Margaret Mead is an American anthropologist best known for her work in Polynesia. Studying under Franz Boas, Mead was interested in cultural relativism and used a respectful and compassionate approach to other cultures in her research.
Mead is best known for her work "Coming of Age in Samoa". This book—controversial when published—became immensely popular in North America. It described the alternative situation of adolescents in the area of Samoa where Mead did her research. The controversy was regarding both the inclusion of Mead's views and research regarding sexuality and its role in the nature versus nurture debate.
Mead has since influenced countless anthropologists as a strong proponent of cultural relativism and incited further research into both sexual norms and Samoan cultures.
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