Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) 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 MA and PhD 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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American society is very like a fish society. . . . Among certain species of fish, the only thing which determines order of dominance is length of time in the fishbowl. The oldest resident picks on the newest resident, and if the newest resident is removed to a new bowl, he, as oldest resident, will pick on the newcomers.
For the Dargara people, death results in simply a different form of belonging to the community. It is a lesson . . . that change is the norm, that the world is defined by eternal cycles of decline and regeneration. . . . Death is not a separation but a different form of communion, a higher form of connectedness . . . providing an opportunity for even greater service.
As one reads history . . . one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted; and a community is infinitely more brutalized by the habitual employment of punishment than it is by the occasional occurrence of crime.