An 8 page research paper that explores the problems in field work that can accompany anthropological research. The writer focuses on the controversy surrounding the work of Margaret Mead in Samoa in the 1920s and the work of Napoleon Chagnon with the Yanomamo over the last several decades. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
Name of Research Paper File: KE9_99anthro.rtf
Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
Age in Samoa." Similarly, on April 4, 1940 another young anthropologist?Derek Freeman?came to Samoa. In his possession was a copy of Meads book. Freeman did not set out to disprove
Meads classical study; however, 42 years later, he published his research, which asserts that charged that Mead made some serious errors in the way that she represented Samoan culture (1983).
Meads field studies in Samoa helped convince millions that the sexual repressive tendencies of modern society made healthy psychological development difficult. Based on her research, Mead wrote that Samoan
culture was characterized by an absence of deep emotions and had little or no guilt and conflict. She said that Samoans condoned sexual freedom among young adolescents, with the subsequent
result that adolescent turmoil and angst was unknown. Freeman, who is now an established specialist on Samoa and Samoan culture, disagrees with all of Meads conclusions. Freeman paints a
picture of Samoan culture that is diametrically opposed to that of Mead. He states that far from being an easy-going people, Samoan culture is authoritarian in nature. Adolescents and
children actually suffer from a considerable amount of stress due to the pressure placed on them by adults. Freeman argues that the Samoans are competitive, and prone to violence with
high rates of homicide, assault and rape (1983). According to Freeman (1983), Meads conclusions on Samoan sexual attitudes, particularly in regards to adolescent behavior, probably resulted from teenage informants
that lied to her as a form of teasing. Freemans research supports this supposition as lying seems to greatly appeal to Samoans because it offers some respite from the severity
of their authoritarian society. Still, the question remains as to how a trained scientist, such as Mead, could be so easily duped. Furthermore, the fact that this could happen