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On Creating a Usable CultureMargaret Mead and the Emergence of American Cosmopolitanism$
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Maureen A. Molloy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831165

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831165.001.0001

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“Lords of an Empty Creation”

“Lords of an Empty Creation”

Masculinity, Puritanism, and Cultural Stagnation

Chapter:
(p.62) 4 “Lords of an Empty Creation”
Source:
On Creating a Usable Culture
Author(s):

Maureen A. Molloy

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831165.003.0004

This chapter examines Mead's Growing Up in New Guinea (1931), which was published at the boundary of the twenties and the Depression. Growing Up in New Guinea is a mature and self-conscious work that traverses a wide range of issues, most of which come out of the agonized self-conceptions of 1920s intellectual and artistic life. However, these themes of the 1920s are articulated around the crisis of the early 1930s. In particular, the calls for strong, innovative leadership to guide the country back to prosperity were becoming increasingly desperate as businessmen and politicians were revealed as incompetent, helpless, ineffectual, and corrupt. Ultimately, Mead wove these themes together to argue for a new masculinity that was strong, nurturing, innovative, and unafraid to go against prevailing cultural mores.

Keywords:   Growing Up in New Guinea, Depression, masculinity, cultural mores

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