The World Ahead: An Anthropologist Anticipates the Future

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Berghahn Books, 2005 - Social Science - 348 pages
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Born in the first year of the 20th century, it is fitting that Margaret Mead should have been one of the first anthropologists to use anthropological analysis to study the future course of human civilization. This volume collects, for the first time, her writings on the future of humanity and how humans can shape that future through purposeful action. For Mead, the study of the future was born out of her lifelong interest in processes of change. Many of these papers were originally published as conference proceedings or in limited-circulation journals, testimony before government bodies and chapters in works edited by others. They show Mead's wisdom, prescience and concern for the future of humanity.

 

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Contents

The Family in the Future
35
Human Differences and World Order
55
Unique Possibilities of the Melting Pot
65
The Psychology of Warless Man
75
Beyond the Nuclear Family
85
Patterns of Worldwide Cultural Change
91
One WorldBut Which Language?
111
The University and Institutional Change
119
Man On the Moon
247
Education for Humanity
253
Kalinga Prize Acceptance Speech
263
A Note on Contributions of Anthropology
271
The Kind of City We Want
277
Prospects for World Harmony
285
Opening Address to The Society
291
Changing Perspectives on Modernization
299

Changing Cultural Patterns of Work
131
New YearsA Universal Birthday
163
Alternatives to War
169
The Crucial Role of the Small City
185
Statement on Aging And Retirement
209
Some Social Consequences of
227
Ways to Deal with the Current Social
315
Discussion about How Anthropologists
321
Our OpenEnded Future
329
Index
339
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About the author (2005)

Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist, was for most of her life the most illustrious curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. She was famed not only as an anthropologist but also as a public figure, a popularizer of the social sciences, and an analyst of American society. While at Columbia University, she was a student of Franz Boas, whose teaching assistant, Ruth Benedict, became one of Mead's closest colleagues and friends; after Benedict's death, Mead became her first biographer and the custodian of her field notes and papers. Mead's early research in Samoa led to her best selling book, "Coming of Age in Samoa" (1928); it also led, after her death, to a well-publicized attack on her work by the Australian anthropologist Derek Freeman. Her importance was not damaged by his book; in fact, there is probably a greater awareness today of the important role that she played in twentieth-century intellectual history as an advocate of tolerance, education, civil liberties, world peace, and the worldwide ecumenical movement within Christianity. She was an active and devout Episcopalian throughout her life. On January 6, 1979, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.