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Reading George Spindler


Ray McDermott is Professor of Education, Stanford University (


George Spindler is often acknowledged as a founder of the anthropology of education, but ties between Spindler, the new field, and their roots in the culture and personality school of U.S. anthropology are rarely explored. This article and the one that follows (“Using Visual Stimuli in Ethnography,” Spindler 2008) highlight theoretical concerns shaping the goals and methods of Spindler's work. McDermott offers background and then Spindler summarizes his 60 years of fieldwork and findings on the relations among culture, personality, and education. [origins of the field, culture and personality, field techniques]

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