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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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“Every Woman Deviating from the Code”

“Every Woman Deviating from the Code”

Cultural Lag, Moral Contagion, and Social Disintegration

(p.83) 5 “Every Woman Deviating from the Code”
On Creating a Usable Culture

Maureen A. Molloy

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses Mead's least well known work, The Changing Culture of an Indian Tribe (1932). Located in the American Midwest—far from her usual ethnographic locus in the Pacific—the book provides a compelling contrast to the exoticized and eroticized “natives” of the other ethnographies. Mead, whose Pacific ethnographies are marked by denial of Euro-American imperialism's effects, was unable to refute colonization's impact on the “Antlers.” Indeed, the book's little reception reflects both the difficulties America had in coming to terms with its internal empire and Mead's dismissal of the study's usefulness for anthropology because the culture was broken.

Keywords:   Pacific ethnographies, Euro-American imperialism, American Midwest, colonization, Indian tribes, natives

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