May 1979

Margaret MeadFirst Anthropologist of Childhood and Adolescence

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Pediatrics The Johns Hopkins University and Hospital Baltimore, MD 21205; The Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, Md

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(5):480-481. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130050024004

Among the charismatic, Margaret Mead had charisma as an author even more powerful than that as a speaker. As far back as the early 1940s, her charisma affected students as far away as the University of New Zealand, where Prof Ernest Beaglehole expounded her work and where her paperback books on Samoa and Manus had immense appeal to students. More than 30 years before her death, she was already a cultural hero for each of us. She nudged both our careers, and those of many others, toward the gestalt of a science of humankind, in which body and behavior, the somatic and the psychic, are part of the same unity, not juxtaposed.

Humankind for Margaret Mead was not synonymous with mankind. She was a member of the first generation of women in cultural anthropology. For her, humankind included women as well as men. It also included children as well as

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