About This Author

Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead .jpg
Margaret Mead in 1950.

Born

December 16, 1901
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Died

November 15, 1978
New York City, New York, USA

Education

  • Barnard College
  • Columbia University

Occupation

Anthropologist

Spouse

  • 1923–28  Luther Cressman
  • 1928–35  Reo Fortune
  • 1936–50  Gregory Bateson

Children

Mary C. Bateson

Awards

1970  Kalinga Prize

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor's degree at Barnard College in New York City and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. Mead served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1975.

Mead was a communicator of anthropology in modern American and Western culture and was often controversial as an academic. Her reports detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures influenced the 1960s sexual revolution. She was a proponent of broadening sexual conventions within a context of traditional Western religious life.

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Discover Margaret Mead Quotes and Sayings

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost. - Margaret Mead

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost.

Margaret Mead

age
It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age. - Margaret Mead

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.

Margaret Mead

age learning work
Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. - Margaret Mead

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.

Margaret Mead

age religion
Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. - Margaret Mead

Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.

Margaret Mead

change
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

change
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

change environmental
Fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents. - Margaret Mead

Fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents.

Margaret Mead

dad
We won't have a society if we destroy the environment. - Margaret Mead

We won't have a society if we destroy the environment.

Margaret Mead

environmental society
Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. - Margaret Mead

Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.

Margaret Mead

family relationship
Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation. - Margaret Mead

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.

Margaret Mead

family
It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly. - Margaret Mead

It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.

Margaret Mead

fear
A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again. - Margaret Mead

A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.

Margaret Mead

food
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. - Margaret Mead

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Margaret Mead

funny
For the very first time the young are seeing history being made before it is censored by their elders. - Margaret Mead

For the very first time the young are seeing history being made before it is censored by their elders.

Margaret Mead

history time
Thanks to television, for the first time the young are seeing history made before it is censored by their elders. - Margaret Mead

Thanks to television, for the first time the young are seeing history made before it is censored by their elders.

Margaret Mead

history thankful time
One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night. - Margaret Mead

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night.

Margaret Mead

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