Topic: Cultural Awareness
From The Margaret Mead Symposium: Whither the United States in the World?
Commemorating the centennial of the birth of Margaret Mead.
December 2 & 3, 2001
Sponsors: Library of Congress and The Smithsonian Institution
Part of Margaret Mead’s legacy is cultural awareness, an important topic for many speakers during the symposium. In this topic, panelists touch upon self-awareness, acceptance of one’s own identity, and the importance of studying one’s own culture.
Self-Awareness per Other Cultures
Speaker: Mary Catherine Bateson
Institute for Intercultural Studies, President
Bateson discusses Mead being one of the first to understand that peoples at all levels of development generate ethnological knowledge, and can be sources of self-examination. She discusses the break through of looking at adolescents in Samoa to think about adolescents in the industrialized world.
Must Increase Travel Abroad to Increase Cultural Understanding
Speaker: Allan E. Goodman
President, Institute of International Education
Discusses the need to increase study abroad programs and postulates that, for many, the important experience is that of a “looking-glass,” of discovering something of the self. But, Goodman says, that’s not enough, one must become immersed to understand.
On Kant and Bellow
Speaker: Edgardo Krebs
Anthropologist, Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution, occasional contributor to La Nacion, Buenos Aires, and Times Literary Supplement
Krebs discusses Kant on the use of reason, and Bellow on the idea of the public, and the media.
Personal Cultural Identity
Speaker: Georges B. Kutukdjian
Kutukdjian argues that we must encourage people to accept their own identity and heritage, which is a contribution to America. Accepting one’s own culture is a prerequisite for accepting the identity of others, he says.
Intolerance is Wrong in Any Culture
Speaker: Michael Mandelbaum
Christian Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University
Mandelbaum believes that, as intolerance is wrong in any culture, the cause of defeating it is a worthy one.
Study of Home Culture
Speaker: Shinji Yamashita
Department of Anthropology, University of Tokyo
Yamashita contends that the study of culture at home as necessity is an important Margaret Mead legacy, but that the dichotomy between study of culture at home and abroad is increasingly meaningless.