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The 30 most influential Margaret Mead quotes

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Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist, teacher, and poet her that she dedicated her life to researching and building gender theory; her objective was to refute once and for all, those preconceived ideas that assigned women a social role different from that of the man justified in our biological condition.

Through her research trips to cultures with completely different social roles than those ours, she managed to be one of the pioneers in describing the concept of gender regardless of sex biological. Her work has positively influenced the search for equal rights between men and women.

In this article we have collected a list of 30 phrases by Margaret Mead that summarize her thinking and they serve to better understand their work.

  • Related article: "7 incredible women from history to remember (and that you may not have known)

The 30 most influential Margaret Mead quotes

Here is a list of the best reflections of this influential female character, to serve as inspiration.

1. Never doubt that a small group of considerate citizens can change the world. Truly, that's the only thing that has ever done it
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A phrase by Margaret Mead that talks about the power we have when we work in community.

2. If we want to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the full range of potentialities human beings, and therefore weave a less arbitrary society, one in which the diversity of the human gift finds a place suitable

A phrase to celebrate human diversity and understand the importance of this to build a better society that contemplates our real humanity.

3. Solving all of tomorrow's adult problems largely depends on the way our children grow up today.

Nothing is more true than this statement about the importance of the way we train our children so that they grow up to be better adults.

4. When we look at different civilizations and see the very different lifestyles to which the individual has been due conform and to whose development it has had to contribute, we feel that our hope is renewed in humanity and its potentialities

With this phrase Margaret Mead demonstrated how other civilizations have built their societies without gender roles that Western society has, and exposes it as an opportunity for improvement.

5. (...) All this indicates that there is a type of person who is maladjusted not because of having some kind of physical or mental weakness, but because his innate dispositions collide with the norms of his society

Something that we still see today and are the judgments towards people who dare to do things differently from how society dictates.

6. I do not believe in the use of women in combat, because women are too fierce

Margaret Mead always wanted to emphasize the strength of women that a macho society does not want to see.

7. (...) that you be free to take a path whose end I feel no need to know, nor the feverish anxiety of being sure that you are going where I would have wanted you to go

In her writing side, Margaret Mead talks about freedom and not trying to possess other people.

8. I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was adding to the sum of the accurate information in the world

Still in our society, any idea that deviates from what we already know and accept is not well received.

9. Ordinary people feel that they belong to the world around them, since the educational process has transformed them into adults who feel spiritually linked to their society. However, this does not occur with individuals whose temperamental inclinations are not exploitable by their society and who, at times, are not even tolerated by it.

Ultimately, the education we receive is what makes us suitable and accepted to be part of a society. Something Margaret Mead was trying to disprove.

10. Instead of being stereotyped by age, color, class, or religion, children should have the opportunity to learn that within each variety, some people are disgusting and others lovely

Because our demographics don't define us.

11. Always remember that you are unique, exactly the same as the others

And we are all unique, no one is more special than another.

12. We will not have a society if we destroy the environment

Margaret Mead also spoke about the consequences of our excessive expenditure of natural resources due to consumption.

13. Life in this century is like a parachute jump, you have to get it right the first time

Did Margaret Mead refer to what life there is only one?

14. I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples, so that Westerners can understand their own lives.

An important part of Margaret Mead's research was the observation and analysis of tribes with behaviors and social roles very different from those we have in the West.

15. What people say, what people do, and what people say they do are completely different things.

A phrase to celebrate inconsistency that characterizes us all humans.

16. The arbitrariness of putting all play and learning in childhood, all work in middle age and all regrets in old age is totally false and cruel.

An interesting point of view on the timeline of our lives.

17. Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive

Because human beings are a contradiction in itself.

18. It is an open question whether any behavior based on the fear of eternal punishment can be considered ethical or should be considered as mere cowardice.

Margaret Mead invites us to reflect about the power our beliefs have over the way we live.

19. Women want men to be mediocre, and men are working to be as mediocre as possible

Women throughout our history have been an active part of the machismo of which we are victims.

  • Related article: "Micromachismo: the subtle form of machismo that women experience every day

20. Parents are biological needs but social accidents

Interesting point of view that speaks of the power of parents over what we will be as adults in our society.

21. Many societies have educated males based on the simple device of teaching them not to be female

Unfortunately throughout our history women have been reduced to a lower position than men, but now we are changing.

22. Instead of needing a bunch of kids, we need high-quality kids

Margaret Mead as an educator and anthropologist placed special emphasis on the importance of childhood and the way we train children.

23. I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to their peers.

A better way to measure success than from money.

24. I have a respect for manners as such, they are a way of dealing with people with whom you disagree or do not sympathize

One of Margaret Mead's phrases that shows that irony so characteristic of her.

25. And when our baby moves and struggles to be born, she imposes humility: what we started, is now hers.

Because parents give their life, their love, their time and their determination to make the best of their children.

26. The sisters' is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters get older, it becomes the strongest relationship.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have sisters could not agree more with this phrase.

27. For the first time, young people witness the creation of history before it is censored by their elders

With this phrase Margaret Mead was referring to the democratization of the information that the media, especially television, gave us.

28. One of the oldest human needs is to have someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night

Margaret Mead also focused her studies on families.

29. We are now at a point where we must educate our children about what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.

Margaret Mead was always very interested in positively influence education.

30. Laughter is the most distinctive emotional expression of man

We agree that it is a very unique trait of each one.

  • Related article: "75 feminist phrases to inspire you
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