Kinship in the Admiralty Islands  book cover
1st Edition

Kinship in the Admiralty Islands

Edited By

Margaret Mead

ISBN 9781138526785
Published April 4, 2018 by Routledge
380 Pages

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Book Description

The Manus of New Guinea's Pere village were Margaret Mead's most favored community, the people to whom she returned five times before she died in 1978. Kinship in the Admiralty Islands is the classic and only thorough description of their complex rules of marriage and family relations. It draws on Mead's 1928-1929 field work, conducted with her second husband, New Zealander Reo Fortune, and benefits by her being able to cross-check her data with his. Written in 1931, Kinship followed Mead's first and very popular book on the Manus, Growing Up in New Guinea, which was criticized by other anthropologists for being too general in scope. In Kinship Mead succeeded in demonstrating her thorough knowledge of this Melanesian group in the specific terms prized by her scholarly colleagues, while also describing in depth Manus social structure.Kinship in the Admiralty Islands describes an intricate system of social restraints and kinship ties and their impact on the local economy. The Manus' predilection for adoption, for example, allows surrogate fathers to make extended marriage payments, while in the next generation their adopted sons will take on the same responsibility for other young men in the new kin network. Mead reviews other kinship rules, such as avoidance behavior between in-laws of the opposite sex, early betrothals, other forms of adoption, and a range of deference behavior and joking relations among kin. In this work, Mead walks a fine line between functionalist kinship analysis of the British school of Radclife Brown and the cultural-and-personality orientation of Americans in the school of Franz Boas.Jeanne Guillemin's new introduction provides a lively in depth description of Margaret Mead's career in the early days of anthropology, the sometimes negative reactions of her contemporaries to her work, and her reasons for writing Kinship in the Admiralty Islands, as well as Mead's later reactions to how "her Manus" entered the modern world.Margaret Mead was noted for directing her writings to both scholar and laymen alike. Kinship in the Admiralty Islands will be of interest to anthropologists and general readers interested in the peoples of the South Pacific.Margaret Mead was curator of ethnology of the American Museum of Natural History. She was the author of many books including Continuities in Cultural Evolution (available from Transaction), The Study of Culture at a Distance, The Mountain of Arapesh, and From the South Seas: Studies of Adolescence and Sex in Primitive Societies. Jeanne Guillemin is a professor of anthropology at Boston College and editor of Anthropological Realities: Readings in the Science of Culture, also available from Transaction.