Chapter

A Temperamental Ménage à Trois: Mead, Bateson, and Fortune and the Trafficking Between Social and Analytical Relations in Ethnography

Tony Crook

in Anthropological Knowledge, Secrecy and Bolivip, Papua New Guinea

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264003
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734151 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264003.003.0005

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

A Temperamental Ménage à Trois: Mead, Bateson, and Fortune and the Trafficking Between Social and Analytical Relations in Ethnography

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This chapter describes the famous occasion when three anthropologists met up on the Sepik River in 1932/3 – and which infamously led to Margaret Mead eventually leaving Reo Fortune for Gregory Bateson. It also looks as much to the anthropologists as to their ethnographies to suggest that a view of one is available in the view of the other. The chapter furthermore presents an interest in how Stocking makes economy of exposition – just ‘one sentence’ – speak so much, and in what he does not need to say; whereas saying it any other way involves a long story to make the same point. Additionally, it intends to use the events instead to look at the commentary and contemporary practices in order to explore continuities in anthropological quasi-scientism sensitivities concerning the proximity between social relations, analytical relations, and ethnography. Mead's art is one of extraordinary clarity, giving hard edges to what it depicts. When the three anthropologists met up in Kankanamun, they did so acting with a number of others in mind. Blackberry Winter recalls as ‘compass points’.

Keywords: Margaret Mead; Reo Fortune; Gregory Bateson; ethnography; Sepik River; Blackberry Winter; Kankanamun; Stocking

Chapter.  13967 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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