Patterns of Culture
"Unique and important . . . Patterns of Culture is a signpost on the road to a freer and more tolerant life." -- New York Times
A remarkable introduction to cultural studies, Patterns of Culture is an eloquent declaration of the role of culture in shaping human life. In this fascinating work, the renowned anthropologist Ruth Benedict compares three societies -- the Zuni of the southwestern United States, the Kwakiutl of western Canada, and the Dobuans of Melanesia -- and demonstrates the diversity of behaviors in them. Benedict's groundbreaking study shows that a unique configuration of traits defines each human culture and she examines the relationship between culture and the individual. Featuring prefatory remarks by Franz Boas, Margaret Mead, and Louise Lamphere, this provocative work ultimately explores what it means to be human.
"That today the modern world is on such easy terms with the concept of culture . . . is in very great part due to this book." -- Margaret Mead
"Benedict's Patterns of Culture is a foundational text in teaching us the value of diversity. Her hope for the future still has resonance in the twenty-first century: that recognition of cultural relativity will create an appreciation for 'the coexisting and equally valid patterns of life which mankind has created for itself from the raw materials of existence.'" -- from the new foreword by Louise Lamphere, past president of the American Anthrolopological Association
Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) was one of the most eminent anthropologists of the twentieth century. Her profoundly influential books Patterns of Culture and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture were bestsellers when they were first published, and they have remained indispensable works for the study of culture in the many decades since.
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A contributing work in the history of anthropological thought. Ruth Benedict, as was Margaret Mead, was a proponent of the "culture and personality" school of anthropological thinking. Here, she ... Read full review
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abnormal adolescence American anthropology Apollonian attitude behaviour Benedict berdache biological blankets blessing Boas body boys Bunzel Cannibal canoe ceremonial charms chief child clan configurations copper cult custom dance danger dead death Dionysian Dobu Dobuan economic exchange experience fact father father-in-law fire forms garden gave gift girls give household human husband important incantations Indians individual initiation institutions kachina killed kiva Kula Kula ring Kwakiutl living magic man's marriage masked gods matrilineal means medicine societies motivations mourning nature never Northwest Coast occasion one's Patterns of Culture person peyote plains possessions possible potlatch prayer-sticks prerogatives priests primitive privileges puberty Pueblos recognized religion religious rites ritual rival Ruth Benedict sacred scalp shaman shame situation social sorcery spirit spouse supernatural supernatural power susu tabu techniques tion traits tree tribes Trobriands village vision warfare Western civilization wife woman women yams Zuni