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Ruth Fulton Benedict
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Remembering Ruth Fulton Benedict and her Achievements

Remembering Ruth Fulton Benedict and her Achievements

Ruth Fulton Benedict was a renowned anthropologist, best known for her work on cultural relativism. Her research in this field earned her the title of one of the founders of modern anthropology, and she made many groundbreaking contributions to the study of culture and society. Let’s take a look at some of her accomplishments.

Ruth Fulton Benedict – Early Life

Ruth Fulton Benedict was born into an upper-class family in New York City in 1887 and received her education at Vassar College. After graduation, she went on to Columbia University where she studied anthropology under Franz Boas, who is often referred to as “the father of American Anthropology.” Under his guidance, Benedict wrote a dissertation on the religious practices of the Zuni people, which helped build her reputation as an expert in cultural relativism.

In addition to her research on Zuni religion, Benedict also conducted fieldwork among Native American groups in the south-western United States and published several books about their cultures. She also worked with Margaret Mead on a series of studies examining gender roles in different cultures around the world, including Samoa and Bali. These works were highly influential in popularizing the idea that gender roles are not universal but rather vary from culture to culture.

Literary Works

Benedict was also an important figure when it came to understanding how racism affects societies. She co-authored two books about race relations, one about Japanese-American relations during World War II (The Races of Mankind) and another about African-American relations during Reconstruction (After Freedom). Through these works, she sought to challenge stereotypes by demonstrating that racism had its roots not only in individual prejudice but also in large-scale economic and social forces such as colonialism and economic inequality.

Ruth’s Legacy

Ruth Fulton Benedict was undoubtedly one of the most influential anthropologists of all time. Her research on cultural relativism demonstrated that cultures are not isolated or static but rather constantly changing due to historical events and external influences. Her work opened up new avenues for understanding how cultures interact with each other and paved the way for future generations to explore these topics even further. We owe much gratitude to Ruth Fulton Benedict for all that she has done for anthropology!

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