Margaret Mead and Elise Boulding

Introduction

Margaret Mead and Elise Boulding were famous American sociologists and anthropologists who contributed to the social life of women including their role in society, childrearing, peace and conflicting. They wrote on topics about gender role, the position of women in the family. In fact, they were the greatest contributors into modern American and Western culture. Though, many of their issues were rather controversial, they helped shape the ideas about sexual revolution and women’s rights. Both scholars described women’s vision of the future and role in the family and society. Due to their findings, sociologists tried to understand human behavior, the position of women in society from the new perspective.

The Major Theoretical Position of Elise Boulding and Margaret Mead

Elise Boulding was an American Quaker sociologist who was born in Norway. She is considered to be one of the main contributors to the Academic discipline of Peace and Conflicting. She argued that family was a foundation for peace. She showed great concern for women’s role in the family and their ability to establish peace. Boulding tried to break past stereotypes of women in the family and their more important role in a contemporary society than before. Her idea about a new role of women in the family was widely spread and supported by other activists who started to overestimate the women’s role in society. She began to see importance of women at home and their great blessing of having and bringing up children. Elise Boulding emphasized that peace in modern society depended upon women’s role in the families (Boulding, 2000). As a sociologist and peace activist she wrote about daily contribution of women into peace and wellbeing of society. In 1960s, her idea about “personal and interpersonal promotion of peace” has become widespread in the United States and Western European countries.

Elise Boulding supported the idea that children should be taught by their mothers to be actual and valuable participants in solving conflicts since their early age. By doing so, children would be able to create respectful relationships with the planet in the future (Howlett & ‎ Harris, 2010).  Boulding’s attempts to change the role of women in the family were concentrated on her desire to change women’s “underlife” and men’s “overlife”. She appealed to women to stop doing things in their families “on call” of their husbands and children. Boulding made a great contribution into women’s rethinking of their identity, privacy and autonomy, and position in the family.

Margaret Mead was a popular author in the mess media in the 1960-1970s in the United States. She propagated the idea of sexual revolution and advocated for women’s rights. Her findings were important for the feminist movement that had taken place in the United States of America and the Western European countries. She argued that the community ignored the role of boys and girls under the age of sixteen. Mead advocated the idea of children in social life. She also found that marriage is a socioeconomic arrangement that is estimated according to rank, wealth and job skills of both husband and wife. The research asserts that Margaret Mead’s findings are rather important to the feminist movement and sexual revolution. She advocated equal rights of women and men, change and acceptance. Her most important mission was to interpret and advocate new ideas to the American people. Some of her opponents did not support her ideas about sexual revolution and called her a “dirty old lady” (Howlett & ‎ Harris, 2010).

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Boulding’s and Mead’s Impetus on Modern Sociological Research

Elise Boulding’s and Margaret Mead’s theoretical position has changed the way social scientists viewed culture. Sociologists tried to understand human behavior from the new perspective. Thus, scholars have placed a broader social context while examining family, the role of women in it and their interaction with society. Their attempts of rethinking women’s position in the family, identity, privacy and autonomy had many followers. Due to their studies, women have gained better position in the family and society. Women’s emancipation has taken place that insured women to have equal rights with men, particularly with their husbands. Lutkehaus (2010) states that since then sociologists considered income, occupation, gender, education and job skills of both husband and wife as essential dimensions of marriage.

Furthermore, Mead’s idea of “sexual revolution” has changed a traditional approach to women as “underlife” of their husbands. In fact, sociologists started to treat women as independent and respected humans. Step by step, the position of women in society became stronger and more respectful. Their ideas and research contributed on social culture. Sociology, being a study of social behavior, requires a theoretical investigation of social change and development. Since the notion of “sexual revolution” and the feminist movement have captured the minds of all progressive thinkers, they have become popular and widespread. The goal of many sociologists was to understand the circumstances that led to these changes.

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Conclusion

The research asserts that Elise Boulding and Margaret Mead made the great contribution into the social life of women including their role in society, childrearing, peace and conflicting. They helped shape their ideas about sexual revolution and women’s rights. Both scholars described women’s vision of the future and their role in the family and society. Due to their studies a traditional approach to women was changed. Since then, many sociologists made a lot of attempts to understand the reasons that led to these changes. Sociologists understood daily contribution of women into peace and wellbeing in society.

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