Benedict, Ruth Fulton

Benedict, Ruth Fulton

Benedict, Ruth Fulton, 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 National Women's Hall of Fame was created in 1969 by a group of people in Seneca Falls, New York, the location of the 1848 Women's Rights Convention. The mission of the National Women's Hall of Fame is "to honor in perpetuity those women, citizens of the United States of America, whose contributions to the arts, athletics, business, education, government, the humanities, philanthropy and science, have been the greatest value for the development of their country."

The National Women's Hall of Fame inducts distinguished American women through a rigorous national honors selection process involving representative's of many of the nation's important organizations and areas of expertise. Women are chosen for inclusion on the basis of the change(s) they created that affects the social, economic or cultural aspects of society; the significant national or global impact and result(s) of change due to their achievement; and, the enduring value of their achievement(s) or change(s).

The Hall was hosted by Eisenhower College until 1979, when the organization purchased an historic bank building in the Seneca Falls Historic District and renovated it to house the Hall's permanent exhibit, historical artifacts, and offices. The Hall is located at 76 Fall Street.


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