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  1. Zugzwang
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    24 Sep '17 21:142 edits
    In August 1970, James Baldwin (a gay black American writer living in Paris)
    and Margaret Mead (a 'liberal' white American anthropologist) met for the first time.
    They would spend about 7 1/2 hours discussing and arguing about various subjects.
    The transcript was edited to produce the book _A Rap on Race_.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Baldwin

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Mead

    James Baldwin (1924-1987) and Margaret Mead (1901-1978) strongly
    disagreed about many subjects. At times, their exchanges became very
    heated and personal, coming close to accusing the other of dishonesty.

    At one point, Margaret Mead seemed about to say that if she were black,
    then she would not be nearly as angry as James Baldwin toward the USA.
    "But you were not born in Harlem; you didn't shine shoes with me."
    --James Baldwin (p. 243)

    In general, James Baldwin (who chose to live outside the USA) was much
    more critical than Margaret Mead of American racism and imperialism.
    As a 'liberal' white American, Margaret Mead conceded that the USA had made
    mistakes, but she still believed that the USA's fundamentally good, fair, and altruistic.

    "Muslims don't believe in loving everybody as brothers. They only love
    Muslims as brothers. They don't really have an idea of universal brotherhood."
    --Margaret Mead (p. 89)

    Some Islamic scholars would challenge Margaret Mead's (ethnocentric) claim.

    "What we have in the belief in the brotherhood of man, of all men,
    or the power of love, we got out of the Christian tradition."
    --Margaret Mead (p. 90)

    Margaret Mead apparently clings to a belief in the moral superiority of Christianity.

    "It [USA] has told nothing but lies, all over the world, to everybody in the world!"
    --James Baldwin (p. 243)

    Margaret Mead defended the USA by arguing that it's no worse than every other 'imperial power'.

    "The creation of the State of Israel was one of the most cynical achievements, really
    murderous, merciless, ugliest, and cynical achievements, on the part of Western nations."
    --James Baldwin (p. 208)

    "I am against the State of Israel because I think a great injustice has been done to the Arabs."
    --James Baldwin p. 209)

    In contrast, Margaret Mead supported Israel and Zionism, apparently approving of how
    Israel treated the Palestinians.

    While I believe that James Baldwin sometimes used rhetorical exaggeration,
    I am much more critical of Margaret Mead for her American ethnocentricism
    and her naive (at best) or disingenuous apologias for US imperlalism.

    I expect that Margaret Mead's views would be much more popular than James Baldwin's
    among the Americans here.
  2. Standard memberfinnegan
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    24 Sep '17 23:32
    "Celebrated for her 1928 best-seller Coming of Age in Samoa, Mead’s big idea was to take models from the field and carry them home as lessons in life for her fellow Americans."

    Her part in US ideological warfare is itself hilarious to consider. What is hilarious is that the US took her so seriously.

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/books/return-from-the-natives-how-margaret-mead-won-the-second-world-war-and-lost-the-cold-war-by-peter-mandler/2003522.article

    Regrettably her Samoan study has also been hilariously debunked. She really is an example to us all - of USA style academic fraud.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/201702/margaret-mead-and-the-great-samoan-nurture-hoax

    "We are dealing … with one of the most remarkable events in the intellectual history of the 20th century. Margaret Mead, the historical evidence demonstrates, was comprehensively hoaxed by her Samoan informants, and then, in her turn by convincing … others of the “genuineness” of her account of Samoa, she unwittingly misinformed and misled the entire anthropological establishment."
  3. Standard memberfinnegan
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    24 Sep '17 23:38
    If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

    Hunter S. Thompson

    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/huntersth386264.html
  4. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Sep '17 01:02
    Originally posted by @finnegan
    "Celebrated for her 1928 best-seller Coming of Age in Samoa, Mead’s big idea was to take models from the field and carry them home as lessons in life for her fellow Americans."

    Her part in US ideological warfare is itself hilarious to consider. What is hilarious is that the US took her so seriously.

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/book ...[text shortened]... of Samoa, she unwittingly misinformed and misled the entire anthropological establishment."[/i]
    Unfortunately, the debunking has been debunked long ago: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/sex-lies-and-separating-science-from-ideology/273169/
  5. Standard membervivify
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    25 Sep '17 03:45
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Unfortunately, the debunking has been debunked long ago: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/sex-lies-and-separating-science-from-ideology/273169/
    "Mead downplayed some of the uglier aspects of Samoan sexuality -- including violent rape and physical punishment bestowed on those who violated sexual norms "

    So both Mead and Freeman, according to the article, were driven by personal ideology that tainted the reliability of their work. Mead wanted to spread a sex-positive view, Freeman saw himself as some sort savior. Very interesting stuff.

    I'll read the Times article that the piece links to tomorrow.
  6. Standard memberfinnegan
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    25 Sep '17 09:33
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Unfortunately, the debunking has been debunked long ago: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/sex-lies-and-separating-science-from-ideology/273169/
    That's not what debunking looks like.

    Mead's work was never politically neutral.
  7. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Sep '17 15:551 edit
    Originally posted by @finnegan
    That's not what debunking looks like.

    Mead's work was never politically neutral.
    I wonder what a "debunking" would look like once you have already made your mind up. The article you cited exclusively relied on Derek Freeman's "work" to discredit Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa. The article I cited has this to say about Freeman's attack on Mead:

    Witness a new analysis from Paul Shankman in this month's Current Anthropology of the controversy over Margaret Mead's Samoan fieldwork. Shankman, a professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, has for several years been doggedly investigating the smearing of Margaret Mead by the anthropologist Derek Freeman.


    As Shankman writes in his latest piece, "Freeman's flawed caricature of Mead and her Samoan fieldwork has become conventional wisdom in many circles and, as a result, her reputation has been deeply if not irreparably damaged." Indeed, just this week, a New York Times Magazine article blithely refers to the Freeman-Mead controversy as if Freeman's "exposé" of Mead stands.

    But Shankman's new analysis -- following his excellent 2009 book, The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of an Anthropological Controversy -- shows that Freeman manipulated "data" in ways so egregious that it might be time for Freeman's publishers to issue formal retractions.

    Some background: In her popular 1928 book, Coming of Age in Samoa, Mead presented Samoan culture as a social system that, without much fuss, allowed many adolescents to fool around before marriage. Contemporary scholars of Mead's work agree that, in her presentation of Samoa to American readers, Mead was motivated by a particular political agenda. As a sexually progressive individual, Mead saw (and portrayed) in Samoa the possibility of loosening social strictures on sexuality -- something she suggested could lead to more pleasure, and less pain and suffering.

    In 1983, Freeman published Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth with Harvard University Press, a book quickly celebrated in the mainstream press. In this and later work, Freeman appeared to conduct precise scholarship showing that Mead was just too gullible to realize that two supposedly "key informants" were pulling her leg about teenage sexual antics -- kidding the none-the-wiser Margaret Mead. In Freeman's words, "Never can giggly fibs have had such far-reaching consequences in the groves of Academe."


    As early as 1996, in his book Not Even Wrong: Margaret Mead, Derek Freeman, and the Samoans, the anthropologist Martin Orans used Mead's own field notes to show "that such humorous fibbing could not be the basis of Mead's understanding. Freeman asks us to imagine that the joking of two women, pinching each other as they put Mead on about their sexuality and that of adolescents, was of more significance than the detailed information she had collected throughout her fieldwork."

    Now Shankman has delved even deeper into the sources; in 2011, he obtained from Freeman's archives the first key interview with one of the supposed "joshing" informants, a woman named Fa'apua'a. This interview, conducted in 1987, allegedly bolstered Freeman's contention that Mead had based her "erroneous" portrait of Samoan sexuality on what Fa'apua'a and her friend Fofoa had jokingly told Mead back in the 1920s.

    But Shankman shows that the interview was conducted and then represented in deeply problematic ways. The 1987 interview with Fa'apua'a was arranged and carried out by Fofoa's son, a Samoan Christian of high rank who was convinced that Mead had besmirched the reputation of Samoans by portraying his mother, her friend Fa'apua'a, and other Samoans as sexually licentious.

    Indeed, Shankman finds that Fofoa's son told Fa'apua'a "that the purpose of the interview was to correct 'the lies she [Mead] wrote in her book, lies that insult you all.'" Fofoa's son also told Fa'apua'a -- falsely -- that Mead had reported in her work that, as young women, Fa'apua'a and Fofoa had been "out at night, all night, every night," with unmarried men. This amounted to a particularly scandalous claim about Fa'apua'a, who had been a ceremonial virgin.


    In upset response to these misrepresentations, Fa'apua'a, a devout Christian, branded Mead a liar and a woman who had mistakenly interpreted innocent jokes about their lives as the truth, misrepresenting the Samoan people -- and, by implication, misrepresenting humankind.

    Although Freeman gave great weight to the alleged tales told to Mead by Fa'apua'a and Fofoa in his portrayal of Mead as a dupe, Shankman notes that, in fact, "there is no information on the sex from these two women in Mead's field notes." Mead cannot have been fooled by women who were never her informants.

    What Mead really drew on for her conclusions was data "collected on 25 adolescent girls of whom over 40 percent were sexually active" and from interviews with Samoan men and women. While it is true that, in Coming of Age, Mead downplayed some of the uglier aspects of Samoan sexuality -- including violent rape and physical punishment bestowed on those who violated sexual norms -- it is not true that Mead essentially invented a false cultural portrait from a couple of informants' sexual fish tales.

    Shankman concludes, "It seems that Fa'apua'a had become a medium for Freeman's own views about Mead. He constructed a narrative about Mead's hoaxing and carefully culled her testimony for evidence to support it."

    But why did Freeman get it so wrong? Shankman's book suggests Freeman was obsessed with Mead and with what he saw as her dangerous stories about the flexibility of human cultures. He saw himself as a brave "heretic," a man saving true science from Mead's mere ideology.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/sex-lies-and-separating-science-from-ideology/273169/

    Neither Mead's work nor Freeman's attempt to discredit it were "politically neutral" but the latter's work is a hatchet job according to recent researchers.
  8. Standard memberfinnegan
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    25 Sep '17 19:222 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    I wonder what a "debunking" would look like once you have already made your mind up. The article you cited exclusively relied on Derek Freeman's "work" to discredit Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa. The article I cited has this to say about Freeman's attack on Mead:

    Witness a new analysis from Paul Shankman in this month's Current Anthropology o ...[text shortened]... re "politically neutral" but the latter's work is a hatchet job according to recent researchers.
    "The article you cited exclusively relied on Derek Freeman's "work" to discredit Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa. The article I cited has this to say about Freeman's attack on Mead:...

    Why do you consistently operate in this way? Pick a selected point to build your case, while ignoring the context?

    My post quite clearly was built around quite a different point and quite a different link, a review of "Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War by Peter Mandler, written by Chris Knight.

    I did indeed refer to the attack on her work Coming of Age in Samoa, which I said was hilarious, but that was not the foundation stone of my post. Refuting Freeman's arguments does not, alas, restore the credibility of Mead's work and opinons, which is why I said you have no in fact debunked anything.
  9. Zugzwang
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    25 Sep '17 19:592 edits
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    In August 1970, James Baldwin (a gay black American writer living in Paris)
    and Margaret Mead (a 'liberal' white American anthropologist) met for the first time.
    They would spend about 7 1/2 hours discussing and arguing about various subjects.
    The transcript was edited to produce the book _A Rap on Race_.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Baldwin ...[text shortened]... Margaret Mead's views would be much more popular than James Baldwin's
    among the Americans here.
    _A Rap on Race_ is a 256 page book (edited transcript of some long conversations in 1970).
    As far as I can recall, Margaret Mead never discussed her research in Samoa with James Baldwin.

    There's an interesting exchange (apparently showing mutual ignorance) on Islam:

    "Muslims don't believe in loving everybody as brothers. They only love
    Muslims as brothers. They don't really have an idea of universal brotherhood."
    --Margaret Mead (p. 89)

    "Yeah, all right, I'll accept that {Mead's claim on Islam] because I'm not equipped to argue it."
    --James Baldwin (p. 89. He claimed no expertise on Islam.)

    Islamic scholars and ordinary Muslims dispute Margaret Mead's claim.

    http://free-islamic-course.org/articles-on-topical-issues/the-concept-of-brotherhood-in-islam.html

    "The Concept of brotherhood in Islam."

    "Furthermore, Islam proclaims to be for the universal brotherhood of man.
    “And hold fast, all together, by the rope of Allah and be not divided; and remember the
    favour of Allah which He bestowed upon you when you were enemies and He united
    your hearts in love, so that by His grace you became as brothers; and you were on the
    brink of a pit off re and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah explain to you His
    commandments that you may be guided.”” (Ch. 3: verse 104)

    Islam recognises mankind’s diversity of colour, race, language etc. The Holy Quran relates:
    “And among His signs are the creation of the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your tongues
    and colours. In that surely are Signs for those who possess knowledge.”(Ch. 30: verse 23)."

    I suspect that Malcolm X disagreed with Margaret Mead's denying that Islam has a concept of universal brotherhood.

    My impression is that Margaret Mead lacked an adequate scholarly understanding of Islam,
    yet she was ready to jump to evidently ignorant conclusions about it.
  10. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Sep '17 20:411 edit
    Originally posted by @finnegan
    "The article you cited exclusively relied on Derek Freeman's "work" to discredit Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa. The article I cited has this to say about Freeman's attack on Mead:...

    Why do you consistently operate in this way? Pick a selected point to build your case, while ignoring the context?

    My post quite clearly was built a ...[text shortened]... edibility of Mead's work and opinons, which is why I said you have no in fact debunked anything.
    finnegan: Regrettably her Samoan study has also been hilariously debunked. She really is an example to us all - of USA style academic fraud.

    Hilarious, indeed.

    In fact, that entire post was devoted to the supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study.

    You should simply concede your error and move on.
  11. Zugzwang
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    25 Sep '17 21:242 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder to Finnegan
    finnegan: Regrettably her Samoan study has also been hilariously debunked. She really is an example to us all - of USA style academic fraud.

    Hilarious, indeed.

    In fact, that entire post was devoted to the supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study.
    You should simply concede your error and move on.
    "In fact, *that entire post* was devoted to the supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study."
    --No1Marauder (to Finnegan)

    FALSE. Here's a part of Finnegan's post (page 1, post 2) that No1Marauder prefers to ignore.

    "Her part in US ideological warfare is itself hilarious to consider. What is hilarious is that the US took her so seriously."
    --Finnegan (on Margaret Mead)

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/books/return-from-the-natives-how-margaret-mead-won-the-second-world-war-and-lost-the-cold-war-by-peter-mandler/2003522.article

    In fact, Finnegan's linked article mentions 'the Samoan study' only briefly in passing.
    The article focuses upon Margaret Mead's importance in justifying US imperialism.

    "Mandler documents how the US military succeeded in co-opting Mead’s idiosyncratic reinvention
    of anthropology to provide moral justification for its involvement in the Second World War.
    The story ends with her becoming increasingly marginalised and vilified from the onset of the Cold War.

    Can a country have a mother? Well, yes, if you accept Mead’s central idea. With her colleagues,
    she developed the bizarre theory that nations are best thought of as people, to be analysed
    in neo-Freudian terms. ... The idea was that the US was a melting pot of races, cultures
    and ethnicities fused through what Bateson termed “zygogenesis”. This obviously entitled
    the US to present itself as a role model for the planet.

    The war left the US as the world’s superpower. As military and economic dominance
    translated into intellectual dominance, Mead’s peculiar theories floated to the top."

    This major part of Finnegan's post is *not* "devoted to the supposed 'debunking' of the Samoan study',
    as No1Marauder claims (with his usual arrogant dishonesty).
  12. Zugzwang
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    25 Sep '17 21:331 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    finnegan: Regrettably her Samoan study has also been hilariously debunked. She really is an example to us all - of USA style academic fraud.

    Hilarious, indeed.

    In fact, that entire post was devoted to the supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study.

    You should simply concede your error and move on.
    Finnegan *already* has responded adequately to No1Marauder, who has ignored it and
    continued his typically disingenuous attack.

    Here's Finnegan's post (page 1, post 8) to No1Marauder:
    "Why do you [No1Marauder] consistently operate in this way? Pick a selected point to
    build your case, while ignoring the context?"

    Because No1Marauder's a lawyer by occupation and an arrogant pathological liar by nature.

    "My post quite clearly was built around quite a different point and quite a different link,
    a review of "Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War
    and Lost the Cold War by Peter Mandler, written by Chris Knight."

    I understood that. No1Marauder prefers to ignore it or simply lie about it.

    "I did indeed refer to the attack on her work Coming of Age in Samoa, which I said was hilarious, but that was *not the foundation stone* of my post."
    --Finnegan

    In contrast to the trolling No1Marauder, I understood that Finnegan's post was *not all
    about* 'debunking' Margaret Mead's claims about Samoa.
  13. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Sep '17 21:34
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    "In fact, *that entire post* was devoted to the supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study."
    --No1Marauder (to Finnegan)

    FALSE. Here's a part of Finnegan's post (page 1, post 2) that No1Marauder prefers to ignore.

    "Her part in US ideological warfare is itself hilarious to consider. What is hilarious is that the US took her so seriously."
    --Finneg ...[text shortened]... d 'debunking' of the Samoan study',
    as No1Marauder claims (with his usual arrogant dishonesty).
    That's one sentence; the rest is all about the Samoan study. So "entire post" might be wrong, but the major thrust of that and his prior post were both about Freeman's supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study(Finny even accused her of "academic fraud" based on it) - which turns out to be BS.

    Maybe he'll admit his error, maybe not.
  14. Subscriberno1marauder
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    25 Sep '17 21:38
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Finnegan *already* has responded adequately to No1Marauder, who has ignored it and
    continued his typically disingenuous attack.

    Here's Finnegan's post (page 1, post 8) to No1Marauder:
    "Why do you [No1Marauder] consistently operate in this way? Pick a selected point to
    build your case, while ignoring the context?"

    Because No1Marauder's a lawyer b ...[text shortened]... tood that Finnegan's post was *not all
    about* 'debunking' Margaret Mead's claims about Samoa.
    Here's Finny whole post:

    Celebrated for her 1928 best-seller Coming of Age in Samoa, Mead’s big idea was to take models from the field and carry them home as lessons in life for her fellow Americans."

    Her part in US ideological warfare is itself hilarious to consider. What is hilarious is that the US took her so seriously.

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/books/return-from-the-natives-how-margaret-mead-won-the-second-world-war-and-lost-the-cold-war-by-peter-mandler/2003522.article

    Regrettably her Samoan study has also been hilariously debunked. She really is an example to us all - of USA style academic fraud.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-imprinted-brain/201702/margaret-mead-and-the-great-samoan-nurture-hoax

    "We are dealing … with one of the most remarkable events in the intellectual history of the 20th century. Margaret Mead, the historical evidence demonstrates, was comprehensively hoaxed by her Samoan informants, and then, in her turn by convincing … others of the “genuineness” of her account of Samoa, she unwittingly misinformed and misled the entire anthropological establishment."


    So who's lying? His post was not built around the NY Times article but primarily focused on the Samoan study's supposed debunking. That Finny and you want to change that focus is understandable, but dishonest.
  15. Zugzwang
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    25 Sep '17 21:392 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    That's one sentence; the rest is all about the Samoan study. So "entire post" might be wrong, but the major thrust of that and his prior post were both about Freeman's supposed "debunking" of the Samoan study(Finny even accused her of "academic fraud" based on it) - which turns out to be BS.

    Maybe he'll admit his error, maybe not.
    "That's one sentence; *the rest is all* about the Samoan study."
    --No1Marauder

    FALSE AGAIN. Finnegan cited this linked article (which No1Marauder prefers to ignore.)
    No1Marauder keeps lying as usual.

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/books/return-from-the-natives-how-margaret-mead-won-the-second-world-war-and-lost-the-cold-war-by-peter-mandler/2003522.article

    "Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War by Peter Mandler:
    Chris Knight on an anthropologist whose theories were embraced then shunned by the US military."

    That established the main context ('foundation stone', to quote him) of Finnegan's post.
    The later part about Margaret Mead and Samoa is a separate issue.
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