An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Relaxing after class

Sept. 2016 – The Stormy Mead-Bateson Relationship

missing picture: zakealect.jpg

On Mon. eve, 5 Sept., 'Atenisi's visiting scholar in anthropology, Zakea Boeger, traced the tempestous relationship – both romantic and academic – between two giants of 20th century anthropology, Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Mead and Bateson began their partnership whilst conducting field work in Papua New Guinea in 1932, then married in 1936. The union produced a daughter – the anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, who has taught at Harvard University and Amherst College.

In the late 1940s, the couple grew apart as Bateson turned away from field work to explore the interaction of social science and cybernetics at Stanford University. They divorced in 1950.

Visiting scholar Boeger earned her M.A. in anthropology at the University of Hawai'i, whilst serving as a postgraduate teaching assistant. She is currently a PhD candidate at UH, investigating healthcare delivery here in Tonga.