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Mead and Samoa
Mead and Samoa
SPRING QUARTER 2011
UNIT 1: MARGARET MEAD AND COMING OF AGE IN SAMOA
WRITING ASSIGNMENT, DUE IN THE Catalyst Collect-it Box BY 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, APRIL 29.
Write 1500-2000 words on one of the following questions:
A. By this time, you have read a lot of Margaret Mead's writings, and a considerable amount of critique of her writings. So expand on what you wrote for April 4, and analyze what Margaret Mead was like as a writer. How did she make her points--what rhetorical devices did she use? What is the relationship between what she knew (from being there) and what she wrote? Given that she was, as many of you said in your short, in-class essays, writing for a particular demographic in your great-grandparents' or grandparent's generation, does her writing still speak to you today, or does it seem hopelessly old-fashioned, out-of-date, irrelevant? Why and in what ways does it have or lack relevance for today, either directly or as an example of how to do cultural critique?
B. In one of the slides that Professor Kahn presented on April 6, Margaret Mead is quoted as saying, in relation to her Hall of Pacific Peoples exhibit at the American Museum, that "So many of the cultures are now gone forever and no new collecting is possible… Year by year visitors will be able to view the actual work of the Pacific peoples' hands, the work itself will stand as a record of a once existing way of life." Mead wrote this in 1971. What does it say about her view of culture? Do you agree with this view? Is this view consonant with the view of culture that you found reading Coming of Age? How or how not? How do you think a Samoan or Tikopian person might react to this statement? You can either ask one, or just base this part of your answer on what you know about the current state of Samoan culture.
General guidelines for essays
Essays must be turned in to the collect-it box by 5:00 p.m on Friday, April 29. Essays that are submitted late on the due date will be graded down one notch (e.g. A- to B+ or B to B-); essays that come in after the due date will be graded down two notches (e.g. A to B+ or B+ to B-). Essays will be returned with extensive comments within ten days from the announced due date and time, which is plenty of time for you to take the grader's comments into account when writing your next essay.
Essays should be between 1500 and 2000 words in length, not counting bibliographic references. You may use any style (footnotes, endnotes, or embedded author and date) for references, as long as it is clear where you have gotten your information. Quotations and paraphrases should always be referenced, as should any specific factual information that is taken explicitly from a given source. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism and will result in a grade of 0 with no opportunity to make up the assignment.