Naomi Quinn

Naomi Quinn

Professor Emeritus of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
201 a Science Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 684-2810


Naomi Quinn received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1971. Her research has pursued the reconstruction, from reasoning, metaphor, narrative, and other features of their discourse on it, of Americans’ cultural understandings of marriage. Recent research pursues the effects of early attachment and separation on adult intimate relationships cross-culturally. Her enduring interest is in the nature of culture: its sharedness, force, enduringness, and thematicity. She is part of a current effort in cognitive anthropology to explain these and other properties of culture on the basis of schema theory and, within this framework, to relate culture to language, cognition, motivation, affect, psychodynamic processes, and individual experience. Her research is represented by a series of books, book chapters, and articles. Also reflected in several of her articles is an ongoing interest in anthropological research on gender.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 1971

  • M.A., Stanford University 1964

  • B.A., Radcliffe College 1961

Quinn, N, and Smith, CA. "A New Resolution of Fair Employment Practices for Women Anthropologists: Fresh Troops Arrive." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 7.4 (July 1982): 869-877. Full Text

QUINN, N. "“commitment” in American marriage: a cultural analysis." American Ethnologist 9.4 (January 1, 1982): 775-798. Full Text

Quinn, N. "'Commitment' in American Marriage: A Cultural Analysis." American Ethnologist 9.4 (1982): 755-798. (Academic Article)

QUINN, N. "do Mfantse fish sellers estimate probabilities in their heads?." American Ethnologist 5.2 (January 1, 1978): 206-226. Full Text

Quinn, N. "Anthropological Studies on Women's Status." Annual Review of Anthropology 6.1 (October 1977): 181-225. Full Text

QUINN, N. "a natural system used in Mfantse litigation settlement." American Ethnologist 3.2 (January 1, 1976): 331-351. Full Text

Quinn, N. "Getting inside our informants’ heads." Reviews in Anthropology 1.2 (January 1, 1974): 244-252. (Review) Full Text