Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Re-Create Their Lives

Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Re-Create Their Lives

5.0 1
by Martha Nibley Beck
     
 

We're all familiar with the feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed; what Dr. Beck's book makes clear is that the way society defines women's roles virtually guarantees we'll be pushed toward the breaking point. Dr. Beck describes the five phases of reaching the breaking point, how it feels at the moment of impact, how women can transcend it, and how they can… See more details below

Overview

We're all familiar with the feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed; what Dr. Beck's book makes clear is that the way society defines women's roles virtually guarantees we'll be pushed toward the breaking point. Dr. Beck describes the five phases of reaching the breaking point, how it feels at the moment of impact, how women can transcend it, and how they can re-create their lives afterward. Every woman's experience of the breaking point will be unique. Dr. Beck interviewed over three hundred women, from teenagers to eight-year-olds, who movingly share their stories of coping with their moments of crisis. At the heart of this book is a call to quell the stress and strain we feel by reexamining the paradoxical way we lead our lives and reconnecting with our innate desire to do what we find personally fulfilling rather than what our social roles dictate. Beyond the breaking point lies the epiphany that will guide us to the next, more rewarding phase of our lives. With a fresh, unpolarizing perspective and a welcome sense of wit, Breaking Point offers not a step-by-step prescription for getting unstuck, but rather a blueprint for change that all women can use to transform their lives.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This provocative sociological inquiry by Beck, visiting professor at the American Graduate School for International Management in Phoenix, argues that American women are being torn apart by the paradoxical values by which society judges them. In a historical overview, she describes how the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution led to husbands relying on their wives' unpaid domestic labor. The 19th- and 20th-century feminist movements propounded the idea of female equality, and there has been an influx of women into the workplace. The clash between modern and traditional values, according to Beck, has produced guilt-ridden and overworked women who try to have successful careers while being devoted wives and mothers. Relying on anecdotal interviews, the author theorizes that this conflict leads to a "breaking point" for some women that allows them to re-create a "true self" no longer based on pleasing others. Beck contends that if enough women can transform themselves, a society will emerge wherein both sexes will be free from gender constraints. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.)
Kirkus Reviews
A sociologist's astute insights into the stresses that drive American women to crisis, with a more ingenuous analysis of how those dilemmas are resolved.

Beck and her husband (with their three children) bailed out of tenure-track academic positions to write and study independently. Hundreds of interviews with women in the US and Asia, as well as her own personal "breaking point," gave her the material to write this book. It is the sociologist part of her that successfully defines and describes the paradoxical pressures that place contemporary women in a double bind, a paradox left over from the 18th century: Women are encouraged to achieve today, but are still considered "unfeminine" when they do; women who adhere to traditional roles are condemned for not being achievers. The "traditional" thought of the "Dark Ages," where social stratification was rigid and women were subordinate to men, clashes with the philosophy of the Enlightenment in which "rational humans" celebrated equal opportunity. Except that opportunity existed only for white males—women and people of color were (sotto voce) considered "sub-human." Beck portrays five phases that progress from early socialization through the breaking point to a more nebulous description of re-creating the "true self," that includes edgy concepts like "satori" and paridigm shifts. She sorts out portraits of several cohorts, from the children of the Depression to Generation X, in terms of the influence of female role mdels. Unfortunately underrated are other monumental cohort experiences, such as WW II, Woodstock, Watergate, and television.

A cogent view of the forces that drive many women to radical turning points in their lives. Where to go from there is not so clear.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812963755
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/05/1997
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
403
Product dimensions:
6.46(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.33(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >