- is that too many people seem bent on reading into Mead's
(and other's) work(s) to support a political agenda.

Even so, I tend to think that anyone who makes wildly utopian claims
about another society, especially one that only a handful of people
have had contact with, are distorting the truth. This might be
unintentional, but I'm wary of such claims, for the same reason I'm
wary of spam which claims I can make $1K a day.

Daniel Ust