Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978. New lives for old: cultural transformation--Manus, 1928-1953

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Title: New lives for old: cultural transformation--Manus, 1928-1953

Published By: New York: Morrow, 1956. xxi, 548 p.: ill., map

By line: Margaret Mead

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2005. Computer File

Culture: Manus (OM06)

Subjects: Reviews and critiques (114); Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Observation in research (123); Acculturation and culture contact (177); Sociocultural trends (178); Exchange transactions (437); External relations (648); Political movements (668); Disasters (731); Congregations (794); Missions (797); Difficult and unusual births (845); Childhood activities (857); Techniques of socialization (861); Transmission of skills (868);

Abstract: This volume is an extension of the author's earlier work, GROWING UP IN NEW GUINEA, published in 1930. It is based on her study of Manus in the Admiralty Islands in 1953, twenty-five years after her original field study. The main problems of research were to discover what 'really happened' to transform the Manus people so rapidly, and what was the impact of change on individuals who experienced such change. In analyzing the dynamics of culture change of Manus, the author discusses the impact of American military occupation, the characteristics and the role of the Manus leader, the socio-religious-political reform movements; the socialization process of the Manus children and their character formation in relation to the character structure of those who developed them; and new institutions such as their democratic decision-making mechanism, money, economy, schools, medical clinics, etc. The author deals with a rather comprehensive range of factors involved in the culture change utilizing an interdisciplinary approach and the comparative method. However, her free style of shifting back and forth the data of the past and the present, the local situation and the greater New Guinea situation, and the Manus problems and the Euro-American culture makes it difficult for the reader to follow her discussions closely. The quality of the ethnographic data is uneven. The appendices reveal the author's view that the new role of anthropologists is to be not only the researcher but also to be the consultant and agent of change. This book is designed for non-professionals as well as the professional. In spite of its diffuseness, this study will be of value to those who are interested in culture change and planned change. The author's polemic against the general educational theory is noteworthy.

Document Number: 2

Document ID: om06-002

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 529-532)

Field Date: 1928-1929, 1953

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Hesung C. Koh ; 1962

Coverage Date: 1953

Coverage Place: Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea

LCSH: Manus (Papua New Guinea people)


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