Ruth Benedict

Benedict, Ruth Fulton

Ruth Fulton Benedict, 1887–1948, American anthropologist, b. New York City, grad. Vassar, 1909, Ph.D. Columbia, 1923. She was a student and later a colleague of Franz Boas at Columbia, where she taught from 1924. She did fieldwork among Native Americans and studied contemporary European and Asian cultures. Her works emphasize the concepts of cultural configuration, national character, and the role of culture in individual personality formation. Her widely read books helped popularize the concept of culture and attacked racism and ethnocentrism. She is the author of Concept of the Guardian Spirit in North America (1923), Patterns of Culture (1934), Zuni Mythology (1935), Race: Science and Politics (rev. ed. 1943), and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture (1946). A collection of her work and biographical data was edited by Margaret Mead under the title An Anthropologist at Work (1959, repr. 1966).

See biography by M. Mead (1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Ruth Benedict, Patterns of a Life
Judith Schachter Modell.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983
Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict: The Kinship of Women
Hilary Lapsley.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1999
Tales of the Cochiti Indians
Ruth Benedict.
U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1931
American Anthropology, 1921-1945: Papers from the American Anthropologist
George W. Stocking Jr.
University of Nebraska Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Configurations of Culture in North America" by Ruth Benedict begins on p. 151
When Peoples Meet: A Study in Race and Culture Contacts
Alain Locke; Bernhard J. Stern.
Committee on Workshops, Progressive Education Association, 1942
Librarian’s tip: Excerpt (pp. 5-16) from "Patterns of Culture" by Ruth Benedict begins on p. 12
Man in Contemporary Society: A Source Book
Columbia University Press.
Columbia University Press, vol.1, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Excerpt (p.21-56) from "Patterns of Culture" by Ruth Benedict begins on p. 114
They Studied Man
Abram Kardiner; Edward Preble.
World Publishing, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "Ruth Benedict: Science and Poetry" begins on p. 204
Popularizing Anthropology
Jeremy Macclancy; Chris McDonaugh.
Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Chrysanthemum Continues to Flower: Ruth Benedict and Some Perils of Popular Anthropology"
Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism
Mari Yoshihara.
Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Culture and Gender in Ruth Benedict's the Chrysanthemum and the Sword"
Japan and National Anthropology: A Critique
Sonia Ryang.
Routledge, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Benediction Myth: Chrysanthemum's Strange Life"
Personality in Nature, Society, and Culture
Clyde Kluckhohn; Henry A. Murray.
Alfred A. Knopf, 1953 (2nd Rev. edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 33 "Ruth Benedict: Continuities and Discontinuities in Cultural Conditioning"
Patterns for America: Modernism and the Concept of Culture
Susan Hegeman.
Princeton University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Terrains of Culture: Ruth Benedict, Waldo Frank, and the Spatialization of the Culture Concept"
The Culture Cult: Designer Tribalism and Other Essays
Roger Sandall.
Westview Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Triumph of the Litterateur"
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