Talk:Ruth Benedict

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question[edit]

"While one critic has written that..."

Who was this author? Don't we need a citation here?

Seems to be from an old wikipedia edit by an anonymous writer. 217.210.47.187 21:42, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I have added a fair amount about Patterns of Culture her most popular and respected book, and a major force in anthropology for decades.

Later I will add more, including if possible about her published letters.

Here posthumous essay on synergy has become part of the language without her having been given credit.

Each major chapter of Patterns of Culture deserves special consideration as they are rich and very fine ethnographic descriptions, despite their rather minor lacks. --samivel 23:08, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

That is not the case at all. We as humans always have at least one Minor lack in every paper we write. It is naturally impossible to be perfect.Even someone with a flawless reputation. She has overgone many hard struggles including the death of her father, Fredrick S. Fulton. She pretty much hated her mother{Beatrice Hattuck}. She also would rather be with her imaginary friend than be with her own sister, who was her mothers favorite. She is now an athropologist.She was born on june 5th, 1887,although were she was born is an unsettled arguement.
Hi User:Samivel -- Can you write or document something about your synergy point? It should then be linked from the synergy article. --LQ 15:53, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


About the Races[edit]

I want to add that I liked the last bit of that section, saying the way of thought on equality is meant to fight supremacy. Because it is true. The argument works as a tool against racial superiority tendencies. However, I believe that saying we are all equal just because, constitutes considering trivial the enviroment a concrete people live in, wihch I think could lead to looking past their way of life. So, even though race is dictated by the enviroment, these diffrences are essential, and so much a part of us we, in other terms, are not the same. Mailrobot 22:19, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Cultural relativism[edit]

In the remarks on Patterns of Culture, one should also remember that she wrote that culture provides a groove for men and women to run in, but not everyone fits into the groove equally well, and societies can be somewhat cruel to people who don't fit in. For example (and one gathers it took a lot more courage to write this in 1934), our society's treatment of homosexuals is needlessly cruel and wasteful; there have been many societies where homosexuality was an honorable estate.

Also, she writes, the people who commit what in retrospect are considered the greatest atrocities tend to be the people who did exactly what their society expected of them, better than anyone else. Writing in 1934, she says that the early European settlers in America tended to be religious neurotics. No doubt if she'd been writing a few years later she would have cited Nazi Germany and wartime Japan as more vivid examples of the same thing. The way to avoid this sort of thing, she says, is a certain self-conscious criticism of our own culture.

In other words, she wasn't at all saying that anything goes. Partly she was saying Judge not that ye be not judged, and partly she was saying we should judge ourselves more critically than we usually do.

Also, I feel that the remarks on cultural relativism oversimplify and slightly distort her point of view in other ways. She felt that alien societies are legitimate objects of scientific inquiry, not merely collections of misguided people whose quaint culture should be obliterated by missionary work. In the interest of greater understanding, she implies, we should separate the science from the ethical judgment. All the same, I can't imagine anyone in modern upper middle-class America reading her chapter on Dobu without thinking, "Sure glad I'm not there."

The article wrote: "Benedict, in Patterns of Culture, expresses her belief in cultural relativism. She desired to show that each culture has its own moral imperatives that can be understood only if one studies that culture as a whole. It was wrong, she felt, to disparage the customs or values of a culture different from one's own. Those customs had a meaning to the persons who lived them which should not be summed up or superficialized. We should not try to evaluate people by our standards alone. Morality, she felt, was relative." I think that if a more charitable interpretation of Benedict is plausible (such as the one prior to this paragraph) it should replace what I just quoted, the quote is obviously self-defeating, for it makes a universal demand for us to not impose universal demands.

Also, she remarks that earlier anthropological studies such as Fraser's book The Golden Bough tended to be compendiums of all the weirdest things anyone anywhere ever did. If you read such books uncritically, she writes, you might come away from them with the idea of The Savage as a sort of Frankenstein's monster sewed together from scraps of all the weirdest things anyone anywhere ever does. There ain't no such person or society. The only way to get a realistic idea of what other societies are like, she writes, is to take a fairly detailed look at a smaller number of them.

Suggested source[edit]

Searching the Internet, I found this article on Ruth Benedict, which could be used as a reference. It looks like an obituary written by Margaret Mead. --JHP 23:50, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Here's another source from Columbia University. --JHP 05:21, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Horrible Style[edit]

This whole article is written like a passionate orbituary. I miss briefness and accuracy. Could it not be structured in a way to provide information and only exposing all the personal details later? The first idea of an article is to provide accurate and reliable inforation in a clean, unbiased way. This article is very beautiful, it would serve as a brillant essay - but never as a encyclopedian profile. -- 188.98.196.146 (talk) 21:55, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

You can tag the article by placing this template at the top Template:Inappropriate_tone 195.177.83.221 (talk) 13:22, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I've gone with "unencyclopedic tone" hatnote. Sentences like "She was so happy it was as if she had become a different person" just don't belong here. Yakushima (talk) 09:57, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Who does affirm: anthropologists generally abandoned culture and personality school?[edit]

Who can read into the minds of thousands of anthropologists? An anthropologist one? My teacher in Sociology of Culture, Laura Verdi, in Padova University, February 2012, always quotes from Ruth Benedict and her basic works.--Regainfo (talk) 14:54, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

EVeryone quotes from Ruth Benedict, but no-one works in the culture and personality school.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:30, 12 March 2014 (UTC)