The Steady State of Cultures: Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and American Anthropology, ca. 1930–1950

The Steady State of Cultures: Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and American Anthropology, ca. 1930–1950

neidhofer_thilo_project_page_image.jpg

neidhofer_thilo_project_page_image.jpg

Street in Bayung Gede, Bali, 2014 (photograph)

My dissertation explores the biographies of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, two pioneering anthropologists, in the years between 1930 and 1950. By tracing their life and work, I investigate how an intellectual couple negotiated their gender roles and how they contributed to transform anthropology both as a discipline (methodologically/theoretically) and with regard to the public and the state, respectively. By relating these biographies to each other, I seek a more precise understanding of how scientific practices, thought style, and (private) life practices intersected at a particular point in time.