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From New York to Vasilika: Ernestine Friedl, an Accidental Feminist in a Greek Village

Peter S. Allen

Rhode Island College

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Allen, Peter S., 2023. “From New York to Vasilika: Ernestine Friedl, an Accidental Feminist in a Greek Village”, in Bérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l'anthropologie, Paris.

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Résumé : Le présent article est un compte rendu détaillé de la vie et de l’œuvre d’Ernestine Friedl (1920-2014) en tant qu’anthropologue professionnelle, enseignante et administratrice d’université. Née en Hongrie, elle a immigré à New York et s’est installée dans le Bronx. Sa carrière universitaire a débuté avec l’obtention de son diplôme au Hunter College et de son doctorat à l’université Columbia sur les Indiens Chippewa étudiés dans leur réserve du Wisconsin. Friedl a ensuite enseigné au Queens College de l’université de l’État de New York pendant plus de 20 ans avant de devenir présidente du département d’anthropologie de l’université Duke en 1973. Entre-temps, elle avait accompagné son mari, l’helléniste Harry Levy, en Grèce où elle mena des recherches sur le terrain dans un petit village qui aboutirent à sa monographie, Vasilika : A Village in Modern Greece (1967), ouvrage pionnier de l’ethnographie européenne. Elle a été la première anthropologue étatsunienne à accomplir une enquête ethnographique de terrain moderne - voire novatrice - en Grèce, qui dépasse les études folkloriques, et l’une des premières à le faire dans une société européenne. L’article souligne la place particulière de Friedl dans l’histoire plus large de la recherche anthropologique sur l’Europe, tout en se concentrant sur le féminisme et la discrimination dans son milieu académique et scientifique. Une section spéciale présente l’ethnographe sur le terrain, son adaptation aux coutumes locales et les interactions privilégiées, loin d’être fluides, d’une « épouse américaine » avec ses interlocuteurs grecs, hommes et femmes. La stature de Friedl dans la discipline est attestée par ses présidences de l’American Ethnological Society (1967) et de l’American Anthropological Association (1975), son service au conseil de la National Science Foundation (1980-1988) et sa fonction de rédactrice en chef du Journal of Modern Greek Studies (1986-1990). Friedl a terminé sa carrière en assumant un mandat de cinq ans de dean (doyen) des arts et des sciences à Duke et en enseignant pendant plusieurs années à l’université de Princeton.

Ernestine Friedl has had a remarkable personal and professional life by any standard of measure. Born in Hungary, she came to the United States at age two. She graduated from Hunter College and then enrolled in a doctoral program at Columbia University. After brief teaching stints at Brooklyn and Wellesley Colleges and the completion of her Ph.D., she took a position at Queens College of the City University of New York, where she served as chair of the department and remained until 1973, when she was named James B. Duke professor of anthropology and department chair at Duke University. Later, she served as dean of arts and sciences there for five years. Along the way, she was elected president of the American Ethnological Society and president of the American Anthropological Association, served as editor of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies for five years, and was a member of the board of the National Science Foundation for eight. She was also a visiting professor at Harvard and Princeton Universities. In 2008, Duke named a building after her. Among her major contributions to anthropology is her pioneering fieldwork in a Greek village in the mid-1950s which is chronicled in her well-known book, Vasilika. She was the first American female anthropologist to conduct research in Greece, [1] and one of the first to do so in a European society. Ernestine Friedl passed away peacefully at the age of ninety-five on 12 October 2014 at her home in Chapel Hill, N.C.


Ernestine Friedl [2] was born on 13 August 1920 in Hungary. At the age of two she emigrated with her parents to the United States, settling in an Eastern European neighborhood in the Bronx section of New York City. Her father, the youngest of ten children, was sponsored by his brother, who had already settled in New York. [3] With only a secondary education, Nicholas Friedl found work as a radio salesman, while his wife, Ethel, stayed home with Ernestine, an only child. Although the family was Jewish, they were largely non-practicing. Ernie’s childhood was fairly normal for people of her ethnicity, class, and economic status. The family was middle class and even moved to a more upscale neighborhood (Washington Heights) in Manhattan for a brief period before the Great Depression forced them back to the Bronx.

The experience of the Depression taught Friedl that there were few guarantees in life, and even having a husband could not guarantee economic stability, so she was determined from an early age to have a career of her own, if only for economic insurance. This feeling came in part from her parents (especially her mother), who, although they had a relatively comfortable existence, were immigrants who never fully integrated into American society and experienced a few economic ups and downs. During the Great Depression Friedl saw her own mother have to go out to work in menial jobs because she did not have an education or any professional skills. [4] She took a job as a finisher in the garment industry at minimum wage, and even Ernie worked for a while selling ladies’ hats at Macy’s, a job at which she says she was not much good, since she had a hard time telling customers that they looked good in hats that were not really suited for them.

Although they helped instill in Fried] a drive to succeed, her parents were never role models ; nevertheless, she never rebelled against them. Her mother was a disciplinarian, who kept Friedl on the straight and narrow and was perhaps more influential than her father, who worked long hours and came home late on most nights ; Friedl saw him mostly on weekends, Later, her parents were very proud of her achievements but never fully understood their daughter’s occupation.

There is a telling episode that occurred during Ernie’s high school years. She remembers a time when she desperately wanted to go to a summer camp in western Massachusetts because her boyfriend was going to be a counselor there. She found out that the camp needed a “costume sewer,” also a counselor position, so even though she had never sewn anything in her life, she applied and said she was an experienced seamstress. Although she was able to practice a bit on her mother’s treadle machine, she was not prepared for the electric machines at the camp or for the tasks assigned to her there. Fortunately, an older woman at the camp helped her, and when her parents came to see a production for which Ernie had sewed all the costumes, her mother cried with pride when she saw the quality of Ernie’s handiwork. Ironically, her boyfriend cancelled his counselorship and never came to the camp ! This episode shows some of the resourcefulness and determination that served Ernie well later when conducting fieldwork in a poor Greek village only a decade after the end of World War II.

Ernestine was a good student and was accepted at Walton, a competitive high school for girls (two of whose graduates have won Nobel Prizes) which required high grades for admittance. It was a “wonderful school,” according to Ernie. She and her parents always assumed that she would go to college, even though they did not have the resources to pay for it. But attending Hunter College was free, and even books were provided at no cost, so in 1937 Ernie enrolled at Hunter, a publicly supported women’s college with a predominantly female faculty. At that time, most women who sought careers went into teaching, nursing, or social services. Ernie’s first major was social work because it would lead to a career and the requirements were minimal, allowing her to take other courses that interested her. She also considered a career in teaching, but not at the college level. Thinking she might like psychology, that first year she took a course in the subject, but one was enough. In the second semester, Dorothy Keur, an anthropologist on the faculty of Hunter, suggested that Ernie take a course in physical anthropology from Alice Gilligan James to fulfill her science requirement. That course fascinated Ernie and led her to change her major to anthropology. Keur soon became her role model, and Friedl took additional courses in anthropology from Keur, Elsie Steedman, and Dorothy Cross Jensen ; she also took field trips to the American Museum of Natural History.

Ambitious from an early age, Friedl had been involved in student government in high school and continued this activism in college, serving as her class president at Hunter and writing for the student newspaper. She was also very liberal in her political views and even joined the American Student Union, but soon resigned when she discovered it was a communist front group.

Friedl attributed her decision to pursue a career in anthropology and teaching in large part to the enthusiasm of the Hunter faculty. She noted that their “views set the stage for my lifelong conviction that anthropology was a discipline related to the real world and that its findings could help ameliorate the ills of the human condition.” [5] Another reason Friedl chose anthropology was because it “had something to say to the world” and “expands the mind and spirit.” [6] Anthropology shows a “concern for humanity through all the ages.” She realized that anthropology viewed human differences in a non-judgmental and non-hierarchical way, and this appealed to her. Moreover, she was attracted by the idea that you could understand yourself and your own culture through knowledge about others. Friedl had always been a big advocate of the four-field approach in anthropology and felt that that is one of the main things that distinguishes the discipline from sociology and psychology.

Friedl was encouraged by faculty members at Hunter to apply to Columbia University for graduate work in anthropology. She was readily accepted but was offered no financial aid. Fortunately, she was able to obtain support from two foundations, one granting her a fellowship and the other a loan.” [7] Her parents were also able to help a bit. Shortly after graduation from Hunter, Friedl married Harry Levy, a man fourteen years her senior. He was a divorcee with two children and a professor of classics at Hunter whom she had met in her sophomore year, when the two of them served together on a faculty-student committee on social relations. Although her husband was gainfully employed and made a reasonable salary, he had alimony and child support payments and was contributing to the care of his elderly mother, so Friedl still had financial obligations. While Harry was off to war, Ernie taught full-time at Brooklyn and Wellesley Colleges before completing her Ph.D.

Columbia, at the time, had one of the most outstanding anthropology departments in the country, and Franz Boas was still on the faculty when Ernie matriculated in 1941, although she never took a course from him. During her time at Columbia she became steeped in the four-field approach of Boas. Her most important influences there were Ralph Linton and Ruth Benedict, two quite different people who were already iconic anthropologists. “Ralph Linton, her advisor at Columbia until 1947, was her role model for teaching, but Ruth Benedict was her intellectual role model and she particularly admired Patterns of Culture.” She considered Benedict the “best teacher I ever had.” [8] Despite her success there, Ernie never considered Columbia a “warm place.” Although it was Benedict whom Friedl called “the most intellectually stimulating of all the faculty,” [9] it was Linton, her advisor, who steered Ernie into Native American studies, arranging for her to attend a summer field school in Ukiah, California with the Pomo Indians in 1941. The program was run by Burt and Ethel Aginsky, and Elizabeth Colson was one of the student instructors. [10] The next summer Linton sent Friedl to Wisconsin to work on the Courtes Oreilles Reservation with the Chippewa Indians under the direction of Bob Rilzenthaler (from the University of Wisconsin) and his wife, Pat, both of whom helped her with interviews. She completed her doctoral fieldwork the following summer, accompanied by her husband, who collected Algonquian texts and folktales (some quite bawdy) for the linguist Leonard Bloomfield and who was a great companion and role model for her. [11] It should be noted that this was not participant observation fieldwork ; rather, she and her husband lived on the reservation, but apart from her informants, whom she met on a daily basis and interviewed in their homes and other venues. She later supplemented this research with data from the files of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Friedl’s doctoral dissertation was on leadership structure among the Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, and she gave numerous lectures on the subject during the 1940s, eventually publishing an article in the American Anthropologist. [12] When Linton left Columbia, Julian Steward became her academic advisor, but he never discussed her dissertation with her, and she sought advice mostly from A. Irving Hallowell instead. [13]

Friedl took a job teaching at Brooklyn College for a year in 1942 and then taught for two years (1944–46) at Wellesley College, while Harry was doing military service. In 1944, at the age of twenty-four, Friedl became an American citizen. Shortly before receiving her Ph.D. in 1950, and after another teaching stint at Brooklyn College, Ernie was hired at Queens College of the City University of New York, but it was not a tenure-track position. The only other anthropologist there at the time was Hortense Powdermaker, with whom Ernie had a bit of a strained relationship. In 1949 Powdermaker initiated a search for a full-time tenure-track anthropologist to take over the courses Ernie was teaching, but, fortunately for Ernie, the individual offered the job demurred and, one year later, with doctorate in hand, Ernie was hired on a tenure-track line.

Friedl always wanted her students to increase their compassion and tolerance for others and believed that anthropology was a perfect vehicle for this. She found students in the 1940s and early 1950s very naive, and it was easy to get them interested in anthropology. During her time at Queens, Friedl sent students out to study Mohawk Indian steelworkers in Brooklyn and once even convinced a student to accede to her parents’ wish for a large wedding by explaining the importance of rites of passage, not just for those undergoing the ritual, but for family and friends.

After obtaining tenure at Queens in 1954, Friedl felt free to apply for funds to conduct additional research and decided to find a village in Greece. So she applied for and won a Fulbright fellowship as well as some funds from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to conduct research in a Greek village, eventually spending approximately nine months in Vasilika, a small rural community in central Greece. This was indeed groundbreaking, not only because there had been virtually no ethnographic work done in Greece, but also because very little ethnographic work had been done in Europe, especially by Americans, and almost none of it by women. Friedl was aware of this and of being a kind of pioneer, but she probably did not realize its true significance at the time. She makes no mention of it in her book, Vasilika : A Village in Greece, [14] and rarely talked about it. She is far more often cited for being one of the first anthropologists/women to do research in Greece rather than one of the first to work in Europe.

After her innovative fieldwork in Vasilika, Friedl went on to a very distinguished career in teaching and university administration and returned to the field for research only during a few summers in the 1960s and 1970s, when she followed up on some villagers from Vasilika who had settled in greater Athens. [15] At Queens College, she chaired the department for a number of years and helped build a very respectable graduate program in anthropology at the City University of New York. Then, in 1973 she became chair of the Anthropology Department at Duke University. Her husband, Harry Levy, died in 1981. A few years later she married Dr. Merel H. Harmel, founding chair of Duke University’s Department of Anesthesiology.

Friedl was good at networking, and she established close ties with people in various parts of academia. She was also usually willing to take on various positions which helped her get elected to the presidencies of the American Ethnological Society (1967) and the American Anthropological Association (1975) and led to a very prestigious appointment on the board of the National Science Foundation (1980–88). [16] In 1980 she was a visiting professor of anthropology in the Hellenic Studies program at Harvard University to which she commuted from North Carolina once a week. She was also the logical choice to succeed the eminent historian, William H. McNeill, as editor of the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, a position she held for five years (1986–90). Undoubtedly, it was these same qualities that led to her appointment as dean of arts and sciences of Trinity College at Duke University, where, by all accounts, she distinguished herself and served with distinction for five years. In fact, in 2008, Duke named a rather sizable building for her. After she retired from Duke, she taught intermittently for four years at Princeton University. On 12 October 2015, Ernestine Friedl died in Chapel Hill, N.C., where she had been living for the past forty-two years. She was preceded in death by her second husband, Dr. Merel Harmel, who died 25 February 2015.

Fig. 1.
Ernestine Friedl’s portrait in the AAA gallery of past Presidents.
Photo courtesy of the American Anthropological Association.

Brief History of Anthropological Research on Europe

Early Work

In the 1930s and 1940s there were a number of peasant studies carried out in Latin America by anthropologists following in the footsteps of Robert Redfield, but relatively little research of this sort was done in other parts of the world until after World War II. There was a kind of explosion in the 1950s which saw anthropologists spread out around the world to conduct research on peasants. This phenomenon is well documented in a series of articles that appeared in the Biennial Review of Anthropology between 1961 and 1969. [17]

Although Han Vermeulen makes a good case that the ethnography of Europe began in the eighteenth century with German researchers, [18] there is little evidence that this body of scholarship had any influence on the disciplines of social and cultural anthropology that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain and the United States. Nor were there any Americans involved in these early efforts. Nevertheless, Vermeulen makes an interesting observation that there is good evidence that both Edward Tylor and Louis Henry Morgan, the generally recognized founders of modern British social and American cultural anthropology, respectively, “were not exclusively concerned with ‘other’ societies but had a perspective which included Western, ‘developed’ societies.” [19]

In the same collection Tomas Gerholm points out that there was some early ethnography conducted in Sweden, but it is clear from his discussion that this was more in the mode of folklore which has a long tradition in Europe that predates modern anthropology. [20] The exception is the work of Sigurd Erixon, who, although calling himself a folklorist and publishing many books and articles with variations of “folklore” in the titles, was a pioneer in modern anthropology, especially in the area of theory. [21] Slightly later, anthropologists J. A. Barnes and Fredrik Barth dabbled in the study of Norwegian communities before moving on to more traditional anthropological venues. [22]

Also in the same volume, Thomas Schippers argues that between the world wars there was a separation in Europe between “two distinct anthropological disciplines, one exclusively studying non-European societies, the other studying exclusively and mainly national rural societies.” [23] The group studying European societies, however, were mainly folklorists and, although they produced some impressive works, such as Arnold van Gennep’s Manuel de folklore français contemporain [24] and the multi-authored British Calendar Customs, [25] they did not conduct participant observation fieldwork, nor did they work within the emerging structuralist/functionalist framework that was to define modern anthropology. The practitioners of this kind of anthropology were far more likely to pursue research in non-European contexts, [26] with very few exceptions, some of which are discussed below. Later in the article, Schippers concludes that modern (non-folkloric) anthropology in Europe in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s can be characterized by three different approaches : 1) a primarily French and British type based on participant observation fieldwork utilizing concepts and theories stemming from studies of other parts of the world ; 2) an American cultural approach focused on case studies ; and 3) a variety of disciplines that fall under the European ethnology project of Sigurd Erixon. [27]

Since none of this work had any real effect on American cultural anthropology, it makes sense to identify Friedl’s precursors among formally trained American and British anthropologists who worked in Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. During its first decades, American anthropology had focused almost exclusively on so-called primitive peoples—foragers and tribal horticulturalists living outside Europe. Then, in the 1920s Robert Redfield initiated the anthropological study of peasant societies and made it respectable. [28] But Redfield worked in Latin America, as did most of his early disciples, so it was another decade before anthropologists began employing his perspectives in Europe. Nevertheless, most of the early Europeanists were clearly influenced by Redfield, and most acknowledge that influence.

Great Britain

The earliest American anthropologist to work in Europe was Conrad Arensberg, a pioneer in the anthropology of modern European society, having conducted participant observation doctoral research in Ireland in the mid-1930s. [29] His landmark book, The Irish Countryman : An Anthropological Study, was published in 1937 and became the touchstone for most of the anthropological work on European societies over the next two decades and beyond. Arensberg was clearly aware that he was breaking new ground and, in the introduction to this book, he justifies anthropological work in a non-primitive society. [30] Like many of the early ethnographies of European societies which have minimal or even no bibliographies, The Irish Countryman has no bibliography whatsoever and no embedded references. Arensberg dedicates the book to W. Lloyd Warner, an anthropologically influenced sociologist, and thanks Solon Kimball, Ernest Hooton, Alfred Tozzer, and Eliot Chapple (all anthropologists) in his acknowledgements, but there is no mention of Redfield, even though Arensberg was certainly influenced by him.

Other village studies of the British Isles followed. One was by Alwyn D. Rees, who carried out fieldwork in a Welsh village in 1939–40 and published an ethnography thereof. [31] Although he appears to have been more of a sociologist, he was heavily influenced by anthropologist Daryll Forde, whom he thanks in the introduction to the book, and, in the bibliography, he cites anthropologists Conrad Arensberg, A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, and Ralph Linton, [32] as well as anthropologically oriented sociologist Horace Miner. The only other sociologist of note referenced is George C. Homans, who wrote an important book on thirteenth-century English villagers that is very anthropological. [33]

Not much was done during the 1940s, largely due to the war, but in the 1950s a number of village studies appeared, particularly on the British Isles. W. M. Williams published The Sociology of an English Village : Gosforth in 1956 based on research conducted in 1951. [34] Like the work of Rees, this is very much an ethnography, with chapter titles like “The Economy,” “The Family,” “Kinship,” “The Social Classes,” “Neighbours,” “Community,” and “Religion.” Although Arensberg,” [35] and Arensberg and Kimball, [36] are cited, virtually all the other references are to sociological works, albeit such anthropological ones as Rees’s Life in a Welsh Countryside and Horace Miner’s St. Denis. In 1958 Williams did research in another English village and published A West Country Village Ashworthy,” [37] in which he also cites Arensberg, Arensberg and Kimball, Redfield, J. A. Barnes, Ronald Frankenberg, and Rees, along with anthropologist H. H. Turney-High and such sociologists as Ferdinand Tönnies and the French ethnographer Henri Mendras. Williams did not come out of an anthropological background and taught geography, but he notes that his “techniques and methods of analysis [were] largely derived from geography and rural sociology, or rather the social anthropology of rural communities.” [38]

In 1957, American John Messenger received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University with a dissertation based on research conducted in Africa. Then, during 1959–60, he carried out research in Ireland, adding his name to the list of anthropologists working in the British Isles. In his book, Inis Beag : Isle of Ireland, [39] he has a modest bibliography that comprises works on Ireland almost exclusively. The writings of Arensberg and Arensberg and Kimball are cited, but just about the only other anthropological work referenced is a book by Oscar Lewis, [40] a student of Redfield. No list of early ethnographies of Great Britain would be complete without mention of Ronald Frankenberg’s Village on the Border : A Social Study of Religion, Politics and Football in a North Wales Community, [41] a legitimate ethnography written by an anthropologist trained at Manchester by Max Gluckman (who wrote the introduction to the book). Frankenberg conducted his research in 1953 but did not draw on any of the European sources available then. His perspective was largely shaped by the so-called Manchester School and the anthropology of Africa, as evidenced by his citation of Gluckman, E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Meyer Fortes, and Lucy Mair, among others. He seems almost ignorant of anthropological works on European societies.

Finally, mention must be made of Geoffrey Gorer, a British anthropologist who wrote an important and early book on English character, [42] drawing on the culture and personality approach popularized by Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. The research for this book, however, was done by survey rather than participant observation and thus has a more sociological than anthropological character. It never became part of the mainstream anthropological literature in Europe.

Elsewhere in Europe

Although it does not concern a European society and was written by a sociologist rather than an anthropologist, Horace Miner’s St. Denis : A French-Canadian Parish was quite early, [43] influential, and very anthropological. Miner did classic participant observation research in 1936–37. He had been a student of Redfield (who wrote the introduction to his book) at the University of Chicago and claims to have been influenced by Radcliffe-Brown, although he does not cite any of his works in the book. Nevertheless, the works of anthropologists Redfield, W. H. Rivers, Melvin Herskovits, and Reo Fortune appear in the bibliography. St. Denis is a classic ethnography, with chapter titles like “History,” “The Land and the People of St. Denis,” “Kinship and the Family Cycle,” “The Role of Religion,” “The Yearly Round,” and “Childhood.” Moreover, Miner represents kinship relationships by means of conventional anthropological notation. [44]

Carleton Coon, whose training was in all fields of anthropology, did ethnographic and biological research on the mountain Ghegs of Albania in the 1920s and 1930s and published an important study in 1950. [45] The Ghegs, however, were tribal and shared more social and cultural affinities with African and other tribal societies than mainstream Europeans. Most of Coon’s later research and publications were concerned with biological/physical anthropology.

One of the earliest anthropological works on Europe outside the British Isles is Balkan Village, [46] by Irwin T. Sanders, a sociologist. Based on participant observation research carried out in the early 1930s (after an initial contact in 1929), this book is an expanded version of Sanders’ dissertation of 1938. It is a classic ethnography, but, like The Irish Countryman, has no references whatsoever. Today, most ethnographic works have bibliographies with dozens if not hundreds of references, but it was not unusual, in the prewar period especially, for ethnographies to have few or even no citations, in part because there were so few studies to reference. Nonetheless, some authors did cite local folkloric or geographical studies as well as social histories.

Harry Holbert Turney-High already had a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin with a dissertation on a non-European subject, when he ended up in Belgium during World War II and decided to do anthropological research there later. He returned in 1949 to conduct participant observation in a small village, a study that resulted in Château Gérard : The Life and Times of a Walloon Village. [47] In the introduction, he thanks Conrad Arensberg (although there is no reference to Arensberg’s work in the bibliography) and notes the absence of community studies on continental Europe and ventures that his is the first such work by an American in Belgium. [48] He also identifies himself as a “field anthropologist” who employed the techniques of classic participant observation, [49] although the only anthropological work cited in the book is a basic textbook by Eliot Chapple and Carlton Coon. [50]

Early research in rural Spain was carried out by Julian Pitt-Rivers, a British anthropologist whose first fieldwork had been in Africa. He went to Spain in the early 1950s and published his important book, People of the Sierra, in 1954. [51] He thanks Africanist anthropologists Meyer Fortes and E. E. Evans-Pritchard in his introduction, but he is very careful not to try and apply African paradigms to Spain in the text. Rather, it is sociologists like Georg Simmel, Ferdinand Tönnies, and Thorsten Veblen who are cited. George Foster, R. R. Marett, and Juan Caro Baroja are the only anthropologists referenced, the last a pioneer in the anthropology of the Spanish peasantry.

Another anthropologist who did early work in Spain was Michael Kenny, whose research in the mid to late 1950s resulted in his book, A Spanish Tapestry : Town and Country in Spain. [52] It is notable, among other things, for including information on Spanish urban society as well as the rural peasantry.

Joel Halpern, an American anthropologist who received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1956, did research in Yugoslavia in 1953 and 1954, publishing A Serbian Village in 1958 and A Serbian Village in Historical Perspective (co-authored with his wife, Barbara Kerewsky Halpern) in 1972. [53] A Serbian Village is a pretty conventional work with an introduction by Arensberg (although, curiously, he is not cited in the bibliography) in which he welcomes Halpern to the burgeoning cohort of European peasant researchers. Halpern thanks anthropologists Charles Wagley and Arensberg in the preface but cites only a small handful—Carleton Coon, George Foster, Olive Lodge, Robert Redfield, Irwin Sanders, and H. H. Turney-High—in the bibliography, which mainly consists of dozens of references to works by Yugoslav folklorists and historians.

Early ethnographic research was carried out in France by psychologist René Porak, who published Un village de France : Psycho-physiologie du paysan in 1943, [54] based on research conducted in the 1930s. The year 1953 saw the publication of Lucien Bernot and René Blancard’s Nouville : Un village français, [55] and in 1957 Lawrence Wylie’s iconic Village of Vaucluse appeared. [56] Wylie was only partially trained as an anthropologist, although he taught in the anthropology department of Harvard for his entire career, and his book was heavily influenced by his knowledge of the discipline. He dedicated his book to anthropologist A. I. Hallowell, with whom he studied at the University of Pennsylvania, and was influenced by Bernot and Blancard as well as anthropologists Margaret Mead, Rhoda Metraux, Evon Vogt, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, even though there are no references or bibliography whatsoever in his book. French ethnographer Henri Mendras was also doing research domestically in the 1950s and published his important opus, La fin des paysans : Innovations et changement dans l’agriculture française in 1967. [57]

Early researchers in Italy include Edward Banfield, F. G. Friedmann, Joseph Lopreato, and Leonard Moss, who worked with several Italian colleagues. [58] There are also the works of Ignazio Silone, who was not trained as an anthropologist (he was schooled as a Jesuit) but wrote numerous books as early as the 1930s containing keen anthropological insights. Silone had a strong political agenda, but his books still resonate and are used by anthropologists. They include Fontamara, Bread and Wine, The School for Dictators, The Seed beneath the Snow, A Handful of Blackberries, and The Fox and the Camellias. [59]

Women Doing Anthropology in Europe

There were also a number of women who were doing anthropological studies of European communities early on, but most worked more in the tradition of folklore, and very few had been trained in either the British social or American cultural anthropological tradition. Few had a sense that they were doing “anthropological” research, and, although some were doing genuine participant observation, they rarely cited mainstream anthropological sources, nor did they consider themselves part of a formal discipline called anthropology. Some called themselves ethnographers or ethnologists, but this was before anthropology co-opted these terms/disciplines and subsumed them to anthropology. Nevertheless, some produced quite credible anthropological studies. Margaret Hasluck was trained as a classicist and archaeologist, but she published numerous articles of folkloric and anthropological interest on Albania, Greece, Macedonia, and Turkey in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. [60] English scholar Olive Lodge was actually doing research in a Bosnian village in the 1920s and published a very anthropological book, Peasant Life in Jugoslavia, in 1941. [61] Vera Erlich(-Stein) did extensive fieldwork in Yugoslavian villages between the world wars, publishing her landmark book, Porodica u transformaciji : Stiudija u tri stotine sela (Family in Transition : A Study of Three Hundred Yugoslav Villages) in 1964 and an English version of it two years later. [62]

Perhaps the first American woman to conduct modern anthropological research in Europe was Dorothy Louise Strouse Keur. Born in 1904, Keur attended Hunter College and received her doctorate from Columbia University in 1941 with a dissertation on an archaeological topic. [63] At Columbia she studied with Franz Boas, Leslie Spier, and Edward Sapir. She taught at Hunter, where she was a significant influence on Friedl, although, curiously, Friedl does not cite her work in any of her own writings. Between September 1951 and June 1952, Keur and her husband John conducted participant observation research in a small village in the eastern part of the Netherlands. [64] During that time they visited all fifty-eight households in the village and quickly produced a first-rate ethnography, The Deeply Rooted : A Study of a Drents Community in the Netherlands. [65] Although this is a very ethnographic book, with chapter titles like “The Environment : Geography, Climate and Geology,” “The Economy of Anderen,” “The Political Community,” “The Life Cycle,” and “The Calendar,” it also has a theme that put it far ahead of its time. John Keur was a biologist with an interest in ecology, so the final product of this collaboration is one of the first examples of ecological anthropology. References to anthropological works abound in The Deeply Rooted, but they are to articles and books by the likes of A. L. Kroeber, Margaret Mead, and others. No village study is cited, and there is no mention of any studies of European societies. Nor do the Keurs ever acknowledge that they were breaking new ground. [66]

Another early female anthropologist of European society, Barbara Gallatin Anderson, had initially intended to do fieldwork in Ghana, but when she discovered she was pregnant, she “withdrew the African proposal ... and left, with my anthropologist husband and daughter, to do my first fieldwork” in Denmark in the early 1950s. [67] She further notes that “despite the resistance of purists and the legacy of tribal field sites, work in peasant villages in Latin America and Europe was achieving acceptance within anthropological departments.” [68] Like Friedl, she was accompanied in the field by her husband, who spoke Danish better than she and assisted her in many ways. As in the case of Friedl in Vasilika, “doors were less frequently open to me than they were to Thor [her husband].” [69] This was in large part due to sexism, but Thor spoke the language better, and “villagers understandably were more comfortable with him from the start.” [70] So, like Friedl and Keur, Anderson never got the same respect as her husband. She and her husband eventually published an ethnography of their community, The Vanishing Village : A Danish Maritime Community, [71] which contains no citations, as if they were working in an anthropological vacuum, but does address issues of gender in two chapters : “Dragor as a Man’s World” and “A Woman’s Work.” [72] This was quite novel for the times, but Anderson was particularly attuned to gender discrimination. She has noted that she had “no women professors” and virtually no female fellow graduate students when she attended graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley in the early to mid-1950s. [73] In contrast to Friedl’s experience, the discipline for her was very much a man’s world.

Ann Cornelisen went to Italy in 1954 to do archaeology, but ended up doing relief work for Save the Children in the Abruzzi region. This work was the equivalent of participant observation and provided the subjects for several very anthropological books about the Italian peasantry. Cornelisen had only an undergraduate degree from Vassar College and never taught or practiced anthropology professionally, but her books are anthropologically informed and still widely read and used by anthropologists, especially for their pioneering insights into women’s lives. They include Torregreca : Life, Death, Miracles, Vendetta of Silence : A Novel, Women of the Shadows : Wives and Mothers of Southern Italy, Strangers and Pilgrims : The Last Italian Migration, Any Four Women Could Rob the Bank of Italy, and Where It All Began : Italy, 1954. [74]

Early Anthropology in Greece

Friedl was not the first person to do modern anthropological research in Greece ; that honor goes to John Campbell, who began researching in Greece a year or so before Friedl [75] and published his magnificent book, Honour, Family and Patronage, in 1964, two years after Friedl’s book, Vasilika, appeared. [76] Although he references Friedl and Pitt-Rivers in his book, others who appear—Raymond Firth, Marcel Mauss, and Émile Durkheim—are not Europeanists. Another who worked in Greece was Irwin Sanders, an anthropologically oriented sociologist who conducted research between 1952 and 1953, but it was more survey than participant observation. In his landmark book, Rainbow in the Rock, [77] he notes that in the early 1950s there was “no general work on Greek village life.” [78] There was, however, a long tradition of folklore studies of Greek culture by people like Nikolaos G. Politis, Stylpon Kyriakides, [79] John Cuthbert Lawson, [80] and George Megas, [81] and although she was aware of them, there is no evidence that Friedl read the works of these scholars or was influenced by them in any way.

Shortly after Friedl completed her fieldwork in Vasilika, another married couple, Richard and Eva Blum, came to Greece to conduct research. They first visited Greece in 1957, a year after Friedl finished her research for Vasilika, and then had a more extended period of fieldwork in 1962, the year Vasilika appeared. Although trained as psychologists, the Blums were very anthropological and based their research on fieldwork. In their first book, Health and Healing in Rural Greece, [82] they curiously do not cite John Campbell, even though they include quite a bit of material on the Sarakatsani/Saracatzani (the group studied by Campbell) in the book. Friedl is cited for an article she published in the American Anthropologist in 1959, [83] but not for her book, Vasilika. In their second book on Greece, The Dangerous Hour, [84] both Vasilika and Campbell’s Honour, Family and Patronage are acknowledged, but the Blums never worked in Greece again, and both left behind whatever semblance of anthropology they had engaged in for these two books to pursue other careers.

Friedl in the Field

Shortly after receiving tenure at Hunter College and inspired by Robert Redfield’s concept of the “little community” (which she encountered while preparing classroom material), Friedl decided she wanted to study a peasant village somewhere in the world which was undergoing change and modernization. [85] Her initial impulse was to go to India, but, as she was married to a professor of classical philology, Italy or Greece seemed more logical choices. In the end, she chose Greece, because there were no anthropological studies of the country or its people, and it was easier to get grants for research there than for Italy. [86] At this point, she was very cognizant of being a pioneer in European ethnography and explicitly stated that she wanted to “use British and American sociocultural anthropological approaches in Europe.” [87]

Harry agreed to accompany and help Ernie in the field. They had no children (Harry had two grown children from his first marriage), so that was not a factor. They went about preparing for Ernie’s Greek fieldwork very systematically. It was to be Harry’s first trip to Europe and, although Ernie spoke Hungarian at home as a child and had visited Hungary for several months with her mother when she was seven, she had never been to Europe as an adult. Moreover, although she and Harry had done research with the Chippewa for Ernie’s doctorate, they had never done participant observation in a non-English speaking culture, so they made elaborate preparations. Despite their efforts, however, they were ultimately unprepared for the intensity of their Greek village experience.

They consulted numerous people (including Margaret Mead), both in the United States and Greece, and, after considering a number of alternatives and visiting several other villages, finally selected Vasilika, a small agricultural community in the central Greek province of Boeotia. [88] The initial contacts came through personal connections they had made in Greece, and Vasilika fit the criteria of “a rural community at least geographically within easy reach of urban and national influences,” [89] and one small enough that she would be able to get to know everyone (Mead’s suggestion). [90]

Conditions were fairly primitive in Vasilika at the time. Greece had been occupied by the Nazis during World War II, an occupation that caused great deprivation and hardship. Moreover, the Germans did their best to destroy what was left of the country’s infrastructure when they finally withdrew. Then Greece was catapulted into a very nasty civil war, which lasted longer than the Nazi occupation and was, in many respects, even more devastating. Ernie and Harry arrived in Greece just six years after the end of the civil war, and the country was still very much in its throes. In Vasilika they had no electricity or running water and had to make do with kerosene lamps and a primitive gas burner for cooking ; their toilet was a Turkish-style latrine. Food was still in short supply, especially fresh produce, so they ate a lot of beans, canned sardines, and oatmeal. Moreover, Ernie and Harry misjudged the extent of the poverty in Vasilika and only after being there for a few weeks did they realize that many families were just barely getting by. One village man showed off his single electric bulb to Ernie and Harry, exclaiming, “Now I am a civilized man !” Nevertheless, some things were not nearly as dire as they had expected. Warned of shortages of basic commodities, Ernie and Harry had brought trunks full of things, like soap, toilet paper, nylon panty hose, toothpaste, and other toiletries. In fact, most such goods were readily available in Greece at very reasonable prices.

Ernie and Harry were able to rent an upstairs apartment in a village house. Their host family lived on the first floor, which had advantages and disadvantages. Ernie became close to the female family members and interacted with them almost daily, and the son was a particularly good source of information. But such a living situation further reduced their already diminished privacy. They felt they were “always on view,” “there was no privacy.” It was very difficult to find time for themselves, and this caused stress, which continued throughout their entire time in the village. Things were exacerbated by the fact that they had a car ; they were overwhelmed with requests for rides and finally had to set up some firm rules about the use of their automobile. [91]

Unlike her research with the Chippewa, which was concerned with leadership, Friedl’s work in Greece had a less specific focus ; rather, she had four “main objectives” : 1) to discover and analyze the relationship of the village with the Greek nation ; 2) to understand the changes that were taking place in Vasilika ; 3) to learn the categories of culture and social structure of a Greek village ; and 4) to work in a setting that was not experiencing the problems of acculturation and where she needed to learn another language. [92] Elsewhere she notes that she was looking for “cultural patterns and [wanted to analyze] social structures” in the context of change. [93] But she also had a sense that she was doing general ethnography and therefore gathered data on all aspects of village life to which she had access, albeit in a rather non-systematic way—she let the rhythms of village life dictate her own schedule. [94]

Vasilika was an agricultural village whose main crop was tobacco, although several villagers also grew cotton and some other crops, and virtually all the families in the village were involved in agricultural work—planting, weeding, harvesting, and marketing. Ernie focused on this but also paid close attention to other aspects of village life, especially women’s roles. “I was surprised by how powerful the women were in Vasilika. They had a lot of influence in that community.’ [95] This realization ultimately resulted in her seminal article, “The Position of Women : Appearance and Reality,” [96] and was one of the factors that prompted her to write the book, Women and Men. [97] Other observations on women are contained in “Dowry and Inheritance in Modern Greece” and “Some Aspects of Dowry and Inheritance in Modern Greece.” [98]

In fact, the stress of adjusting to another culture during the first few weeks in Greece was something for which all of Ernie’s and Harry’s consultations and research had not prepared them. In the beginning, they were both worn down by the “strangeness” of Greece [99] and the lack of privacy. [100] They were even put off by the food. [101] Ernie felt that “Greek human relationships are difficult and emotionally trying.” [102] They found the Greek daily routine difficult and were often exhausted at the end of the day from trying to follow conversations in Greek. Ernie viewed Greeks as “agonistic” and engaged in “constant verbal combat.” [103] She writes that “the thought that we would have to work in this alien environment for a whole year was almost too depressing to bear” [104] This sentiment is echoed in Napoleon Chagnon’s book, Yanamamö : The Fierce People, [105] published six years later by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in the same series as Vasilika. After his first (and totally unsatisfactory) encounter with the Yanamamö, Chagnon admits “that had there been a diplomatic way out, I would have ended my fieldwork then and there.” [106]

Despite the fact that the village residents could not really understand what Friedl was doing in Vasilika, [107] and even considered her and her husband spies, [108] they were very cooperative. Nevertheless, Ernie describes her fieldwork in Vasilika as “the hardest thing I have ever done” ; “[i]t was very hard, tough” ; “it was so stressful” ; “it was very hard work.” This was in part due to her own shyness and the fact that she was constantly afraid of making mistakes or faux pas. She describes the whole experience as fraught with tension, as if she was “always walking on eggshells.” When they moved into the village, they encountered a number of what, in retrospect, seem like minor glitches but at the time were very frustrating and stressful. The furniture that had been in the apartment when they first viewed it was gone when they arrived to move in. Moreover, their hosts tried to change the terms of their agreement, causing stress and misunderstanding. Ernie relates an incident when she and Harry were going to visit another village and asked a young village girl to accompany them. The members of their host family objected, quite vehemently, because Ernie and Harry were going to visit their relatives and the girl they were taking was not related to them. They thought it would be more appropriate for Ernie and Harry to take their daughter. Another time, Ernie had misplaced her clothespins and made the mistake of asking a member of her host family if she had seen them. This touched off protestations of, “We did not take your clothespins Mrs. Ernestine, it was not us.” They felt they had been accused of thievery. Harry had a similar episode after asking a villager about a pair of scissors he had misplaced. [109]

To alleviate the stress, Ernie and Harry took a break every three or four weeks, spending a few days in Athens doing errands and seeing friends. Things got even harder when Ernie contracted hepatitis about halfway through her stay in Vasilika. It was impossible for her to continue in the village, so she went to Athens to convalesce for several weeks. Once she was better, she returned to the field and completed the study.

In many respects, the saving grace of Ernie’s Greek fieldwork was her husband, Harry. He never left her alone in the village, even for a day, and helped her in many ways. [110] She admits that she got depressed in Vasilika and that Harry buoyed her up when this happened. It is doubtful she would have been able to endure her time in the field without his warm companionship and his practical assistance. His modern Greek was better than Ernie’s and he often helped her translate the villagers’ utterances, especially when she was interacting with the men. Greek villages in the 1950s were quite segregated by gender, and, as a woman, Ernie did not have full access to several critical areas of village life, so she relied on Harry for information about these areas and had him accompany her every time she interviewed a man. [111] As she put it :

I was involved in a formally and publicly wife-dominated enterprise in a society that was husband-centered to a degree even greater than is customary in Western Europe and America... My husband became the spokesman for the two of us. [112]

For these reasons, Ernie took on the “role of a village woman.” She decided not to “play the role of the urban professional woman or the urban middle-class or upper-class woman,” which would have transformed her into an honorary male and allowed her to “sit in the coffee house, as villager women never do [and be] treated with the forms of deference customarily accorded the old or the important, such as being seated at all times and having others do all fetching and carrying.” [113]

Although Ernie claims Harry as shy, he managed to spend a lot of time with the villagers, fraternizing with the men in the coffee house and visiting their operations in the fields, things Ernie could not do. She says the villagers “loved him.” Ironically, but understandably, given the world view of Greek villagers in the mid-1950s, Harry was perceived as the researcher (the “professor”) and Ernie his secretary. No amount of explanation would change this view, held by the majority of villagers. [114] Nevertheless, it was not always easy for Harry either, and Ernie had to cheer him up on occasion.

Ernie’s and Harry’s attempts to be informal in Vasilika failed on several fronts. [115] This was due in part to their ages and statuses. Harry was almost fifty, and Ernie was thirty-five. Both were professors and well stablished in their careers. Villagers insisted on calling them “Mr. Harry” or “Professor Harry” and “Mrs. Ernestine,” although some of the women she got closer to would occasionally drop the “Mrs.,” and she even ended up using kin terms with them on occasion. [116] Even what Ernie and Harry wore was more formal than they had planned and largely determined by the perception of them by the villagers :

We had assumed that Greek countryside customs were like American ones, and we took along lumberjacks, heavy woolen trousers, plaid wool shirts, and heavy boots and shoes... when [Harry] appeared in some parts of this outfit, they asked where his tie was. ... He wore a white shirt and tie from that time on. [117]

This almost exactly parallels the experience in a Serbian village just two years earlier of Joel Halpern, who was discreetly advised by his informants to “dress like an American” when he appeared one day in rough clothing.’ [118] Partially as a consequence of such circumstances, neither Ernie nor Harry ever fully participated in village life ; rather, they adopted a more observational posture, combined with formal and non-formal interviewing. Ernie would bake with the women and Harry would sit and converse with the men in the coffee house, but neither of them worked with the villagers in the fields or engaged in strenuous activities that would have been deemed inappropriate for them by the villagers.

Of course, very few anthropologists would describe participant observation fieldwork as easy, but it would seem that working in a place like Greece would be easier than working in a more exotic non-Western society. [119] But Ernie argued that it is more difficult working in a Western society, because there is an illusion that the people are just like ourselves, but they are not. So, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of Friedl’s fieldwork in Vasilika is that Ernie believed that conducting fieldwork in a society such as Greece, which is Western and familiar in many respects to her own American experience, was, nevertheless, harder than working in a “primitive,” non-Western culture. Ernie said she and Harry were “disoriented by the way in which the familiar features were combined and recombined. We were doing fieldwork in ‘our’ European culture and yet we were not.” [120] She elaborates :

Greek society and culture are closely related historically to American society and culture ; both belong to Western civilization with Judeo-Christian religious traditions. The Greek villagers share Western technological culture ; they are literate and part of a long-standing nation-state. Moreover, their recent compatriots form one component of the variegated American ethnic population and therefore have connections with the social structure of the United States. In outward appearance much of the clothing and other material culture of the community is familiar. In Vasilika we were fairly sure that there were no lineages as corporate groups ; households often consisted only of nuclear families. Therefore, when such familiar, ordinary people act in ways that are at first incomprehensible, I believe the irritation, if not the shock, is likely to be greater than in less familiar societies. [121]

Friedl further pointed out that her interviewing and observations were less focused than they might have been in a better-studied society, where the “main problems of the culture” were known, thus allowing the researcher to focus on something more specific. [122] For this reason, she felt that she needed to get as much general data on Greek society and culture as possible, as she had so little to go on. [123]

Despite all these drawbacks, Friedl managed quite well in Vasilika. She was prescient enough to call on the village priest to mediate any misunderstandings. She never had any problems adjusting her methodology to the Greek situation. In Vasilika, she just did what she had been trained to do and had no trouble applying that to the Greek situation. And it worked ; she managed to get some very good data on Vasilika and its inhabitants and write a monograph that continues to be cited almost fifty years after its publication. She and Harry returned to Greece and Vasilika many times, and she even did additional research on villagers from Vasilika who migrated to Athens. [124]

Moreover, Ernie is still a “go-to” person for anyone doing anthropology in Greece. Although she did not have doctoral students of her own work in Greece, she mentored more than a few, and served as discussant for numerous sessions at professional meetings and was a reader/referee/reviewer for many books and articles. Friedl further helped promote the anthropology of Greece by her co-organization in 1975 of a landmark conference, which brought together more than two dozen anthropologists to discuss their research and resulted in a very important publication. [125]

The book that resulted from Ernie’s Greek fieldwork, Vasilika : A Village in Modern Greece, is very conventional, almost formulaic, ethnography. [126] She admitted that certain parts of it sound naive, but explained that she had no comparative data with which to contextualize Vasilika. In the book she systematically describes the village and its inhabitants in chapters with titles like, “The Village : As a Setting,” “The Family : Economic Activities,” “The Family : Consumption Habits,” “Human Relations,” and “The Village : As a Community.” This is typical, not only of the early studies published in George and Louise Spindler’s Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology series (of which Vasilika is one) but also of most ethnographic writing of the time. [127] It would be another decade or so before the emergence of the focused ethnography, a study that combines ethnological analysis of some specific aspect of the society under study with descriptive material. And, although Friedl expands on aspects of dowry and inheritance in Vasilika, overall the work is a very general descriptive account rather than a focused or analytic one. In the end, Ernie and Harry had no regrets whatsoever about their time in the field, and, despite the difficulties they encountered, Ernie looked back on it as one of the most stimulating and defining experiences of her life and career.

Feminism and Discrimination

Friedl was rather naïve about sexism. She was brought up taking for granted “that women could do what they wanted.” Having attended an all-girls high school and woman’s college, where almost all of her teachers had been women, she never experienced any discrimination during those years. Nor did she perceive any, although at Hunter one of her professors, Dorothy Keur, was held back considerably, most likely due to her gender—she was not promoted to full professor until twenty-nine years after she was hired. [128] Even in graduate school at Columbia, Ernie never experienced or saw any harassment of women or discrimination against them. [129] It did not occur to her and her fellow graduate students that all of their “anthropological heroes” were men : A. L. Kroeber, Robert Lowie, Leonard Bloomfield, and Edward Sapir. [130] She does admit, however, that her timing was good, in that World War II “created opportunities for many women” ; in fact, her first teaching job came about because the man she replaced had been called to war service. [131] Ralph Linton, her advisor and chair of the department, extended to her the same courtesies and opportunities given to the men in the department and was instrumental in getting the teaching jobs at Brooklyn and Wellesley Colleges for her. [132] When she was appointed to the deanship at Duke, she realized she was a bit of an oddity, as Duke had relatively few women in their administration, and even among the faculty women were woefully underrepresented. It was not until she was appointed to the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association in the early 1970s (when she was more than fifty years old) that she became aware of discrimination against women in the field of anthropology. [133] She was proud of the fact that she promoted the hiring of women at Duke, especially the wives of men who had been hired. She was also proud of the fact that during her tenure as president of the American Anthropological Society, she promoted gender equality.

Unlike some academic disciplines, anthropology has had rather good female representation from an early date. Despite Barbara Gallatin Anderson’s experience at Berkeley, the percentage of women receiving Ph.D.s in anthropology and teaching at universities and colleges in the United States has always been higher than for most academic disciplines ; thus, Friedl had many role models and a slightly easier time than women in other fields. Women like Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict wrote best-selling books and were the public face of anthropology for decades. Mead even surpassed her mentor Franz Boas in this regard. Benedict was teaching in the department at Columbia University when Friedl got her Ph.D. there and was a very prominent scholar, who had gained broad recognition beyond the academy with the publication of her popular books, Patterns of Culture and The Chrysanthemum and the Sword : Patterns of Japanese Culture. [134] Moreover, throughout much of Friedl’s career, the anthropologist with the highest profile outside the academy was also a woman, Margaret Mead, with whom Friedl had more than just a passing acquaintance. Nevertheless, as Friedl was to learn eventually, women were very poorly represented in virtually all of the anthropology departments at the most prestigious universities, including those of the Ivy League, the University of Chicago, and Berkeley.

In 1980 Friedl was appointed visiting professor of anthropology and Hellenic studies at Harvard University, a position that required the teaching of just one course. She felt out of place there and was never welcomed by members of the Harvard Department of Anthropology, almost all of whom were men at that time. None of them reached out to her or even acknowledged her presence ; there were no lunch or dinner invitations. Even the tiny group of Modern Greek scholars, who had, after all, hired her, were not terribly welcoming. She described this experience as “very uncomfortable, as if I was not there.” [135] Friedl was never quite sure if this had to do with her gender or some perception regarding her academic credentials.

There are numerous reasons why Friedl never experienced any real gender discrimination in her professional life. First of all, Ernie was an only child and did not have to compete with any siblings, and, although she was not spoiled, she was rarely denied things she really wanted. Then she attended a girls’ high school and women’s university, where almost all of her teachers and professors were accomplished women. World War II removed many men from competition during her graduate career, so she received benefits that might have accrued to men under other circumstances. This includes her second teaching job—a two-year stint at a women’s college, Wellesley. Then, at Queens College, Ernie was one of two anthropologists in the department, the other being Hortense Powdermaker, so she did not have to compete with men there. By the time she finally became aware of discrimination against women in anthropology and academia in general, affirmative action measures were being widely implemented. When Ernie was hired at Duke, the search committee had been specifically charged with finding a woman for the position to help offset years of discrimination against women at the university. The same was true of the National Science Foundation board, which was trying hard to get better female representation in the 1980s. Finally, Friedl had very supportive husbands during most of her professional life, and they helped see that she was not discriminated against.

Friedl’s Contribution

Friedl never personally touted her role as a pioneer, nor did she ever serve as the advisor for a dissertation on a Greek or other European subject. She did not seek out students and, on at least one occasion, turned down request from a student to be her dissertation advisor (in fact, she turned down my request that she serve as the outside reader on my doctoral dissertation). Nevertheless, she built a substantial career that is perhaps more noteworthy for her service as a university administrator than as a researcher and author. [136] Her entire corpus on Greece comprises one monograph, a co-edited volume, and a handful of articles. In addition, she published a couple of articles on the Chippewa and a book, Women and Men, along with some articles on subjects other than Greece or the Chippewa. [137] She said that she did not pursue an “aggressive agenda of publication” ; rather, she was “deliberate, meticulous, and quiet” in her scholarship.” [138]

One of the things Friedl helped accomplish with her pioneering field-work and monograph was to help render legitimate the anthropological study of modern Greece. John Campbell’s book on the Sarakatsani shepherds of central and northern Greece was published shortly after Vasilika and played an important role as well, but there are significant differences in these two works. Campbell chose to study a group of transhumant shepherds who were not only very peripheral to mainstream rural Greek society, but almost tribal and, in many ways, anomalous in their behavior and values. Vasilika, on the other hand, was a conventional and typical rural Greek community, whose inhabitants were full-fledged peasant citizens of the modern Greek state. Friedl’s study of Vasilika helped legitimize the study of European societies and helped make it possible for a whole generation of young anthropologists to carry out fieldwork in Greece and other European nations without much stigma. I say “much,” because some students did encounter resistance from the old guard, who did not necessarily consider the study of European peasants to be “real” anthropology. Nevertheless, some of the first to follow in Friedl’s footsteps studied at the leading anthropology departments—John Andromedas and Muriel Dimen (Schein) from Columbia University, H. Russell Bernard from the University of Illinois, Susannah Hoffman from the University of California at Berkeley, Jill Dubish from the University of Chicago, Stanley Aschenbrenner and Richard Currier from the University of Minnesota, Harold Koster and Mary Forbes (Clark) from the University of Pennsylvania, and myself from Brown University. Remarkably, none of these men and women had Europeanists for their academic advisors.

Although John Campbell’s work was far more important for the legitimization of Europeanist anthropology in the United Kingdom than Friedl’s, the first British students to do research in Greece were quick to acknowledge their debt to Friedl. These included Margaret Kenna, Juliet DuBoulay, Michael Lineton, Renée Hirschon, Hamish Forbes, Roger Just, Michael Herzfeld, and Charles Stewart, among others. Subsequent British students of Greece have continued to cite her and acknowledge her pioneering work.

To sum things up, Ernestine Friedl was a very important figure in the history of American anthropology who leaves valuable legacy in many areas. She was fortunate in her experience never to have been discriminated against, either for her religion or gender, a remarkable thing given the times and circumstances in which she lived. She managed to succeed in all aspects of her career—as a teacher, researcher, and administrator. For the anthropology of Europe, she helped blaze the trail for other scholars, not only in Greece, but all over Europe. Her service to the profession, to several institutions, and to the nation was invaluable. She worked at some of the most prestigious institutions and published with some frequency in the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association. She leaves a legacy of true professionalism in her publications, students, and service.

Acknowledgments :

Thanks to Mark G. Mahoney of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for providing the video tapes shot by Ingrid Bianca Byerly and thanks to Ingrid for her help. And many thanks to Ernestine Friedl and Merel Hammel for their warm hospitality and cooperation.

[1Dorothy Demetracopoulou Lee, a Greek-American anthropologist, wrote about Greeks before Friedl conducted her research, but most of her publications on Greece were folkloric (e.g., Greek Accounts of the Vrykolakas,” Journal of American Folklore 55, no. 217 [1942] : 126–32 ; “Greek Tales of Priest and Priestwife,” Journal of American Folklore 60, no. 236 [1947] : 163–67 ; and “Greek Personal Anecdotes of the Supernatural,” Journal of American Folklore 64, no. 245 [1951] : 307–12). Her main interest was anthropological linguistics, and she did research and published on Native American languages. She did publish an early account of modern Greeks and Greek culture (“Greece,” in Cultural Patterns and Technical Change, ed. Margaret Mead [New York : UNESCO, 1953], 77–114), but it was based on life experience rather than formal participant observation. In her well-known book, Freedom and Culture : Essays (Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1959), she mentions Greece, but it is not the main focus of the book by any means.

[2I refer to Ernestine Friedl in this article as Ernestine, Friedl, and Ernie (the name I have known her by for almost fifty years). I refer to her first husband, Harry Levy, as either Harry or Levy.

[3Although some of her relatives who stayed in Hungary were able to escape to Yugoslavia and other countries before the arrival of the Nazis, many of them perished in the Holocaust, leaving Friedl with mild case of survivor guilt that plagued her all her life.

[4Friedl, “The Life of an Academic : A Personal Record of a Teacher, Administrator, and Anthropologist,” Annual Review of Anthropology 24 (1995) : 2.


[6All unattributed quotations come from the interviews I conducted with her between 9 and 11 September 2010, or from the video tapes produced by Ingrid Byerly. Moreover, statements made about Friedl without attribution or reference are based on material from personal interviews and/or the videotapes shot by Ingrid Bianca Byerly.

[7Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 3.

[8Ibid., 4.


[10Ibid., 10.

[11Ibid., 11.

[12Friedl, “Persistence in Chippewa Culture and Personality,” American Anthropologist 58, no. 4 (1956) : 814–25.

[13Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 12.

[14Friedl, Vasilika : A Village in Greece (New York : Holt, Rinehart Winston, 1962).

[15Friedl wrote reflectively (and reflexively) about her career and elaborated on her teaching and administrative careers (see Friedl, “The Life of an Academic”).

[16Ernie was particularly proud of her service on the NSF Board. It was a presidential appointment, and she had to be vetted by the FBI. Among the other members were three university presidents.

[17Clifford Geertz, “Studies in Peasant Life : Community and Society,” in Biennial Review of Anthropology, ed. Bernard Siegal (Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1961) : 1–42 ; Friedl, “Studies in Peasant Life,” ibid. (1963) : 276–306 ; Robert T. Anderson, “Studies in Peasant Life,” ibid. (1965) : 176–210 ; Joel M. Halpern and John Brode, “Peasant Society : Economic Changes and Revolutionary Transformation,” ibid. (1967) : 46–139 ; and Gilbert Kushner, “The Anthropology of Complex Societies,” ibid. (1970 [1969 ?]) : 80–131.

[18Han F. Vermeulen, “Origins and Institutionalization of Ethnography and Ethnology in Europe and the USA, 1771-1845,” in Fieldwork and Footnotes : Studies in the History of European Anthropology, ed. Han F. Vermeulen and Arturo Alvarez Roldán (London and New York : Routledge, 1995), 39–59.

[19Ibid., 41.

[20Tomas Gerholm, “Sweden : Central Ethnology, Peripheral Anthropology,” in Fieldwork and Footnotes : Studies in the History of European Anthropology, ed. Han F. Vermeulen and Arturo Alvarez Roldén (London and New York : Routledge, 1995), 159–70.

[21Ibid., 164–68.

[22A. Barnes, “Class and Committees in a Norwegian Island Parish,” Human Relations 7, no. 1 (1954) : 39–58 ; idem, “Land Rights and Kinship in Two Bremnes Hamlets,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 87 (1957) : 31–56 ; and Fredrik Barth, ed., The Role of the Entrepreneur in Social Change in Northern Norway (Bergen : Norwegian Universities Press, 1963).

[23Thomas Schippers, “A History of Paradoxes : Anthropologies of Europe,” in Fieldwork and Footnotes : Studies in the History of European Anthropology, ed. Han F. Vermeulen and Arturo Alvarez Roldán (London and New York : Routledge, 1995), 235.

[24Arnold van Gennep, Manuel de folklore français contemporain (Paris : Picard, 1937–58)

[25Arthur Robinson Wright, Thomas East Lones, S. H. Hooke, Mary Macleod Banks, and J. A. MacCulloch, British Calendar Customs, 8 vols. (London : W. Glaisher, ltd. for the Folklore Society, 1936–46).

[26Van Gennep is better known for his famous Les rites de passage (1909), which does not concern Europe. Moreover, one of his biographers describes him as the “creator of French ethnography” (Nicole Belmont, Arnold van Gennep : The Creator of French Ethnography [Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 78]), and the other as the “master of French folklore” (Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt, The Enigma of Arnold van Gennep : 1973-1957 : Master of French Folklore and Hermit of Bourg-la-Reine [Helsinki : Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 1988]).

[27Schippers, “A History of Paradoxes,” 243.

[28Robert Redfield, Tepoztlan (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1930) ; idem, Peasant Society and Culture (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1936) ; and Robert Redfield and Alfonso R. Villa, Chan Kom (Washington, D.C. : Carnegie Institute, 1934).

[29As part of a team of Harvard researchers, who were doing cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, and archaeology in Ireland.

[30Conrad Arensberg, The Irish Countryman : An Anthropological Study (New York : Macmillan, 1937), 1–34.

[31Alwyn D. Rees, Life in a Welsh Countryside : A Social Study of Llanfihangel yng Ngwynfa (Cardiff : University of Wales Press, 1950).

[32Like some other early researchers, lacking a paradigm and antecedents for the anthropology of Europe, Rees cited conventional anthropological sources that usually involved studies of tribal societies from Africa and elsewhere.

[33George C. Homans, English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1942).

[34W.M. Williams, The Sociology of an English Village ; Gosforth (London : Routledge and Kegan Paul, Itd., 1956).

[35See Arensherg, The Irish Countryman.

[36Conrad Arensberg and Solon T. Kimball, Family and Community in Ireland (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1940).

[37W. M. Williams, A West Country Village Ashworthy (London : Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963).

[38Ibid., xx.

[39John C. Messenger, Inis Beag : Isle of Ireland (Long Grove, IIl. : Waveland Press, 1969).

[40Oscar Lewis, Tepoztlan : Village in Mexico (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1960).

[41Ronald Frankenberg, Village on the Border : A Social Study of Religion, Politics and Football in a North Wales Community (London : Cohen and West, 1957).

[42Geoffrey Gorer, Exploring English Character (London : Cresset Press, 1955).

[43Horace Miner, St. Denis : A French-Canadian Parish (Chicago, I1L. : University of Chicago Press, 1939)

[44Ibid., 71

[45Carleton S. Coon, The Mountains of Giants : A Racial and Cultural Study of the North Albanian Mountain Ghegs (Cambridge, Mass. ; Peabody Museum of Harvard University, 1950)

[46Irwin T. Sanders, Balkan Village (Lexington : University of Kentucky Press, 1949).

[47Henry Holbert Turney-High, Château Gérard : The Life and Times of a Walloon Village (Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, 1953).

[48Ibid., vii–viii.

[49Ibid., vii–xv.

[50Eliot D. Chapple, and Carleton S. Coon, Principles of Anthropology (New York : Henry Holt and Company, 1942).

[51Julian A. Pitt-Rivers, People of the Sierra (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Ltd., 1954).

[52Michael Kenny, A Spanish Tapestry : Town and Country in Spain (Bloomington : University of Indiana Press, 1961).

[53Joel M. Halpern, A Serbian Village (New York : Columbia University Press, 1958) ; and Joel M. Halpern and Barbara Kerewsky Halpern, A Serbian Village in Historical Perspective (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972).

[54René Porak, Un village de France ; psycho-physiologie du paysan (Paris : G. Doin and Companie, 1943).

[55Lucien Bernot and René Blancard, Nouville : Un village français (Paris : Institut d’ethnologie, 1953).

[56Lawrence Wylie, Village in the Vaucluse (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1957).

[57Henri Mendras, La fin des paysans : Innovations et changement dans l’agriculture française (Paris : SEDEIS, 1967). See, also, idem, The Vanishing Peasant : Innovation and Change in French Agriculture (Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 1970).

[58Edward Banfield, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society (Glencoe, Ill. : Free Press, 1958) ; Fredrick George Friedmann, The Hoe and the Book : An Italian Experiment in Community Development (Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1960) ; Joseph Lopreato, Peasants No More : Social Class and Social Change in an Underdeveloped Society (San Francisco, Calif. : Chandler Publishing Company, 1967), and Leonard Moss, ed., Family Life in Italy : Past and Present (Salt Lake City, Utah : Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1981).

[59Ignazio Silone, Fontamara (New York : Random House ; London : Methuen, 1934) ; Bread and Wine (New York and London : Harper and Brothers, 1936) ; The School for Dictators (London : Jonathan Cape, 1939) ; The Seed beneath the Snow (New York and London : Harper and Brothers, 1949) ; A Handful of Blackberries (New York : Harpers, 1953) ; and The Fox and the Camellias (New York : Harpers, 1961).

[60See, for instance, Hasluck’s “Bride-price in Albania : A Homeric Parallel,” Man 33, S (1933) : 191–96 ; and “The First Cradle of an Albanian Child,” Man 50, S (1950):55–57.

[61Olive Lodge, Peasant Life in Jugoslavia (London : Seeley, Service and Company, 1941).

[62Vera Erlich, Porodica u transformaciji : Stiudija u tristotine sela (Zagreb : Naprijed, 1964), translated as Family in Transition : A Study of 300 Yugoslav Villages (Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1966).

[63Mary Ann Levine, “Creating their own Niches : Career Styles among Women in Americanist Archaeology between the Wars,” in Women in Archaeology, ed. Cheryl Claassen (Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994), 15–16.

[64John Y. Keur and Dorothy L. S. Keur, The Deeply Rooted : A Study in a Drent Community in the Netherlands (Assen : Van Gorcum and Company, 1954), 14.


[66There are many parallels in the lives of Dorothy Keur and Ernestine Friedl. Both were only children who grew up in the Bronx, graduated from Hunter College, and received Ph.D.s from Columbia University. Their field situations were also very similar. Both went to the field with their husbands. Like the Keurs, Ernie and Harry’s research was funded by a Fulbright grant. John Keur was of Dutch extraction and spoke the language much better than Dorothy, just as Harry had a better command of modern Greek than Ernie. Furthermore, John got more respect than Dorothy ; they were usually referred to as “the American Professor and his wife,” despite the fact that both were professors (ibid., 14). Similarly, in Vasilika, Ernie was usually considered to be Harry’s secretary.

[67Barbara Gallatin Anderson, First Fieldwork : The Misadventures of an Anthropologist (Prospect Heights, III. : Waveland Press, 1990), 3.


[69Ibid., 148.


[71Robert T. Anderson, and Barbara Gallatin, The Vanishing Village : A Danish Maritime Community (Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1964).

[72Ibid., 34–47 and 48–54.

[737Anderson, First Fieldwork, 2, 147–50.

[74Ann Cornelisen, Torregreca : Life, Death, Miracles (Boston : Little, Brown, 1969) ; Vendetta of Silence : A Novel (Boston : Little, Brown, 1971) ; Women of the Shadows : Wives and Mothers of Southern Italy (Boston : Little, Brown, 1976) ; Strangers and Pilgrims : The Last Italian Migration (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980) ; Any Four Women Could Rob the Bank of Italy (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1983) ; and Where It All Began : Italy, 1954 (New York : Dutton, 1990).

[75Friedl knew about his work, but did not meet him in Greece. That occurred later in England.

[76John Campbell, Honour, Family and Patronage (Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1964).

[77Irwin T. Sanders, Rainbow in the Rock : The People of Rural Greece (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1962).

[78Ibid., vii.

[79See, for instance, Nikolaos G. Politis, Greek Folklore : On the Breaking of Vessels as a Funeral Rite in Modern Greece (London : Harrison and Sons, 1893) ; Stylpon Kyriakides, O Διγενής Ακρίτας (Digenis Akritas) (Athens, Sideri, 1925) ; and Nikolaos G. Politis and Stylpon Kyriakides, Ελληνική βιβλιογραφία (Greek bibliography) (Athens, kellariou, 1909).

[80John Cuthbert Lawson, Greek Religion : A Study in Survivals (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1910).

[81Georgios Megas, Greek Calendar Customs (Athens : Press and Information Department, Prime Minister’s Office, 1958).

[82Richard and Eva Blum, Health and Healing in Rural Greece (Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1965).

[83Friedl, “The Role of Kinship in the Transmission of National Culture to Rural Villages in Mainland Greece,” American Anthropologist 61, no. 1 (1959) : 30–38.

[84Richard and Eva Blum, The Dangerous Hour : The Lore of Crisis and Mystery in Rural Greece (New York : Charles Scribner’s and Sons, 1970).

[85Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 13.

[86Ibid., 12

[87Ibid., 12–13.

[88Friedl provides a detailed account of the process by which Vasilika was selected in her article, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village” (“Fieldwork in a Greek Village”, in Women in the Field : Anthropological Experiences, ed. Peggy Golde [Berkeley : University of California Press, 1970], 197–209). She was greatly assisted by the Fulbright office staff and personnel from the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

[89Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 13–15.

[90Lynne M. Hollingshead, “Ernestine Friedl,” in Women Anthropologists : Selected Biographies, ed. Ute Gacs, Aisha Kahn, Jerrie Mclntyre, and Ruth Weinberg (Urbana : University of Illinois Press [Illini Books], 1988), 105.

[91I experienced much the same difficulties with my car when I conducted fieldwork in a Greek village in 1970 and 1971.

[92Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 195.

[93Hollingshead, “Ernestine Friedl,” 105.

[94Looking back, Friedl made some interesting observations about the differences in the way Americans and British anthropologists viewed and approached Greek society and culture (“The Life of an Academic,” 14-15).

[95Hollingshead, “Emestine Friedl,” 105.

[96Friedl, “The Position of Women : Appearance and Reality,” Anthropological Quarterly 40, no. 1 (1967) : 97–108.

[97Friedl, Women and Men : An Anthropologist’s View (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975).

[98Friedl, a “Dowry and Inheritance in Modern Greece,” Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences 22 (1959) : 49–54 ; and “Some Aspects of Dowry and Inheritance in Modern Greece,” in Mediterranean Countrymen : Essays in the Social Anthropology of the Mediterranean, ed. Julian Pitt Rivers (The Hague : Mouton, 1963), 113–36.

[99Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 203.

[100Hollingshead, “Ernestine Friedl,” 104.

[101Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 200. Keep in mind that cuisine in the United States was still very provincial in the 1950s. Pizza, for example, was a rather rare thing, even in New York City when Ernie and Harry were growing up there.

[102Hollingshead, “Ernestine Friedl,” 104.


[104Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 203.

[105Napoleon Chagnon, Yanamamö : The Fierce People (New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968).

[106Ibid., 5.

[107As in the case of many anthropologists, Ernie had a difficult time explaining to the villagers what she was doing. Even though anthropology is a word based on Greek roots, and there was, in the 1950s, a discipline in Greek universities called “anthropologia,” it was biological or physical anthropology and did not have a social or cultural focus.

[108Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 214–15.

[109Ibid., 209.

[110Throughout their marriage, Ernie and Harry would read each other’s writings and edit and offer suggestions. They were not competitive and shared household chores. In every way, they were a formidable team.

[111Hollingshead, “Ernestine Friedl,” 105.

[112Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 198.

[113Ibid., 212.

[114Ibid., 214.

[115Ibid., 211-14.

[116Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 211. They did not, however, call her “Madame,” a more formal term which would have further distanced her from most of the villagers (Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 212).

[117Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 213.

[118Halpern, A Serbian Village, xiv.

[119For example, see Chagnon, Yanamamö, 1–17.

[120Friedl, Women and Men, 13.

[121Friedl, “Fieldwork in a Greek Village,” 210.

[122Ibid., 196.



[125Muriel Dimen and Emestine Friedl, eds., Regional Variation in Modern Greece and Cyprus : Toward a Perspective on the Ethnography of Greece, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 268 (New York : New York Academy of Sciences, 1976).

[126In a departure from conventional anthropological practice, Friedl never used a pseudonym for the village in her various publications on it.

[127Friedl believed that it was very fortunate that Vasilika appeared in this series, since these books were inexpensive, widely publicized, and popular in anthropological courses throughout the United States.

[128Alice James, “Dorothy Strouse Keur 1904-1989,’ in Women Anthropologists : Selected Biographies, ed. Ute Gacs, Aisha Kahn, Jerrie McIntyre, and Ruth Weinberg (Urbana : University of Illinois Press [Illini Books], 1988), 184 ; and Levine, “Creating their own Niches,” 16.

[129Although, in retrospect, she saw how Benedict was passed over for the chair at Columbia in favor of Linton, who was less senior and less accomplished.

[130Friedl, “The Life of an Academic,” 4.

[131Ibid., 5.

[132Ibid., 6.

[133This was one of the things that spurred her to write her book, Women and Men : An Anthropologist’s View (1975).

[134Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934) ; and idem, The Chrysanthemum and the Sword : Patterns of Japanese Culture (Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, 1946).

[135Friedl, personal communication with author.

[136Friedl liked administrative work even better than teaching in some respects, because she felt that, as an administrator, she could “get things done.”

[137In addition to those works already cited in this essay, Friedl’s articles include : “A Note on Birch Bark Transparencies,’ American Anthropologist 46 (1944) : 149–50 ; “Hospital Care in Provincial Greece,” Human Organization 16 (1958) : 24–27 ; “Lagging Emulation in a Post-Peasant Society,” American Anthropologist 66, no. 2 (1964) : 569–86 ; and “Kinship, Class, and Selective Migration,” in Mediterranean Family Structures, ed. J. G. Peristiany (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1976), 363–87.

[138Friedl, personal communication with author.