Beyond Relativity, Beyond Pattern
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Series Editors’ Introduction
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Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture was a bestseller in 1934, catapulting its author to prominence as an articulate spokesperson for examining different cultural patternings. Her ability to write clearly and aesthetically opened the insights of cultural anthropology...
Preface and Acknowledgments
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I could never toss out my graduate school notes from Ruth Benedict’s courses. They became eventually the beginning point for this book. In each culling of my files for an office or house move, I threw out some of my Columbia anthropology notes, but with just...
1. Ruth Benedict’s Life and Work
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Ruth Benedict is a central figure in cultural anthropology, yet her thought is generally known only by one book, Patterns of Culture, published in 1934, fourteen years before her sudden death. Her later books...
2. The Search for Boas’s Successor
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The lengthy process of replacement of the aging Franz Boas in the Columbia University department of anthropology was significant in Ruth Benedict’s career as well as in anthropological history. The history of these deliberations during the 1930s has been recounted in the biographies...
3. Friendship with Margaret Mead
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Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead wrote each other every few weeks or oftener during Mead’s frequent field trips. The correspondence records the dynamics of personal and intellectual encounter between these two quite extraordinary persons...
4. Beyond Cultural Relativity
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Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict designed a project in 1930 that would sponsor fieldwork on North American Indians “with emphasis on . . . the reinterpretation of culture traits that is unique for each cultural center.” Investigations in at least ten...
5. Beyond Psychological Types
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In the Office of War Information (owi), Benedict was assigned the problem of discerning patterns in strategic cultures for general guidance in dealing with their governments and providing specific knowledge that would predict behavior under conditions expected...
6. Teachers and Students
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After Franz Boas’s illness in 1931, he gave up many of his responsibilities, and Ruth Benedict carried on the main work of administration and teaching. She thus was a principal arbiter of a student’s fate, and their opinions of her reflected this. Student accounts...
7. Ruth Benedict’s Contribution to Anthropology
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Ruth Benedict remained interested in the big problems taken on by the nineteenth-century anthropologists and in some of their modes of thought. Although she taught and wrote mainly about the diversity of cultural behavior, she was interested in the...
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Introduction: Writing the Course “Texts”
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From the beginning of her teaching career, Ruth Benedict’s responsibilities had been to take over much of the teaching of cultural anthropology from Franz Boas,who often alone, or with visiting faculty, had taught all four fields and all culture...
Appendix 1: Social Organization of Primitive Peoples
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Appendix 2: Personality and Culture
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Appendix 3: Seminar in Contemporary European Cultures
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Appendix 4: Religions of Primitive Peoples
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Appendix 5: Theory, Culture
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Publication Year: 2005