Ruth benedicts relationship with her mother essay

Her mother had studied at Vassar College and her father was a surgeon who had a promising career in research in New York Mead When Benedict was still a baby her father fell ill of an undiagnosed disease and the family moved back to her grandparent's farm in northern New York State, where Benedict's only sister Margery was born just a few weeks before their father's death. At the age of five Benedict's mother began teaching in a nearby town and shortly thereafter moved the children first to St.

Ruth benedicts relationship with her mother essay

Modern social anthropology has become more and more a study of the varieties and common elements of cultural environment and the consequences of these in human behavior. For such a study of diverse social orders, primitive peoples fortunately provide a laboratory not yet entirely vitiated by the spread of a standardized worldwide civilization.

Dyaks and Hopis, Fijians and Yakuts, are significant for psychological and sociological study because only among these simpler peoples has there been sufficient isolation to give opportunity for the development of localized social forms.

In the higher cultures the standardization of custom and belief over a couple of continents has given a false sense of the inevitability of the particular forms that have gained currency, and we need to turn to a wider survey in order to check the conclusions we hastily base upon this near universality of familiar customs.

Most of the simpler cultures did not gain the wide currency of the one which, out of our experience, we identify with human nature, but this was for various historical reasons, and certainly not for any that gives us as its carriers Ruth benedicts relationship with her mother essay monopoly of social good or of social sanity.

Modern civilization, from this point of view, becomes not a necessary pinnacle of human achievement but one entry in a long series of possible adjustments. These adjustments, whether they are in mannerisms like the ways of showing anger or joy or grief in any society, or in major human drives like those of sex, prove to be far more variable than experience in any one culture would suggest.


In certain fields, such as that of religion or of formal marriage arrangements, these wide limits of variability are well known and can be fairly described.

In others it is not yet possible to give a generalized account, but that does not absolve us of the task of indicating the significance of the work that has been done and of the problems that have arisen.

One of these problems relates to the customary modern normal-abnormal categories and our conclusions regarding them. In how far are such categories culturally determined, or in how far can we with assurance regard them as absolute?

In how far can we regard inability to function socially as diagnostic of abnormality, or in how far is it necessary to regard this as a function of the culture? As a matter of fact, one of the most striking facts that emerge from a study of widely varying cultures is the ease with which our abnormals function in other cultures.

It does not matter what kind of "abnormality" we choose for illustration, those which indicate extreme instability, or those which are more in the nature of character traits like sadism or delusions of grandeur or of persecution; there are well-described cultures in which these abnormals function at ease and with honor, and apparently without danger or difficulty to the society.

The most notorious of these are trance and catalepsy. Even a very mild mystic is aberrant in our culture. But most peoples have regarded even extreme psychic manifestations not only as normal and desirable, but even as characteristic of highly valued and gifted individuals.

This was true even in our own cultural background in that period when Catholicism made the ecstatic experience the mark of sainthood. It is hard for us, born and brought up in a culture that makes no use of the experience, to realize how important a role it may play and how many individuals are capable of it, once it has been given an honorable place in any society.

Many of our culturally discarded traits are selected for elaboration in different societies. Homosexuality is an excellent example, for in this case our attention is not constantly diverted, as in the consideration of trance, to the interruption of routine activity which it implies.

Homosexuality poses the problem very simply.

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Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict The Kinship of Women A revealing study of the relationship between two major figures in the history of anthropology Hilary Lapsley Details Description This book tells the story of the extraordinary friendship between renowned anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. Drawing on a broad range of sources, including recently released correspondence between Mead and Benedict, Hilary Lapsley reconstructs this complex relationship and situates it in the context of its time.
Ruth Benedict's Relationship With Her Mother - Research Paper Scholastica, based upon centuries of tradition, is considered the twin sister of St.

A tendency toward this trait in our culture exposes an individual to all the conflicts to which all aberrants are always exposed, and we tend to identify the consequences of this conflict with homosexuality.

But these consequences are obviously local and cultural. Wherever homosexuality has been given an honorable place in any society, those to whom it is congenial have filled adequately the honorable roles society assigns to them.

It is presented as one of the major means to the good life, and it was generally so regarded in Greece at that time. The cultural attitude toward homosexuals has not always been on such a high ethical plane, but it has been very varied.

Among many American Indian tribes there exists the institution of the berdache, as the French called them. These men-women were men who at puberty or thereafter took the dress and the occupations of women.

Sometimes they married other men and lived with them. Sometimes they were men with no inversion, or persons of weak sexual endowment who chose this role to avoid the jeers of the women.

In any case, they were socially placed. They were not left exposed to the conflicts that visit the deviant who is excluded from participation in the recognized patterns of his society. The most spectacular illustrations of the extent to which normality may be culturally defined are those cultures where an abnormality of our culture is the cornerstone of their social structure.

It is not possible to do justice to these possibilities in a short discussion. A recent study of an island of northwest Melanesia by Fortune describes a society built upon traits which we regard as beyond the border of paranoia. Their polite phrase at the acceptance of a gift is, "And if you now poison me, how shall I repay you this present?

Even the great affinal economic exchanges that are characteristic of this Melanesian culture area are quite altered in Dobu since they are incompatible with this fear and distrust that pervades the culture.

They go farther and people the whole world outside their own quarters with such malignant spirits that all-night feasts and ceremonials simply do not occur here. They have even rigorous religiously enforced customs that forbid the sharing of seed even in one family group.

There is no coming back. It involves, as a matter of course, divorce and the breaking of all social ties. Now in this society where no one may work with another and no one may share with another, Fortune describes the individual who was regarded by all his fellows as crazy.Mead also had an exceptionally close relationship with Ruth Benedict, one of her instructors.

In her memoir about her parents, ↑ "The Jewish Mother", Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict: The Kinship of Women. University of Massachusetts Press. The Color of Water opens with the words of the narrator James's mother Ruth, who describes her early life with her family.

Born with the Jewish name Ruchel Dwarja Aylska on April 1, , Ruth was born into a Polish Orthodox Jewish family. Ruth explains that she has become, in her words, "dead" to.

Ruth Fulton Benedict (June 5, – September 17, ) was an American anthropologist and folklorist.. She was born in New York City, attended Vassar College and graduated in After studying anthropology at the New School of Social Research under Elsie Clews Parsons, she entered graduate studies at Columbia University in , where she studied under Franz Boas.

Ruth Benedicts Relationship With Her Mother Sample essay topic, essay writing: Ruth Benedicts Relationship With Her Mother - words There are certain times in our lives when we look back at our life stories and reflect why we have become the person we are.

ruth benedict Which of the following includes definitions and explanations of objects, spatial orientation, and temporal orientation, as well as culturally defined values, ideals, and standards that provide an individual with a normative orientation?

Ruth benedicts relationship with her mother essay

Mead also had an exceptionally close relationship with Ruth Benedict, one of her instructors. In her memoir about her parents, Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict: Designer Tribalism and Other Essays.

SparkNotes: The Color of Water: Chapters 1–3