Scientist, social anthropologist (Born 1917, Malta – Death 2000). Nermin (Aygen) Erdentuğ was born in Malta where her father was held captive. In 1936 she graduated from Istanbul High School for Girls and in 1940 from Ankara University Language and History-Geography Faculty, Chair of Anthropology. She started to work as assistant in the same place and completed her PhD about physical anthropology in 1942. However, she passed to ethnology later and in 1944 she received her title of associate professor in this field. Between 1949 and 1951 she went to England and Scandinavian countries in order to increase her knowledge and manners and made researches especially on social anthropology.
When Erdentuğ was in England, she was affected by functionalist teachings of Bronislaw Kasper Malinowski (1884-1942) and structural-functionalist teachings of Reginald Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955) who lived in the same time with him. Upon returning to Turkey, she organized and taught lectures on Social Anthropology and Field Studies for the first time in the Chair of Anthropology. Thus, she started the founding works of social anthropology as a new science in our DTCF (T.N. Language and History-Geography Faculty)
Erdentuğ went to USA in 1956, made researches and held conferences in various universities on her field for three years. In 1959 she returned to Turkey and promoted to professor degree in the field of ethnology. Two years later (1961) she founded the Chair of Ethnology and restructured the academic program so that it would reflect the approach of American cultural anthropology and qualities. She made great effort to introduce social anthropology in our country and spread it.
Prof. Erdentuğ collected the results of her researches she realized between 1952-55 in Hal and Sün villages of Elazığ in her works titled “Hal Köyü’nün Etnolojik Tetkiki” (1956) and “Sün Köyü’nün Etnolojik Tetkiki” (1959). During her examinations in here, she became the first Turkish woman scientist to use the “survey method” and “participative observation technique” in field studies. She intensified her researches she conducted within the scope of the functionalist approach, which was commonly accepted by the Western ethnologists at that time especially on cultural change in rural areas, relationship of culture-education and various problems encountered at attempts of development.
Between 1961and 1980 she was the Head of DTCF Chair of Ethnology. After this chair was separated in two parts in 1980 as Social Anthropology and Ethnology and its reorganization she became the Head of Chair of Social Anthropology. Nermin Erdentuğ published numerous books and articles during her professional life. The books she wrote deserved a distinguished place in our history of physical anthropology and social anthropology.
Türk Beyinleri Üzerinde İlk Antropolojik Araştırma (1941), Türklerin Kan Grupları ve Kan Gruplarının Antropolojik Karakterlerle İlgisi Üzerine Bir Araştırma (1946), Hal Köyü’nün Etnolojik Tetkiki (1956), Sün Köyü’nün Etnolojik Tetkiki (1959), A Study of the Social Structure of a Turkish Village (1959), Ankara İli ve Köylerinde Sosyal Hizmetler ve Sosyal Antropoloji Bakımından Bir Araştırma (1966), Türkiye Türk Toplumlarında Kültürel Antropolojik (Etnolojik) İncelemeler (1972), Sosyal Adalet ve Gelenekler (1977), Türkiye’de Çağdaşlaşma, Eğitim ve Kültür Münasebetleri (1981).
REFERENCE: Büyük Larousse Ansiklopedisi (c. 6, 1986), Remzi Demir - Doğan Atılgan / Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi ve Türkiye’de Beşerî Bilimlerin Yeniden İnşası - Elli Portre (2008), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Kadınlar (Türkiye Ünlüler Ansiklopedisi, c. 6, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (C. 12, 2017).